If you’re like me and have more than one kid, you have probably come to the realization that your kids, although they may have (or not) come from the same mother and father, are NOT the same people. For example, my son is the oldest, and then I have my girls. My son Jayden was an easy-going, cheerful, good-natured baby. He learned best by repetition, and his memory is CRAZY. He has taught himself multiple facts on numerous subjects through repetition and memorization. Ask him when any of the states received their statehood, he’ll give you an exact date. Ask him the specifications on any number of rollercoasters, he has them filed away in his obviously vast memory banks. As smart as he is, he has to be reminded EVERY.SINGLE.DAY to clean up after himself and take the same medications for his asthma that he has been routinely taking since he was three, which drives me NUTS.
Then came Layla. A bit more tempestuous than her older brother, she is also more independent, and appears to learn from observation and more visual methods than simple recitation. She has picked up things from me when I didn’t even know she was watching. In terms of her learning style, memorization is not her strong suit. She is an active learner. If I am trying to teach her something, it needs some type of action, activity, song or something that engages her to get it, and she requires a bit more time than Jayden. Admittedly that frustrated me for a minute, but I really had to check myself. God made her the way he wanted her, and who asked me to decide how she should learn??? Nobody.
As for my baby girl, we’ll see what works for her. Right now I catch her mimicking me a lot. I was surprised last night when, in her bath, she took her washcloth and started pretending to wash out the little cup I use to rinse her. Apparently she has been watching me wash dishes.
As parents we cannot try to fit our kids into the bubbles we have conceptualized for them. It’s just not fair to them, and it is not good parenting. We might be expecting them to do something that they just mentally cannot do! We also have to be careful not to make comparisons between our children. Because Jayden learned easily with flash cards and such, does that mean that Layla’s capacity to learn is less? No, it just means the methods to teach her need adaptation. Even if a child has a learning disability, that doesn’t mean they cannot learn. It just means someone has to be responsible, caring and patient enough to find out the best way to help them learn.
Parents, do your best to not favor one child over another as well. Make all of your children an equal priority. If you have multiple children, you really need to be checking yourself on a regular to make sure that you are not showing more devotion to the needs and presence of one child over another. If you don’t necessarily relate to one kid as opposed to the other, that’s your problem. Find some common ground. It’s YOUR job to adapt to them, not the other way around.