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  • how do you show equal love?

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    Old 04-05-2003, 11:04 AM   #1
    ffsmith
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    Post how do you show equal love?

    Let’s say you have a child that is getting good grades at school, while the other is just getting by.
    Or you have a child that is very social and likes to talk to you about their social life and get advice and learn from you socially.
    But the other child is not social, and does not have anything to talk about.

    How do you “pretend” to be a parent that loves their children equally.
    Is it enough to just say that you do, or are special actions and efforts necessary in this case?

     
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    Old 04-05-2003, 01:22 PM   #2
    summer603
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    "How do you “pretend” to be a parent that loves their children equally.
    Is it enough to just say that you do, or are special actions and efforts necessary in this case?"

    What do you mean by that? http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif It seems as though you're implying that you love one of your children more than the other. I hope I'm just misunderstanding you.. You should never "pretend" to love your children equally, but rather love them both the same because they are your children. Not because one seems to be smarter or more outgoing than the other. Everyone is gifted in different ways.

     
    Old 04-06-2003, 07:06 AM   #3
    mommyof5
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    I have 5 kids and they are all different. I show them all "equal love". I praise them for what they have done and none of them do anything the same. My 1st - dd (12) is the only gifted artist, My 2nd - ds (9) is a super athlete for his age, my 3rd - dd (7 1/2) gets the straight A's, is popular and clever, my 4th - dd (6 1/2) is doing well at school (kindergarten) despite her speech delays and is my best behaved child, my 5th - ds (3) is a terror but is very advanced for his age - he can spell his name, say his phone #, knows and recognises(sp) the alphabet + numbers, etc.

    Sounds to me like your talking about praise not love, I hope. Praise each one for their effort, nobody is the same and nobody is perfect.

    3 of my kids (dd-12, dd-7 1/2 and ds-3) are "open talkers", the other 2 I have to practically twist their arm to have a conversation to find out about their day.

    DD-12 is horrible at school has ADHD and a processing disorder, she really has a hard time. She's in the 6th grade with a grade 3 level of math, a grade 4 level of reading comprehension, at level for ability to read and a k-grade 1 french (required in Quebec) level.

    DS-9 is "getting by" at school, He is also ADHD and has a worse processing disorder. He's in grade 3. His reading and writing are a year behind and his math is 6 months behind.

    DD-7 1/2 is also ADHD but gets the straight A's. She is in grade 1 and is reading at a higher level. She and my son are almost at the same level.

    DD-6 1/2 is a very emotional, affectionate, sweet girl, does just fine at school. We suspect perhaps ADD and/or a processing disorder but she's too young to test.

    DS-3 is extremely hyper (I hope it's just his age!), he's very smart and figures things out quickly. It took about 5-6 days to teach him how to spell his name (Dante) orally (2 weeks ago) and 3-4 days to teach him to say his phone # (a week ago).

    Just try to find their strengths and praise that, there has to be something about your "quieter one" that your can praise so that he/she doesn't feel like they are left on the back burner

    mommyof5

     
    Old 04-06-2003, 01:05 PM   #4
    H.Kondriac
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    It sounds like you are comparing your children. I know that it is hard not to because I have also been guilty of it. I have one "perfect" child (gifted,straight A's, honor roll) and one child who nearly fails at school and just gets by. I am quoting this from No Greater Joy (you can find this online if you want more to read):I really recommend them.
    Tying Strings
    When two or more people are living together, their interests, opinions, and liberties sometimes clash. Selfishness, indifference, pride, and self-will often cut the strings that unite. When there is not a constant tying of new strings, family memebers soon find themselves separated by suspicion, distrust, and criticism. The gap can grow so wide that family members become virtual enemies. When this happens between parent and child, it is a serious crisis. Unless new strings are tied, the two will increasingly grow apart.
    What can I do now?
    Tie some strings. Don't barge in and overpower your children with emotion or a new philosophy. Be a friend. Do things with them that they enjoy. Show interest in things that interest them. Be more ready with your ears than with your mouth. Be very sensitive to their concerns. Tie strings until you have earned their respect and honor. If they sense that you like and enjoy them, they will respond in kind. When they like you, they will want to please you. The idea is for them to feel that they are very special to you and for them to know that you find great satisfaction and delight in sharing with them. If you order your life so your children feel needed, they will desire to walk in harmony with you.

    I hope this has helped you.

     
    Old 04-06-2003, 09:12 PM   #5
    ffsmith
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    Thank you all. You have all been very helpful.

    My question was geared more towards older children I guess.
    This board’s “default” seems to be younger children so I am sorry I was not clear there.

    Was love the wrong word? Maybe I should have said Value? Enjoy? Appreciate?

    I know that most but not all parents are going to say that they love all their children equally in their minds and heart. So this I not what I am talking about.

    I am talking about not from a parent’s perspective but from the perspective say a theoretical neutral human observer that just watches and keeps score on such matters.
    Maybe I am talking from the child’s perspective?

    When you really think about it, is it enough that a parent believes they love each child the same, or is it more important that the children themselves believe this?

    I also realize that you can find strengths in all your children. So that was not exactly what I was getting at either.
    But then you seem to be saying that if a parent finds these strengths and makes an effort to praise the one that is not getting the more obvious praise that this should be enough.
    I like that idea.
    Obviously the love or attention or praise that is shown is not EXACTLY the same for each child. It is tailored to each child individually.

    H.K. ‘s response seems to continue along these lines
    Even if the time spent may not be the same for each child.
    You seem to be saying that as long as you are there for the child, and listen to the child and are part of their lives, this is enough to show that they are special to you

    I like this answer, because now we are saying that the love does not need to be equal (which it can never be from the perspectives I mentioned) but only has to be sufficient so that there is a good bond with the child.
    So that the child knows that they are special… knows that they are loved… despite any inequality.

    I like the idea that it is a continuos and constant struggle to show “equal” love.
    That if the effort is not made that the situation can become a crisis.
    This happens in real life and this is a good theory of why.
    I like the “string theory”.

    Here are other aspects of this question that I am thinking about.
    What about the Mother-Daughter relationship as opposed to the Father-Son relationship.
    What I am getting at is that it would seem to me that a mother is going to be more instructive to a daughter and a father to a son. At least overtly.
    Should a parent try and make up for this inequity or is this just accepted as the way it is.

    Finally how about the birth of the first grandchild. Obviously a parent is going to show great value and excitement for the child that provides the grandchild.
    Does a parent try and counter this excitement and interest and make things more equal with the other children or by this time do we assume that it no longer matters and the inequality will be understood and accepted by all the children?

    Finally to put your minds at easy, I do not have any children and never will.
    Although if I am not one now, I was one once.


    [This message has been edited by ffsmith (edited 04-07-2003).]

     
    Old 04-18-2003, 06:46 PM   #6
    H.Kondriac
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    You have some very good points. Ok...first of all your point about the Mother/daughter...Father/son theory: I think that is why God makes it so important for a husband and wife to stay married and not get divorced. The children are going to need both parents. The child will take what he can from each of the parents. I would not worry about 'equal' in this case either. I think when the child is an adult he/she will have taken the best parts of both the mother and the father.


    "When you really think about it, is it enough that a parent believes they love each child the same, or is it more important that the children themselves believe this?"

    I think at it would be more important for the children to believe that they are loved equally. The parent knows and comprehends the situation. I don't think the child would be able to grasp this concept. I know you say you are talking about older children.


    "[Does a parent try and counter this excitement and interest and make things more equal with the other children or by this time do we assume that it no longer matters and the inequality will be understood and accepted by all the children?"

    And as for the question about Grandchildren? I only have elem. school children so I would not know how to answer that. I do have something in mind though:
    My Mother-In-Law is a very generous person. She lives her life for her children and grandchildren. She is known to go out of her way to care for each of her 3 children's families. In this I mean that if she finds out that one of the families has a need,(for example, they can't pay a bill, they need a washing machine, etc. ) she will go and fill that need. She doesn't focus on 'equal'. She just does what her heart tells her to do. We all love her and know that she will be their for us..whether we may need a shoulder to cry on, a little help with a bill,some extra love, etc. In return we are their for her as well. I think things always come full circle.
    Again, when my children have children of their own, I know it will be impossible to divide up my time with each of them and their families equal.
    I don't know if I answered any of your questions correctly. I know I got a little off track, but I enjoyed your thought provoking post.


     
    Old 04-20-2003, 02:52 PM   #7
    ffsmith
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    Of course you answered correctly.
    Well there are no right or wrong answers … but I still appreciate you input.

    I appreciate your comment that I provoked thought. Maybe that was my goal??
    It made me feel good to hear it anyway.

    Following your heart is a good method. But it also takes some thought too like you say.

    Things will never be equal. Heart AND thought are needed to make sure that this reality does not become a problem.

    Because what your heart says is right, may or may not need to be modified, when the bigger picture of what is done for one child might teach the other children is considered.

    thanks again

     
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