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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inequality Starts At Home

I do not treat my children equally. I wish I could, but I am a human with many regrettable  endearing flaws.

I found this easy to my admit to my husband, but I am having trouble typing it, because it sounds harsh. This is my fourth attempt at typing the words and I will not delete them this time. Ok, here goes.

I'm so proud of my oldest son. I believe he can do anything.
I'm so proud of my middle son. I'm amazed that he can do anything. *

When I shared this revelation with my husband, he asked "What about the third?"

I replied that he gets a pass because the first two have worn me out with their high maintenance personalities.

I'm working on finding a happy medium, but of course I'll take any advice you feel compelled to share.

three adorable boy children
My Three Amigos

*Ok so I went back and edited this one more time to try to more accurately convey my thoughts. Still not sure. 


  1. Just a thought....It would not be fair to have equal expectations for each child - - they are different people with different strengths. So being fair is probably to require them each to "stretch" the same amount, whatever that may be. Now, how do we know if we are doing that???

    1. Good point and good questions, let me know when you magically find the answer! I have learned that what motivates one child (beating the clock) gives another child a panic attack. So, that's some progress right?

    2. Lori you read my mind. When I saw the title I thought the exact same thing. I believe "equality" to be a word/concept that often rests on the idea that either we are all the same or that it is useful/positive to "make" us all be the same. I lean more toward the ideas that:
      (a) we all have our own path where even suffering can play a vital and necessary role for learning, growth, etc.; and
      (b) no one can know what overall affect "helping" another person will have on their life and the lives of everyone they come into contact with.

  2. I appreciate your honesty. Parenting is hard and I feel insecure when it seems like so many people have it together and I'm always questioning whether I do. I have one son 17 months old and we are trying for our second. I want three kids so badly, but I don't know how people do it without loosing their mind? Your children are adorable. Such a great picture. I bet they all have unique and amazing qualities.

    1. Thanks for the kinds words about our boys. They are cute and they do love each other and us. I can't say I haven't lost my mind sometimes, and there were some bad days back when the youngest was a baby and we were going through a lot of transition (new schools, new home, new jobs, new family dynamic of kids outnumbering parents) but now that they are a tad older, I have to say the good times outnumber the bad. We strive for balance in our lives, not perfection!

  3. This post reminds me of my irritation when people try to "one-up" each other. You know, the whole "My life is rough right now because [something bad] is happening." "Oh yeah, my life is super bad because [something even worse] is happening." Well, just because something worse is happening to person #2 doesn't make whatever is happening to person #1 any better. Every person is different, with their own tolerances and struggles. While I don't advocate obviously choosing favorites (having been the non-favorite with my grandparents when it was me vs my one-year-younger nephew), treating children differently is not a bad thing. And I don't even think it's an "inequal" thing. It's just recognizing that they have differing needs and wants, and adjusting your offerings and expectations accordingly.

    1. the one-upping your bad life with my worse life gets under my skin! I do treat them differently but I think what I need to really equalize, after reading and re-reading this post & thinking it over a lot, is my expectations of each child. I should equally expect each child to perform to the best of *their* ability but recognize that what their abilities are could be completely different.
      Regarding the favorites thing...I was the favorite grandchild of one set of grandparents, and not at all in the eyes another set of grandparents. Setting aside my blessings that I had not one but two sets of grandparents, I can admit that I did start to feel guilty for being the favorite at some point in my teens and tried to spread the love and include everyone. Even as the favorite it wasn't a really intense situation...but it did feel better when everyone got to share in the fun.