Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Balancing Individuality and Equality - or trying

Oh, hello, blog! I could give plenty of excuses, but what's the point, really?

I was lecturing/parenting Riley on something the other day, and while she wasn't saying anything, I could at least imagine what I would be thinking if I were in her shoes. "Why is she giving me such a hard time about this? She never gives Sylvia a hard time about this. It's so unfair!"

So, I answered the questions that I imagined her asking.

"You might be thinking that I'm treating you differently than I would Sylvia in this situation, which is true. Whether or not you think it's fair, there are different expectations because you are different people."

Depending on the situation (and what might benefit them), they can either be quick to remind me that they're not their sister, or that they want to be treated the same way as their sister.

Of course, when possible, they are treated equally.  I try to make sure they each have the same number of presents on their birthdays and Xmas, and of fairly equal value to them. We rotate who gets to choose the restaurant, the movie...though I always retain veto power.

But Riley hates it if someone doesn't remember that she doesn't like chocolate, just because Sylvia does. Sylvia hates baked beans, but Riley loves them.While they both go to alternative schools, the choices were determined by their unique talents and needs.

With a step back, I can recall having similar thoughts and feelings about growing up with a sister. And with the benefit of hindsight, I can see how ridiculous I was whenever I thought things were unfair. I can only hope that my daughters eventually reach the same conclusion! 

1 comment:

Dr. Stanley Goldstein said...

Siblings readily understand that people are individuals and need to be treated as individuals, no matter what they might insist to their parents about the alleged unfairness of this.