Wednesday, February 23

True Colors

As the mommy of three little girls, I am constantly amazed at how differently they approach life, and thus, art. Linsey, 6, is very polychromatic.  She loves surprises and is always challenging the norm, often coming up with better ideas and new clothing trends. Her life is a vibrant splash of patterns and colors.



Hannah, on the other hand, is monochromatic all the way.  Almost 4, she is introverted, extremely thoughtful, and has habits and rituals I don't dare mess with. Her idea of matching is wearing the same color from head to toe. ("even my underwears!")
 

I'm sure you've wondered in your own family, How can kids from the same home be so different? And, more importantly, What do you do with that? Here are a few tips I've learned and gathered in my never-ending quest to raise kids who love God, me, and each other:

1. Loving them equally does not mean treating them the same. Our oldest is very forthright and stubborn, while our middle girl is extremely sensitive.  We learned quickly that we needed an entirely different approach to parenting with her and even a different set of rules in some cases.

2. In general, avoid comparing your kids to one another. Saying things like, "I wish you obeyed like Sarah does!" will only cause them to resent each other.  Even in your own mind, accept the fact that you are raising very unique individuals who happened to be born in the same family.
 
3. Encourage your children to be unique. Who says they all have to play soccer? Have your kids explore a variety of hobbies to see what they are interested in, and follow their interests.  Let them "teach" you what they are learning in piano, t-ball, or art class. Spending time with them doing activities they love shows their interests are important to you.
 
4. Teach your kids to be each other's cheerleader. You can cheer your heart out at a t-ball game, but it's not the same as an older sibling rooting on a younger one. Even where their interests differ, teach your kids to support one another. In this harsh world, kids need to know their family is pulling for them.

What are some things that have helped you in raising your unique kids?

 


4 comments:

  1. My sentiments exactly, Liz! Marshall and Zach are two of the most different people! We love them both the same, are raising them with God's standards, yet we cannot expect them to like each other. I often tell people, "You couldn't have gotten two more different people out of the same parents." It always amazes me how different they are! We have raised them to be each other's best friend and they are! Praise the Lord!

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