Parenting Styles

How Not to Let Your Family Revolve Around One Child

Do you play favorites with your children? Most moms would say, “No! Of course not!” But, I know I’m usually more cheerful and sweet with my less demanding child. I find myself doing more for him, and letting him get his way because he’s just so easy. On the other hand, my still wonderful, but more complicated child seems to get less, because we’re in conflict more. So, I need to look over, and put into practice, these 4 Steps for Not Letting Your Family Revolve Around One Child.

Some children can’t help being the squeaky wheel in a family, others can.   Here’s how to make things more equitable in your household.

1. Make an honest assessment of how much of your time, energy and resources you give each of your children.

2. If one child is getting a lopsided amount of any of the above, look for ways to make things more fair.

  • Try to have each child involved in the same number of activities, or in activities that require the same amount of time and money.
  • Come up with a system that allows older children to be involved in more; giving younger children something to look forward to.

3. If one child is demanding, obstinate and inflexible:

  • Work on teaching them that they can’t have their way every time.
  • Work on not giving into your demanding child, or moderate the amount of giving in you do.
  • Make an effort to avoid asking your compliant child to give in or go along with his more demanding sibling, just to end the conflict.

4. If the situation cannot be changed:

  • Thank the child who has to be more flexible.
  • Praise him for his patience and willingness to go along.
  • Schedule one-on-one time with the child who gets the least amount of your time.
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