We treat them both the same

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t know why my first and second child behave so differently, we treat them both the same.”

Really, do you? 

My first baby had my full, undivided attention for the first three months of her life. I was there to attend to her every whim, as us mums do when we are cooing over our first born. 

Then I went back to work when she was three months old. She started having to be formula fed during the day and looked after by either me, her Nan or her Dad depending on who had the day off work. 

I managed six weeks back at work, commuting for an hour and a half each way and being out of the house from 6.30 am to 6 pm. Then I thought better of it and found a job that I could do from home, working my hours around Libby. 

So after a short interlude, Libby went back to having my undivided attention. I worked when she slept, I took her on days out, to regular groups and even took her with me to Paris when I had to go for work.

I worked hard to help her to achieve all her developmental milestones, whether that be walking, talking or doing jigsaw puzzles.

Fast forward to Lia and how on earth was I supposed to replicate the experience that Libby had?

I was freelance by the time Lia turned up, so whilst I cut down on my workload for a few months, I had to carry on working almost as soon as I brought her home from hospital. 

But aside from the work commitments that I had, how can anybody who has two children that are close together in age manage to treat them both the same? 

Libby (fortunately) didn’t disappear into thin air when Lia turned up. So Lia, for the most part, has had to just fit in and get on with things. 

We are always on the go, but with a demanding toddler on my hands, I’ve had very little time to focus on Lia’s development. I’ve been taking her to baby sign classes like I did with Libby, and of course she comes swimming when we go as a family. 

Other than that though, I’ve found it really hard to treat Lia the same way that Libby was treated. I never help her to walk and haven’t focused much on her talking. I certainly haven’t had the time to play with shape sorters or jigsaws. 

Even when we go to playgroups and things, I don’t really think to put Lia on any of the toys or rides, yet I’m sure I did with Libby when she was that age. 

There are two things that have made me realise this recently. The first was when I was doing a basic jigsaw with Libby, trying to teach her numbers. Lia just crawled over, grabbed a piece of the jigsaw and put it in place. 

All the pieces were the same shape and she wasn’t recognising the number, but nonetheless I had no idea she even knew what to do with a jigsaw piece. 

The second thing that happened was when we went out for the morning on Monday. We decided to go back to a pub that I’ve done a review for in the past. It is just ideal for us to meet with friends because the children can play while we drink coffee. Bliss.

So after playing with her friend for a little while, Libby came over and suggested to me that Lia might like to have a go in the push along car. It hadn’t crossed my mind, but of course she was right.

2015-03-02 12.00.06 So do you have more than one child and can you honestly say that you treat them both the same? I’d love to know your thoughts. 

 

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12 Comments

  1. March 4, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    No, I honestly do not. And they know it….. They are now 14 and almost 16.

    • monsterid March 4, 2015 / 6:42 pm

      Ah thank you so much for commenting Jessie, I’m so glad it’s not just me!!

  2. March 4, 2015 / 7:48 pm

    I’m with you on this one! When my son was learning to walk I spent ages hunched over holding his hands so he could practice – my daughter had none of that! I just don’t have the time to do all those things with her, she has had to fit in around an already established routine and nursery school runs etc. x

    • monsterid March 4, 2015 / 7:50 pm

      Ah I’m so glad people are agreeing with me on this one, I was worried I was going to get slated! Totally know what you mean with the walking! I haven’t done it with Lia at all and I’m pretty sure she’ll end up just getting up and walking off one of these days before I’ve realised she’s anywhere near ready to start walking!x

  3. March 4, 2015 / 11:05 pm

    Yep, I agree. Life is very different for my third child compared to one and even two. I also do things differently according to their personalities. I try to give them the same values and treat them all fairly – but it’s impossible to treat them exactly the same. x

    • monsterid March 5, 2015 / 7:19 am

      Thank you. I’m so glad it’s not just me. I’m not really in a position to do things according to their personality yet, but I agree that’s really important. I’m hoping that they will be interested in similar things as they get older but of course we will encourage them in whatever they want to do.x

    • monsterid March 5, 2015 / 7:20 am

      Yeah that’s true. I just hear people say it so frequently and it is so far from what we do!x

  4. March 5, 2015 / 8:52 am

    Completely agree with you here. I think there is a fundamental rule that you treat them the same; with our own parenting skills, discipline, fad and clothed etc but sometimes physically and/or emotionally it’s different. Just on the principle of knowing what you are doing. I put every ounce of understanding in getting it right with William but when James came a long I ‘knew’ bits when realistically maybe a continued effort for a personalised relationship would have been the idea thing but even then you still wouldn’t treat them the same because you’re catering to the individual.
    martyn recently posted…5 Tips to help Children process their WritingMy Profile

    • monsterid March 5, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Yes you’re definitely right, Lia has benefitted from the fact that I’ve learned from my mistakes with Libby but they’ve had totally different I opportunities due to circumstances and Lia definitely doesn’t get as much attention as Libby did.x

  5. May 20, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    So true! And it’s not just birth order that makes a difference – I have twins and I am a different parent to each of them because they are both different from each other. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot!
    Isabelle recently posted…How to appreciate your children’s childhoodMy Profile

    • monsterid May 20, 2015 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you Isabelle, it’s very difficult to treat them both the same isn’t it? Really interesting to have a perspective from someone with twins!

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