I come from what would be considered a ‘large’ family these days. There were six of us in total — I have 2 brothers and one sister and I am the second born. To add to the chaos, we were all very close in age with all four of us being only 5 years apart and yet each one of us came out of it all feeling special.
That’s not an easy feat in a large family — to each be raised to be who we are with a true feeling that each of us was the favorite. My parents did a great job balancing the needs of the four of us and ensuring we all feel important and special. It’s something I am striving to do with my three children because I think it’s very important.
Fellow blogger Buzz shared openly last week that he has a favorite child and he’s not afraid to say that. He also makes the bold statement that puts the finger on the rest of us parents, “I’m guessing you could look deep in the mirror and admit you have a favorite too”.
I have had this post in drafts for about a week and still have not found the right words to reply to this post because honestly, I just don’t get it. I wanted to sit with it for a moment and digest what Buzz was saying and a week later … nope, still can’t say that I have a favorite.
And I don’t think that many of us who “look deep in the mirror” would find that out either. I don’t think that is a common feeling among parents whether we choose to say it or not and I think saying it (especially so publicly) can have a huge detriment to each child that’s being compared.
I don’t want to use this post to be a rebuttal to a fellow bloggers post. I will say though that while I could understand having a favorite child stage/age, there is no way I could compare my kids and choose a “favorite”. It goes against all the parenting beliefs that I have, goes against every grain of my compassion and while there are days some of my kids drive me crazy more than others, I am in this position to love them, to guide them and to raise them to be the best they can be. Not to take stock of what I wish they could be, what they should be or how they don’t measure up.
Like I mentioned earlier, my parents did an amazing job helping us all feel like we were the favorite. I am doing what I can to do the same for my kids and I think it’s an important part of growing up and developing into who they truly are. I don’t mean to make them feel like they are the most special person in the whole entire planet, but to make them feel like they themselves are special. That they mean the world to someone (not that they are everything to the whole world) and there are some huge benefits that will serve them well in the world — some main foundations this simple feeling will give them:
It’s important to look past ourselves, be careful in our wording and realize that what we do, say, write or feel can have big effects on our kids. Not just for right now, but it will shape who they are as people. There is this old saying that we can hear a hundred things that are awesome about us, but it only takes one negative thing to knock us down.
Photo credit: iStockPhoto
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