Tag: sibling comparison

You love her more than me

You love her more than me

You love her more than me. You always take her side!”

I watched frustrated, hurt and a little annoyed too as H hurled that allegation at me and walked out of the room. I was just back from their PTM last week and had found them in the middle of a huge row. Of late I am trying to keep out of their fights, but I had to step in here. I was still preoccupied with the discussion at school and was hardly prepared to handle all of this. I simply wanted to restore peace.
And then H made that one allegation that unsettles me most.
This isn’t the fist time this has happened
Yet it remains something of a raw nerve. Being fair is almost an obsession for me. When the kids were babies there were always people who preferred one over the other – visitors, friends, grandparents. Someone would like one of the twins because he or she was more talkative, more active, more chubby or simply because one of them resembled someone in the family. I was constantly losing my cool despite telling myself over and over again that it would happen and that it didn’t really matter as long as the Husband and I didn’t have favourites. Yet it drove me to distraction.
Now, when I have the same allegation tossed at me I don’t know how to react. I read somewhere that most parents have favourites (normally the first born) and so I spent hours in honest self-examination on whether I do love one child over the other and I can say so with all my heart that I do not. (I don’t even have a first/second born to begin with!)
Each time I try to explain this to the twins it comes out sounding like I am listing things I do for each one of them and that is so very far from my intention. That day I ended up sad, worried and exhausted with a throbbing headache.
Sigh! 
That was one of the days when I truly envied people with single kids. I wondered at my naiveté that had me jumping for joy when I discovered I was having twins!!
As always when I’m lost in this parenting maze I turn to other parents – real and virtual – and here’s what I pieced together.
Some children are more insecure than others
and will always feel they are being treated unfairly. Nothing you say or do will convince them otherwise. The tweens (and then the teens) are perhaps the worst times when real and imagined angst is at its peak. You can only hope that they change their mind as they grow older. Sometimes the wait may last till they have kids of their own.
Sometimes they’re saying it only to needle you
When they are upset, tweens say things they don’t mean. In fact if they know something hurts you, they are more likely to say it to you to get their way. Oh yes, kids have crafty little brains. However, they do know in their hearts that it isn’t true. I need to remember that.
So what should I do?
Well, I realised that spending energy on convincing them is pointless, specially when they are angry. I will have to leave them alone and let my actions speak for me.
A sane, reassuring talk after the storm will help.
When one child demands/needs more attention than the other in pampering his/her need, in appeasing him/her I might end up being unfair to the other less-demanding child. So that’s an area I need to tread with caution.
As a parent I need to differentiate between treating them fairly versus treating them equally. That’s an area I’m not really good at. For instance if one of the twins needs something (and the other does not) when I get something for one of them I end up getting something for the other too only to avoid a showdown. Bad idea! The focus should be on the need not the thing.
More individual time with each of them, focussing on individual needs, is even more important as they are growing up.

Those are the things I’ll be working on.

As a parent have you ever faced this allegation from your children? Growing up did you ever feel your parent favoured a sibling?

Linking up with dear friend Nabanita’s #MommyTalks. Do drop by her post where she talks about kids and the evil eye. Do you believe in it?

Sports day and a regret

Sports day and a regret

Last week the twins’ had
their Sports Day and H won a bronze in the class race. Instead of celebrating, my first reaction was to look out for N and her reaction. The thing is, N is the sporty one.
She’s the one who comes home with a medal and is heartbroken if she
doesn’t get her moment on the victory stand.
H makes things worse by not being sensitive at all. I could almost
see him revelling in his medal and how that would make
matters worse for N. So when I went to pick them up I hugged them both, underplaying H’s
victory. 
As it turned out, to his complete credit and my amazement, H was pretty nonchalant
about the whole thing and didn’t blow his trumpet one bit. Very surprising indeed!
What surprised me even more
was N’s reaction. She was a little upset I could tell, but she kept a smile
firmly on her face and was over it soon enough. It might have to do with
the fact that she was part of the
gymnastic display and so didn’t mind not winning. It might have to do with her recent
dance performance where she’d taken centre-stage already.
It brought home the importance of helping kids find their niche – something they’re good at – academics or a sport, a dance
form or a musical instrument. It does wonders for their self-esteem and allows them to
handle failure better. That’s what seemed to have worked for N.
Maybe I’m over analyzing this and the
kids are just growing up. 
Whatever it is, I was a
relieved mum that day. I do have a regret though – I wish I’d had that one moment of unadulterated happiness
and of praise for H – it was the first time he had won at sports
since when he was a toddler.

That’ll remain with me a long time.
It’s good for the kids though: to learn to look beyond themselves – to be empathetic as also to be happy for a sibling or a friend.
If you have more than one child tell me how you handle it when one child does really well and the other doesn’t? How do you praise one child while comforting the other?