Loving Reminder

Our Emily (7) has fallen ill today. As we are trying to make her comfortable, our oldest, Leah (11) says, “You guys treat her like an infant.” We laugh because it sounds so silly. She is sick and we are doing what it takes to lessen the pain – a little cuddling and doting, asking if she needs anything and how she feels. But as I reflect I realize it’s not about Emily being sick, it’s about how we treat the two of them differently.

Why?

Leah is older.
We gave her just as much special attention when she was younger.
Didn’t we?

Leah is confident.
She doesn’t need the reinforcement like her sister.
Does she?

Leah is less emotional.
She never appreciated the cuddling and warm embracing.
But would she now?

Leah is independent.
She doesn’t need the constant guidance and nurturing support.
But do we give her enough?

Leah is an amazing girl, turning into a beautiful pre-teen. Among many other things, she is intelligent, a self-starter, hard-worker, leader, and wonderful athlete. Most importantly and what makes us most proud is that she is compassionate and kind to others. We find her to be so mentally strong and responsible that we, probably mostly I, forget that she still has needs too. We all do as humans, no matter our age or characteristics. So I will allow Leah’s comment today to serve as a reminder, a reminder to give her hugs even when they seem unwanted and some extra love through my actions and words. Hopefully it will be just whatย she needs.

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23 thoughts on “Loving Reminder

  1. What a thoughtful slice and reflection on your firstborn! They all come with different needs at different times, and we hope as parents to recognize what they need when they need it. Lucky Leah that you took the time to write this slice.

  2. It sounds like you are a wonderful, reflective mom who knows her kids very well! I’m not a mom, but I know a good one when I meet one, and you sound like the best! Your kiddos are lucky to have you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I really identify with this. My daughter is 11 and doesn’t require as much focuses parenting in order to keep her safe— not as much as my sons. But really she does… Just in different ways. I’m glad You wrote this.

    1. Thanks! It’s tough especially when you feel like you can be more hands off, but can we really? ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it just feels good to know you are not alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I constantly wonder this about mine! I know we don’t treat them the same, but I don’t know if I use the fact that they are so different as a rationale or an excuse. I just hope that I do enough for both of them!

    1. Good point – rationale or excuse? I think we probably give them the same support and love just in different ways but it’s hard to see it that way so I guess I will be a little more outward with my love for now.

  5. Angela, I’ve had these same questions come up with my two…I love the layout and how you reflected. I hope Emily feels better soon and that no one else gets what she has!

  6. I don’t have kids but I do have nieces and nephews…and you have just described a couple of them! Thanks for the reminder….I never thought of it that way!

  7. It’s always a balancing act. Kids are so different even when they’re siblings, so you don’t treat them the same, you try to treat them each fairly. But sometimes it doesn’t seem that way to the child. Feedback is good. It was good that she spoke up and excellent that you thought about it.

  8. It can be so hard to treat our kids as individuals sometimes, but it can be just as hard to treat them as equals too. Your reflection on this experience will be such a value to you in the future. Hope your kiddo is feeling better soon!

  9. OH man, I feel you! I wonder if we ever get over responding to our children the way we think THEY need us to, only to realize they’d like a little of what we’re giving their siblings. Beautiful post.

  10. Well, I hope Emily feels better soon! Being a parent doesn’t come with instructions, but we like to think we do for one that we would do for the other, treating them the same. but as someone else said, each child is different and has different needs. you’re a great mom! I’m sure Emily and Leah both feel the love!

  11. I love that she said “you guys treat her like an infant” LOL. Shows her independence. I’m sure you guys give her enough love and support but what’s the harm in some extra TLC? I like how you questioned yourself after each thought.

  12. I didn’t get to comment on this one yesterday but I wanted you to know how much I loved it! Smother Leah’s with hugs and kisses!!! My theory is that she’ll love it even though she may never admit it!!

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