Happy children’s day to every single child all over the world.
Children need love and attention from their parents, but having two or more children can pose a challenge for moms, dads or guardians to spread the warmth evenly.
Sometimes imbalance can occur when siblings are sharply different in terms of talents and personality or even racially.
To have a happier home with well-loved children, some tips have been listed below;
1. Understand your children’s love language
While each parent’s heart is filled with the same amount of love for their child(ren), it can be expressed differently. It’s easy to think one child is the favourite because of the way love is expressed. However, the other point to keep in mind is that children may not feel loved at all if their parents aren’t expressing love in the way they need to receive it. It’s so important to find out our children’s love language. This requires paying attention and spending time with each child alone. Sit down with your child and ask them how they feel most loved:
- Affection and personal touch.
- Time spent with them.
- Words of encouragement and affirmation.
Another way is to observe how they give love. Often time the way our children give love is the way the desire to be loved in return.
2. Spend quality one on one time with each child
Find a way to spend time with each of your children one on one. Work it out in your schedule and see what might be achievable. Perhaps a Saturday morning brunch, or a Sunday afternoon trip to get hot cocoa? Simple, yet intentional.
3. Initiate ways to show them love
Learn to be spontaneous. Surprise the children with some special cuddle time, a crafting project, or a trip to a local park or garden .“You obviously love your children, so don’t be afraid to show it,” Lynch says. “Give them that authentic shout-out, or the gentle, grace-filled redirection and encouragement when they need to try again at something, whether it’s poor behaviour or just losing a game. Leave the shame out of it.”
4. Learn to listen and document
At times you may be quick to want to fix your children’s problems. Sometimes it is better to just listen and give a hug, rather than a solution. You can start a journal and document the things they like, ways they are kind, and some ways they want to be loved. We can so easily forget moments, but taking a quick minute to jot ideas down can prove to be extremely valuable!
5. Avoid comparing and celebrate their uniqueness.
An imbalance in parental attention can lead to siblings comparing themselves — never a good idea because that can create jealousy and low self-esteem, which can result in sibling rivalry. At the same time, children may think the parent is showing favouritism.“ “Children can recognize a fake compliment a mile away, so they know if you’ve really seen them or not. They know if it’s from the heart or just surface praise.”
In these ways, showing appreciation for who each of your children will help your them develop confidence in themselves. They will take your lead and begin to find other amazing things about themselves and their friends. Making each of your very different children feel truly loved and valued will help them grow up to be happy, content and responsible adults.
6. Love your child despite your relationship with your ex-partner.
If you’re upset at the child’s other parent, don’t take it out on the child. Even if the child resembles the parent, remember that the child is a separate being. The child deserves to be loved and not held accountable for another person’s actions. Your children are equally deserving of love.
- Remind yourself that the child deserves your love regardless of any estranged relationship you and your ex may have.
- For example, if you have a child from a previous relationship and a child in your current relationship, don’t hurt your first child as a way to get back at your ex or hold resentment toward your ex through your child.
7. Be racially inclusive.
If you have children of different races, make sure that each child feels included. If one child experiences discrimination, talk to all children about discrimination and how it can affect your family. If even one child is a different race than the others, talk about how discrimination can hurt everyone in the family and that it’s important for all children to stick up for one another.
8. Respond to their needs uniquely.
Tune into your children’s needs and respond accordingly. Your children are likely different from each other and that means you will likely love them differently. For example, one child may struggle with missing their other parent more than another child. You may need to give more comfort to this child while their sibling may not be affected at all. Be aware of each child’s needs and meet them.
- Sometimes, one child will be needier than another. While you may give help or assistance to the one, make sure you give reassurance to the other.
- You may go to one child’s soccer games and the other child’s chess tournaments. Whatever you do, show your support for your child’s interests and love them for their own uniqueness
9. Allow them to solve their own disagreements.
Understand that stepsiblings may not feel as close to one another as biological siblings do, but this depends upon their ages, their personalities, how long they have known each other prior to the family blending, and their current and prior environmental experiences. Realize that it is perfectly normal (blended or not) for children to feel jealous, have arguments, and to compete with one another. Conflicts will arise, and it is quite normal for these conflicts to be more intense in a blended family. Children often fight, especially half-siblings and step-siblings. They may come straight to you to solve a problem. Instead of being the judge, jury, and executioner, tell them to solve the problem on their own. This way, no child will feel like they are being treated unfairly or unjustly by you. It also helps them to build problem-solving skills on their own.
- Say, “I know you are upset at each other. What do you think should happen? Figure out a solution together.”
- It is important for everyone in the blended family to work together and develop expectations and rules about respecting one another. Keep this in a place where it is visible to everyone at all times, such as on the refrigerator.
- Express fairness across the board. For instance, the rules and expectations should be consistently the same, and appropriate for each age group.
- Ensure that all children within the home have their own beds and spaces to go to if they need time to themselves, but also encourage them to have fun together as well (i.e., playing games together).
10. Assess your words and behaviours.
Kids are often concerned with what’s fair, whether it be splitting the candy bar exactly in half or getting the same amount of time watching television. It’s almost impossible to treat two unique individuals entirely equally and fairly at all times. When you interact with your children together, pay close attention to the amount of attention you give each one. Notice how you speak to them: do you praise one more than the other or favour discipline toward one? Be aware of your own actions and how they may affect your children.
- If you notice unfair treatment, take note and correct it. Hold your tongue when you want to give criticism or focus on balancing the praise you give to each child.
- Whether your decisions are equal or fair, it’s up to you, not your children, to decide.
11. Enjoy your children.
Look forward to spending time with your children always. If you need to improve a relationship with a child, bring some fun and enjoyment into it. this can help you have nice experiences together and build memories both of you look back on fondly. Whether it’s your biological child or a step-child, find time to play together or read a book together. Make sure you do fun activities with each child.