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Should you treat all children the same?
Motherscuffer is a mum of 6 and shares her life with her family on instagram, today she talks about whether you should treat all children the same, or whether they need individual care based on their needs and character.
I grew up as part of a large family, I was the youngest of four and I was often told by my older siblings that I was spoilt and didn’t have the same responsibilities as them. This is possibly true, I don’t really know. But as a child it feels like it’s not fair that you’re not all treated the same. Perhaps they remember having jobs to do when I was too little to start having any.
I’m now a mother of 6 children, one of whom has additional needs and I’ve realised that it’s not possible to treat all my children the same. I can try and be fair with them, but that’s a different thing.
My biggest lad has left home now, but I still have 5 little ones at home ranging in age between 3 months and 8 years. My 8 year old is quite highly strung and can be fairly difficult, whereas his 6 year old brother is easy going and eager to please. My 8 year old needs a clear routine that is fixed in place, if it’s like that and he knows the rules he can’t argue (and blimey he likes to argue).
Every day they can have an hour each playing on the tablet, we use a kitchen timer and when the time is up they’re often reluctant to stop. With my 8 year old I need to use the threat that he won’t get computer time the next day if he doesn’t turn it off, whereas with my 6 year old I can just say “I’m going to count to 3…” and always by the time I get to 2 he’s stopped playing.
With our 4 year old, who has additional needs, our approach is different again. I tend to give him more warnings that his time playing is coming to an end and then when it’s time to turn off the tablet I will say “do you want me to turn it off or do you want to do it?” He needs limited options and likes to do things himself so doing it this way means he always chooses to turn it off himself.
This is just a small example of how we approach things generally on a daily basis, they all get the same amount of time to play, so perceive that it is “fair”, but I know I have to approach them each differently due to their differing personalities and needs.
Perhaps my children will feel how my siblings did, my mum agrees that she treated us differently, for the same reasons I do my children, but she always tried to be fair with us all. Maybe they will only understand why when they grow up and have their own children. I suppose my point is that it’s OK to approach your children differently, and it’s OK to explain to them why you do, they will understand even if they don’t always like it at the time.
What do you think? Is it possible to treat all children the same? Or is it OK to adopt a different approach each time?