About parents who have a ‘favorite’ child.
Why do I care?
We all have days where we prefer one child over the other, but when does it dip into hurting our other children?
Tell me more.
According to childhood development experts, showing favoritism isn’t bad in and of itself. Ellen Weber Libby, the author of The Favorite Child, says the practice of favoring one child over the other often rotates between each of the children. She says, “That kind of rotation yields a healthy, normal competitiveness…The danger comes when the favoritism is steady and persistent and becomes a lasting part of the family dynamic.”
Another expert, Catherine Salmon, the author of The Middle Child shares that birth orders often play a role. The oldest gets the most undivided attention prior to others arriving. The youngest is often a last effort on the parent’s part to ‘get it right’ while the middle child(ren) can sometimes see a disparity in the amount of attention they have simply because the parents are stretched too thin. It’s this lack of parental and nurturing energy to go around to each of their children where things can get dicey.
So, how do you combat this potential for favoritism? In the New York Times piece, Salmon shares, “I think you can let people off the hook from feeling guilty about having a favorite — put it right out there and say of course you have a favorite, people have favorites, it’s what you do with it that matters…you’ve got to find something you appreciate about each kid and build on that.”
The most important aspect of all of this, says Salmon is the perspective of the children. How do they feel? How are you dealing with their feelings of not being favored? The goal, ultimately, should be your awareness that you have a propensity to favor and then work hard to balance things out. Setting individual routines and rituals that are special for each child during the day, for example, where they get your undivided attention, will help combat negative perceptions from siblings.
That’s What She Said
According to Bunmi Laditan, moms with messy cars are heroes. She shared an image of the inside of her car and went on to unite those of us who just can’t get our act together when it comes to the mess in our vehicles. She says, “If we were to have some kind of apocalypse, zombie or otherwise, it would be my type of car, not my husband’s, that would be considered valuable. While his car is a clean, calm oasis, mine is a SWISS ARMY KNIFE, MOTHER HUGGERS. His might not smell like dolphin piss, but my car, MY CHARIOT, contains all of the items needed to survive the collapse of modern society.” She goes on to cite how many band-aids she has, the fact that each food group is accounted for in snacks, and all around just makes us feel better about ourselves and the mess we tote around from dance class to swim lessons to appointments each week.
We never thought of our mess in such a positive way before. We dig it.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Teach your kids how to be independent dressers in the morning, while they are still on summer break. Fine motor skills are not created equal when it comes to our individual children – some will struggle with the act of dressing more than others because let’s be real, those buttons and zippers are no joke for little hands.
The Inspired Treehouse has a wonderful infographic that breaks down dressing abilities by age. While some of your kids may linger in other stages a bit longer, this look at the general development timeline can help you set your sights on what’s realistic for independent dressing for each of of them. The post also covers tips, tricks and strategies for working on building the various skill sets needed to be an independent dresser, all of which are done in a playful way to keep frustration at a minimum.
Summer is expensive friends, but, our kids are needy for entertainment in these long days and while boredom isn’t a bad thing, we do need a few tricks up our sleeve that are budget-friendly. These 29 Dollar-Store Finds That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer by Buzzfeed is how we think we’ll survive these final days and not break the bank.
Our favorite ideas?
- Bubbles and chalk baskets nailed to the fence and labeled for easy independent access. We would consider figuring out a lidded option to account for bad weather…because we’re lazy and want to leave this out for the duration rather than put them away each day.
- Hoola hoop hideouts. Get your kids cranking out the summer reading in these individual nests.
- Dollar store carnival games are an awesome option for those afternoon play dates.
- Roasting pans used for ninja turtle dress-up? Yes, please! (#28 in the list)
That idea of peace and love toward humanity shouldn’t be nationalistic or denominational. It should be a chief concern for all mankind.
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