A mother's relationship with her children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-20-2009, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is your relationship tailored to each specific child? Like their needs, ages, personality, etc.? Is it normal for the youngest to receive more attention or a different kind of attention than older kids?

My relationship with my 4.5 year old is different from my relationship with my 2.5 year old. My oldest is more independent and outgoing. She has this "I'm a big girl" complex going on where she thinks she can do everything herself. She doesn't like to be coddled. She only wants to be hugged, kissed and cuddled when she wants. She's also a daddy's girl. My relationship with her is tailored to her specific needs, her age and personality. My 2.5 year old is "high-maintenance." Always has been. She's extremely sensitive and intense, very clingy and she loves to be close to me. She's not as outgoing. She's an introvert. Very much like my husband.

The last time my oldest was clingy was when she was nursing. After she was done she became daddy's little girl. When he's here she gravitates toward him. I understand my youngest better than anyone. Even my husband is more comfortable our oldest because she's a "normal" outgoing bubbly child.

I know my relationship with both will evolve overtime. That's to be expected. I don't think everyone is familiar or in tune with the idea that a parent's relationship is tailored to each child and their individual needs and personalities.

Aeona - married to super hot nerd Toby . . . mama to Grace (9) Evangeline (7) Duncan 11.14.08   and Henry (4) born at home. Expecting again early December!  

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#2 of 8 Old 06-20-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Semper Gumby View Post
Is your relationship tailored to each specific child? Like their needs, ages, personality, etc.? Is it normal for the youngest to receive more attention or a different kind of attention than older kids?
I've actually been thinking about this lately. I have 2 girls, 5 1/2 and almost 4yo. They are different in many ways and have different needs from dh and me. As far as teaching goes, they get the same from us, but our relationships and the way we deal with their various behaviors is different. My dd2 gets some more attention because she needs it. She's the clingy one. Dd1 is very emotional so we have to take that into consideration, for example with discipline. They respond often respond differently, but we make sure that fairness is taken into account.

Now we're having a 3rd, a boy this time, I wonder what we are throwing into the mix now

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#3 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 02:52 AM
 
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My relationship is different with each of my children, because they have such different personalities. Ds1 does everything fast - he talks fast, he moves fast, he thinks fast, he likes action, excitement, etc. He is more like me in this way. Ds2, when on his own, is much different. He is more of a dreamer, more likely to sit still and play quietly or flip through books or just stare at the ceiling. He takes longer to think about something, and it takes him a lot longer to get his words out. So I really try to slow down and meet him where he is when I can. I try to make sure he gets time to move at his pace.

Ds1 and I have a more intense relationshinp, in both good and bad ways. We have almost a psychic connection, but we also butt heads quite often. Ds2 is more of my love child. I mean, both are very cuddly and affectionate and loving, but ds2 is more "simple" and pure, less complex emotionally. I sometimes think that ds1 is my soul and ds2 is my heart. One isn't more important or better or worse than the other, but that's almost how I tend to connect with each of them.

I don't know that one gets more attention than the other, as the vast majority of the time we are all 3 together. But I do try to make sure that I let each child have some time and space to move at their pace and their level of intensity, and will try to meet them where they are in my interactions with them.
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#4 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Different? Yes. I think of my relationships w/my kids as always evolving.

My ds1 is very intense, very sensitive, very emotional and I understand him like no one else does. I think he and I are a lot alike. We also really butt heads sometimes but luckily it's not very often. W/him I try to explain everything. He has a need to understand every little detail and when he does he is totally on board. If you try to steam roll him and just expect him to obey, he will dig in his heels. He likes time alone, I follow his lead on this. He will come to me and want to talk when he needs time w/me and I try my best to accomodate him. He is def an old soul and I really appreciate him.

My ds2 is wild. Very mischevious, has a temper. I feel like much of my day is avoiding explosions w/him (I think his age has to do w/this too though, forget terrible 2s, 3s are much worse!). He wants everything his way and you can't reason w/him. Distraction works best w/him. I don't get him at all, but my dh does, they are kindred spirits.

My ds3 is just a baby but he is a stinker! He is always trying to keep up w/his brothers. A mama's boy to the core he will cry if I leave the rm. He requires the majority of my attention.

I don't worry too much about making everything fair, but I do try and make sure they are ea getting what they need from me.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#5 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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It never occured to me that my relationship with each of my children would be the same. They are not the same so why would my relationships with them be the same?

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#6 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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I have an individual relationship with each child, and a relationship with the children as a collective. I also have a relationship with each child as a member of the parents' collective (DH and myself).

I don't consider this "tailored" to the individual child though. I bring (or try to anyway) my real self to these relationships so to me that's less of a tailoring and more something that we actually create together. Or to me tailoring implies that I am the one altering myself to fit my child, when in reality, we ar both kind of adapting and accomodating each other. It is fluid, and changes over time.

I've never believed equal means "the same". I'm starting to believe that nothing can truly be "equal" either, because of the nature of how relationships change over time.

Oddly, my experience is different from the OPs. While I might verbalize my ideas about this more often than most people I know, in my observation most parents I have seen instinctively understand that each parent-child relationship within the family is unique, even if they don't like that, fight against it, or don't phrase it in those terms.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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Ds2 is more of my love child. I mean, both are very cuddly and affectionate and loving, but ds2 is more "simple" and pure, less complex emotionally.
:

My oldest is a bit prickly and reserved. Definately not as physically affectionate - especially with people outside our immediate family. I find I feel more protective of her with others, because my youngest is a real charming little guy. All smiles and jokes and people really respond to him. I really want her to celebrate her unique gifts even though she may not get the same feedback from people as her brother. I recognize that they're not cookie cutter kids, but sometimes I'm sensitive to how others will perceive and respond to them.
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#8 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 04:56 AM
 
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It never occured to me that my relationship with each of my children would be the same. They are not the same so why would my relationships with them be the same?
Exactly. Who thinks the relationship is just the same? it would be like saying I have the exact same relationship with my mother and my father, or with my sister and my brother.

My DCs are different ages, different personalities, with different needs, wants, desires and abilities. It would make no sense to try and treat them as if they are not the unique individuals that they are.
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