Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Different But Not Divided

Life can be very interesting around our house.  One of our children we affectionately refer to as "The Spin Master".  For example, he broke a plate once and when his dad asked him what that noise was he responded with, "I made a puzzle."  He was four.

Another one of our kids is the most tender soul you will ever meet.  During the summer we have to sneak around him to kill an intruding fly because if he witnesses the swat he will begin crying and saying, "That was my favorite pet fly!"  He is nicer than any of us.  We are trying really hard to not break him.

And then there is #3 who is too young to have any glaring personality traits.  We do get nervous though at her latest development. When you gently squeeze her hand and tell her "no, no" she just looks at you and laughs hysterically, as if she is saying "You don't scare me!  I am #3!"

These little tidbits are funny but the reality is that we are freaking out.  I thought that I would figure out how to parent #1 and then just replay those lessons for the subsequent kids.  Could. Not. Have. Been. More. Wrong.  How in the world did three completely different children come from the same union? 

I am actually learning how to be schizophrenic.  They each require a completely different parenting style.  They learn, love, and socialize in three different ways.  The characteristics I am trying to bridle in #1 are the same characteristics that I am trying to foster in #2 while trying to give #3 the attention that she needs too.  I am not sure if I deserve an Oscar, an Olympic Medal, or the Purple Heart but holy moly, this is crazy.

I survive my days by embracing the comedy of it all.  We do our best to celebrate everyone's strengths and discuss everyone's weaknesses with respect.  We have dropped the notion that discipline can be a blanket consequence because what is tragic to one is the preference of another.  We are less concerned with fairness and more concerned with behavior modification.

The differences are many but the similarities are also vast. We promote the family as a team concept and regularly do whole family activities.  This is anything from meals, story time, games, athletic activities or travel. We truly do enjoy each other and at the end of the day we are A-OK with everyone being different as long as we are not divided.  Go Team!

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