Magazine article Working Mother

Boy, Are They Different!

Magazine article Working Mother

Boy, Are They Different!

Article excerpt

Q I have two kids who are as different as night and day. How do I do the right thing for both of them?

A: If you have more than one child, you probably picked up on their differences right away. One slept through the night and loved Pat the Bunny. Another was a night owl and would sooner eat spinach than settle down to a boardbook.

It's normal for kids raised under one roof, including twins and other multiples, to have strikingly different personalities and interests. Some attribute this to nature, gender or even birth order. But what's most important is treating each of your children as an individual.

Even with an airtight schedule, find time with each one-on-one. It can be as easy as staggering bedtimes to alternating which of them walks the dog or spends a weekend at your parents' with you. Private time with you makes your child feel special-and you'll get to know his many strengths (and challenges) better. Ask lots of questions, including "What do you think?" on topics from family matters to pop culture to news of the day. Creating all-family values, such as apriority on education, and organizing family outings are great ideas. Just be sure not to overlook each child's unique interests in the name of family unity. ("Everyone else likes sports.") Your youngest maybe the only one with artistic abilities, so look for special activities just for him. And always avoid comparisons. Tell him, for example, that you like the way he paints without mentioning his sibling's talents. …

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