Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Who is your favourite child?

I've been expecting this question for the last 7 years (for the years that my kids have become verbal). And it came from the child that I had expected it from. Our so called middle child.

The question: Who do you love most? Who is your favourite child?

Even though I had fully expected the question, I felt sad that he asked it. It told me that he was sometimes uncertain about how much I loved him or worried that I loved his siblings more than I loved him.

I told him that I had no favourite children because I loved each of them in a way that was special to each. I listed all my favourite things about him.

1. He is a very kind person.
2. He is a very empathetic person.
3. He is a very generous person.
4. He loves animals.
5. He is sincere.
6. He is brave.

I elaborated, giving him instances when I saw him behave in those ways and he was a little bit comforted.

But I had to ask whether he felt that I might love him less or why he felt that he wasn't favoured.

His little voice in the dark told me that he wasn't as smart as his sister and that he hadn't won as many medals as she had.

I told him that I didn't love her because she was smart or because she won medals. I told him that I would love her the same regardless of medals or grades. And similarly, I loved him and my love wasn't dependent on anything.  I also told him that how much I loved him was separate and unrelated to his grades.

Eventually, we talked about grades and how it wasn't about being smart but about knowing that whatever he did, even if he wasn't good at it, every time he did it, it got easier. I told him that's how his sister got good results and being smart had little to do with it. I also told him that I could see that he was trying a lot more this term and I was proud of that.

It's always hard when your own child wonders how much you love him or her. I know it's normal and it's part of growing up within a family but at the same time it reminds me that JED are all different and need to realise that they are loved and most favoured in their own way.

And only Packrat and myself can do that for each of them.


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