How to Treat Each of Your Children Equally

Each child is an individual, with his own partic­ular emotional needs and his own particular likes and dislikes; each needs love and attention in varying amounts and in dif­ferent ways. Therefore, treating each of your children equally is not the same as treating them fairly.

The idea that the best way to raise children is to treat them identically—by giving them all the same toys, activities, or opportunities—is a mistake and will not satisfy anyone.

You may be tempted to buy each of your children identical indoor kids playhouse because that way they can’t complain about one getting something better than the others. If one gets to go to skating lessons, they all must go to skating lessons. This tactic does not take into account each child’s individuality and means that one or more of them will get something they don’t like or want! Treating your children fairly means taking each child’s individ­ual needs into account. For example, if one takes swimming lessons, another might be allowed to join a drama club.

Even if parents adopt a policy of equal treatment, the chil­dren will find that the outside world takes a different approach. Schools encourage children to progress at their own pace. Clubs, whether sports organizations or scouting, encourage each member to develop mastery in different areas, depending on his skills. Individual differences make life interesting. A child who lives in an environment that tries to create equality in everything will receive an abrupt jolt when he ventures beyond the family home. Try to strive for a family structure in which every member has equal opportunities to develop his full poten­tial, even though this may result in different activities and lifestyles for different family members.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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