All kids are special, we know that, but do our kids know it? As busy parents, it’s not always easy to put the time into each of our children that we’d like to.
While it’s great to schedule family time and time for your children to spend with each other, it’s equally as important to spend some genuine one-to-one time with each child. This can be challenging if you have a large family and even more so when you have babies or toddlers that demand their fair share of attention, but we mustn't forget that our older children still need to feel individually loved.
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From an early age we need to instill in our children that none of them is less important to us than the other and that we love them all equally for their different characters. Their self-esteem relies heavily on us as parents to acknowledge they are all individuals, with their own likes and interests.
It’s also important for them to see that time spent with one does not mean that you are playing favourites and that they too will have a chance to enjoy special time with you doing something that they love.
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Think of some activities that your children enjoy and put aside some time to spend on that activity with just them. There is no reason why, if Johnny plays soccer, the whole family needs to be dragged along to watch every time, or if Janey likes the Wiggles, we all have to watch their show.
Think about how special Janey will feel when you sit down with her to watch her favourite show while the other children are otherwise occupied; or how enriching it will be when you put aside the time to cheer Johnny on at his soccer match while the rest of the family is off doing something else.
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Sure it’s hard to find the time in a busy schedule, and too easy to take the convenient path of always sending the kids off to play together, or watch a movie together or even all visit grandma together, but think of it this way – we had more than one child for a reason – because we loved and cherished the first one so much and loved spending time with them. Let’s not forget that and lets love and cherish each one of our children in the same way.