Thursday, January 20, 2011

Comparisons

Melody and Jack are about as different as night and day.

Jack is my intense, rigid, and studious child.  He looks forward to the opportunity to do extra credit and his idea of play time is organizing matchbox cars by color.



Melody, a free spirit, is perfectly content waltzing around just singing to herself.  "Blonde" actually can describe her in many ways.  She is vastly unorganized. While she loves to collect "treasures" the moment she collects one she "loses" it.  While recently visiting my parents, Melody was walking down the hall with Grammy in tow.  Grammy walked into another room and when Melody turned around and noticed she was no longer behind her said, with the most forlorn expression you can imagine, "I lost my Grammy!"



Jack has been working on a project for school in which they had to research an animal.  He choose an Eagle.  He has been working on it for a few days.  Today, in carpool, Melody started talking about the Eagle project.  I was floored when I realized she knew just as much about Eagles as Jack did!
This is not the first time it happens.  She frequently surprises me, in fact, with how bright she is.

That's disappointing to me.  Not that she's bright but that I'm surprised by it.

Jack is such a bright child and has such a love of academics that he often overshadows his sister.

I know it's not good to compare my children.  Nor do I want to short change one by labeling them "the smart one" and the something else.

Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you foster the individual personalities of each child, while still teaching them important values and how to make wise choices?


15 comments:

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I do find myself comparing Henry and Grant sometimes...but it is kind of hard not to with them being so close in age. Henry is my "smart" one right now, but I actually think Grant is picking up on school stuff faster than Henry did last year in Kindergarten. I have a feeling my boys are going to be compared their whole lives, and not just by me:) Sports comparisons are going to be even harder than school too!

Bren said...

Since Abbie is only 5 1/2 months old you wouldn't think I would be comparing both girls already but I find myself doing it almost daily! Maggie was a big crier, Abbie is super happy etc. etc. I am trying to stop myself now so that THEY don't know I do it. I'm sure it's normal though!

blueviolet said...

My son was a quiet observer so I didn't realize how incredibly bright he was until he chose to show it himself. That was much, much later than my daughter.

Missy said...

With twins everyone wants to know which one is the smartest or the good one. It is hard not to notice the different things that they excel at more than the other, I think it is natural. But we never say in front of them Abby is the smart one, etc. Actually they flip flop at times and share things that they both excel at.
They are going to be in the same pageant next month and there can only be one winner so we have being expalaining this to them. But that is life and it will definitely be a lesson they will need to know.

Kmama said...

I compare Buddy and Buster all the time, and frequently refer to Buster as the "smart one". Shame on me. However, Buddy is exceptionally smart as well, he just doesn't "ooze" it like Buster. He's more reserved.

I'm anxious to read through your comments, because I obviously need help in this area too.

Emmy said...

Oh yes, I think we really all do do this. I know if there is something about Lucas that we always point out, like how smart he is, how good he is at building,etc when Alex is doing that same thing I try and remember to point it out with her. But I know I probably don't do it enough. I mostly try not to say negative things about my children in front of them, yes I talk with them when they are not doing good things, but if I am talking with my mom on the phone about an issue with one of my kids I try and do it when they aren't home or off playing somewhere else at least.

Krystyn said...

All.the.time.

And, I beat myself up for it, too, when I realize they both have been taking it all in!

HeatherOz said...

It's hard! If one of my kids has done something great I try to point out something great about everyone else. This is mainly a problem with my boys. They are SO completely different!

He & Me + 3 said...

It is super hard with my girls being so close but have found that focusing on their individual strengths and praising them when they succeed at other things keeps them trying as well as confident.

Di said...

Em, I'm so impressed that you noticed. I know that when I want to change something, just seeing when it's happening makes a tremendous difference.

Also, you have some very cool kids.

Laura Farrell said...

How true Emily! I guess I didn't think I would having boy/girl twins but even at 16 mos old, I already find myself saying, "so and so is my sensitive child" or "she is just a little slower than her brother in that..." I am working on changing my vocabulary and...and thought process but it is so challenging!

Angie said...

Layla and Hayden are so very different. Layla is really studious, and Hayden is very athletic. I often think of Layla as the smart one, and Hayden as the sports star. Hayden doesn't seem interested in school, but Layla does...the girl LOVES to learn. It never ceases to amaze me...the difference between my two kids.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Isn't it amazing how two children with genes from the same parents who gestated in the same womb can be so different? Well, I'm amazed. :)

Dee said...

My kids have always been like night and day so I do the same thing!

Paige said...

I only have one child, but I do not exactly see it as comparing you're children to their siblings. To me, it is more their character. Those things are what makes them exactly who they are. You do have beautiful children though =)