We have four children ranging from 1.5 to 9 years old. They have different needs and wants. They have different interests and are at different stages of development. What’s good for one is not always good for the others. For these reasons and many others, we choose NOT to parent them “evenly.”
When we purchase something for one, we do not purchase something for all of them. They receive items as they need them or when they are ready for them. We don’t entertain complaints of things being not fair.
We want our children to grow up in a world where their hard work and opportunities they create for themselves will afford them luxuries, not because it’s owed to them. The particular lesson we try to instill is that all things are not equal, and those expectations are not realistic.
When babies are small, they require more attention, more immediate response time. The toddler can have screen time after 7 if it means we can get the baby bathed. The big kids can go to laser tag. They can have sleepovers. Maybe one will get a fidget spinner for a good week at school. They receive different allowance amounts. The oldest can stay up late to read. None of these decisions should affect the other children, and we’re working hard to help them understand that. They are unique, independent little ones and will be treated as such.
This all may sound harsh, but after struggling to provide equality to a family this large, we have finally realized that it just doesn’t work for us and doesn’t make sense. The one exception is that I hope that my children feel equally loved and evenly snuggled, even if it means they are almost too big to sit on our laps.