Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kids are a Lot Like Cats and Dogs or "But That's Not Fair"

There are cat people and dog people, then there are those that love both. I fall in the latter category, loving both cats and dogs (and birds, and hermit crabs, and fish, and . . . well, you get the picture. But that is another post). The funny thing is, you may love cats and dogs equally, but you care for them differently. And rightfully so, as they have very distinct needs.

Kids are a lot like cars and dogs. No, not just in the ruckus that often results when put together, particularly in close quarters. Rest assured, even though cats and dogs are supposedly mortal enemies, they can learn to live together in harmony, and so can your kids. But even with the same parents and consistent environmental influences, kids can be very dissimilar.

My own, for instance, are both girls with brown hair. That just about ends the similarity. One likes to dress up and make herself pretty, the other is more comfortable in a pair of torn jeans. One eats a well-balanced diet complete with vegetables of all colors and textures, while the other prefers a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugars. One prefers pushing herself for individual bests, while the other enjoys contributing to team efforts. Should I go on?

The point is, they are each individual and thus, I treat them differently. One child might need more reminders and dare I say "nagging" to get things done, while the other might be more of a self-starter. How many times have I heard, "but that's not fair" or "but you let my sister."

Truth told, if being fair means treating your kids the same, then I'll admit it, I'm not fair when it comes to my kids. I don't always treat them alike, and I do allow liberties at varying levels. But what is fair is how much I love both of them. That's what I want them to know more than anything. That even when things don't feel "fair" and they feel life (and their mom) is treating them unequally - the love I have for both of them is immense. I guess that's about the best we can do as parents.


Wishwords said...

And that's a smart parenting style. They'll understand after you've explained it to them for a few years. ;-)

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Thanks! I feel confident they know I love them.