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Monday, September 17, 2012

You’re My Favorite!

I would say, "Now, don't tell the other two, but you are my favorite kid!" Now this goes against all parenting advice books, and it might have been a problem, but the key is… I told all three of them that individually.

After I would say that to one of them, he or she would just glow. They figured it out that I had told everyone that at some point as they got older, but we still talk about it.

Some parents seem to be very careful about making everything "even." I have not fully subscribed to that method. I think that children should be treated differently depending on ages and different circumstances. I haven't made sure they all got the same number of presents. Maybe one large gift is better than three smaller gifts for one child. I didn't try to hide this situation, but rather, I explained it along the way.

The one thing that I do think we need to pay particular attention is to make family decisions that are fair. For instance, if you get a cell phone for the first one at age 12, then the next one expects that same treatment unless there is a very good reason to make a change. If you pay for gas for the oldest child's car, you have to pay for gas for the other children's car unless something has changed. Make sure you are making decisions for your oldest that you can keep up with for all your children.

What rules do you have to keep your kids from fighting against each other instead of for each other?

Contributed by Anita Oldham, editor, Today’s Family magazine.


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