When you are raising multiple kids at once, you run into all kinds of unique problems. One of the most common is the problem with individualism. You want to treat your kids equally, but you want to recognize them all as being unique too. Finding the right mix of this is a tricky proposition. As a mother of three, I have become an old pro at navigating these waters. Embracing individuality is a daily practice in our home.
Here are five tips to help you foster independence and individuality in your kids:
Celebrate the differences
No two kids are the same and the differences are what makes them feel special. When you have multiple kids, noticing and celebrating those differences makes them feel secure. The confidence that comes from your loving their uniqueness is tough to reproduce later in life so begin early. Kids love to be different if you love it about them too.
Never share personal birthdays or celebrations
Even if you have twins, have a separate celebration for each child. Perhaps one the day before, one the day after and both on the special day will work. When you lump special occasions together with your kids you send the message that they are all the same. The truth is, your kids are all unique and you want them to know that. This is where independence is born.
Never compare your kids
Even if they are the spitting image of one another and both act exactly the same, you should never compare. When you do, sibling rivalry can quickly get out of hand. Also, comparing them shows that you are not willing to look at them as individuals. Give them their own parameters, definitions and expectations that are perfectly suited to their own personalities and needs.
Make a point to have one on one time regularly
Every kid wants face time with their parents and each one deserves that type of attention. Though it can seem daunting, having a schedule can help a great deal. Make notes on your calendar to have a “date” with your kids on regular occasions alone. They will revel in the personal attention and it will help them to grow emotionally and socially.
Brag on Occasion
If you take the time to brag on your kids now and then it can have wonderful effects on their confidence. Pick out wonderful things your individual children do and tell the world! There are few things that feels better to a child than the acceptance and pride they see in mom or dad. It can’t be overstated. Embracing individuality is extremely important.
These are only a handful of the things you can do to build confidence and individuality with your kids. What ideas do you have that you can share?