Looking For a Secular Florida Umbrella School?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Speaking of balance...

When does comforting become coddling? When does encouraging become enabling? When does fondness become favoritism?

Do we protect our more fragile children to the detriment of our more competent children, assuming the stronger ones can better care for themselves? Is that fair?

Can you love one child more than another? Do you? Some kids are certainly less likeable than others, less agreeable, but do you love them any less?

Visiting with my brother a few weeks back dredged up these questions. Yes, the past couple years have been terrible for him, and he continues to deal with the repercussions, but watching my mother hold his hand while she simultaneously kicks me in the ass, is irritating.

My first words were supposedly, "Me do," and somehow, I think this fiercely independent streak caused some resentment on my mother's part. My younger brothers were always more compliant and dependent, and therefore, less trouble. Did they need her more? Did she need them to need her? Is it co-dependency?

Am I guilty of the same behavior, when I find myself listening more to the child who feels ignored, while shushing the others, or giving that same child backrubs late at night, telling the others to just go to sleep because they don't seem to need the attention as badly? Is it merely a consequence of having more than one child, or is history repeating itself?

Will pushing my easier daughter away, expecting her to deal with her situations on her own cause a rift like the one between my mother and me? How do I keep from being an enabler, constantly helping the more challenged child, and will forcing her to deal with her concerns more independently cause a rift between us as well?

No comments: