Rules & Games

I feel this is the parenting norm:  You work through Kid #1 and finally get the hang of things and how to get that child to flourish. You’re starting to feel good about your parenting skills, then bam: #2 comes along and throws everything for a loop.

#1 need gentle admonishing’s and changes their bad behavior when you give them the look but thrives on compliments
#2 doesn’t care how many spankings they get, they will do it their way and needs more hugs and cuddles than words of affirmation

or however it goes in your house.

I have such a hard time in this area.  Parenting two kids differently.  Part of the reason for the challenge is that my husband, Landon and I all have similar personalities, so it’s easy for me to recognize how I need to stimulate him.  Do for him whatever works on me.  But Brooks is the opposite of that.  And because I have a very one-track mind, it’s hard for my head to compute handling things the way he needs them to be handled.

For Landon, I’ll say, “go get changed into your school clothes and brush your teeth and we’ll meet downstairs in 5”. Very task oriented – here is the work, go do it. Without a doubt, he’ll be downstairs ready to go in less than 5 minutes.  This is the way I work too.

For Brooks in the same situation, there will be some dramatic “I can’t do pants. It’s too hard.” cries with a lot of dramatic flailing and flopping sounds coming from his room. So it has to be something fun for him to get on board.  “Like, hurry and do your pants in your room, then you can come snuggle in mom and dad’s bed/do a dance party/etc.” or “Let’s race and see if you can get your shoes on before I get dressed and brush my teeth. Ready… Go!”

Alternately, Landon could get into a huge meltdown-fit outside when he’s not having success during “batting practice” with dad. Then he starts being really shut off to any kind of help or advice he’s given. And Brooks on the other hand, loves for someone to help him learn and figure out how to get better so he responds well to the extra lessons.  So learning how to push each of them in different ways when they are learning something new and challenged.

As a parent, it can be hard for me to think in the mindset of my child and appeal to their needs so that we aren’t in constant battles.  It’s like Love Languages with my husband. I can’t do tons of acts of service if his love language is gifts.  Even though I love service, those same actions don’t compute as love for him like they do for me.

Additionally, it’s hard to parent one child one way and one in another way at the same time.  It can be exhausting to try to accomplish the same things two ways all day.  And I don’t always rarely do a good job with it. But I’m a work in progress, learning how to handle #1 to meet his needs, while responding in a way that ensures #2 is also successful and happy.


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