Archive for May 18th, 2009

Before I had children I believed that my children should be treated equally, that a parent should use the same methods to discipline each of her children.  That changed as my children were born and I learned that their personalities dictated the type of discipline they responded to.  For my oldest son it took little more than a disappointed look from his father or me to make him change his attitude.  My daughter needed more.  She needed a show of anger a raised voice or the threat of further punishment.  We are still trying to figure out the two year old but we will get there.

In the meantime I have also come to realize that as much as their personalities differ, their moms are also different.  No, I am not confessing to multiple personality disorder.  I am however suggesting that a first time mom is very different from an experienced mom and both of these differ from the mom of a middle child who is still learning but thinks she knows more than she actually does.  These differences are most clear when comparing my youngest son’s mom to my middle child’s mom because Zane’s mom is ten years older than Meg’s and because they are such very different children.

Zane’s mom will carry him whenever he asks her to.  There are even times when she asks to carry him as though it might be the last time she will carry him for the rest of her life.  Meg’s mom spent most of the second year of Meg’s life telling her she needed to walk.  She was too big to be carried all of the time.  Meg’s mom remembers with great clarity the last time she carried her.  Meg was ten and had fallen asleep on the couch.  She picked up her beautiful daughter, carried her to her bed and thought that it would probably be the last time she could do that until after the baby was born.  She didn’t realize how much Meg would grow in those few months.  She didn’t know it would be the last time.

Zane’s mom is patient.  She finds herself standing in a toy store watching him play with the train table, knowing there are things that need to be done and deciding they aren’t that important.  He is enjoying himself and learning how things work and those other things that need to be done will be there tomorrow.  Meg’s mom was most assuredly not patient.  As soon as Meg was old enough to walk on her own her mom was rushing her, hurrying her along because there was so much to do.  Meg was seldom given the time to just play because there was always something that needed to be done.

Zane’s mom is calm.  When he pitches a temper tantrum she watches him and waits.  She doesn’t give in to the tantrum but she doesn’t fight it either.  Because of this Zane wears himself out and gives up.  Meg’s mom was not calm in the least.  Meg would say no and her mom would say yes.  Meg would pitch a temper tantrum and mom would pick her up and tell her to stop acting like a baby and Meg would fight even harder. Meg’s mom would be embarrassed of the tantrum and fight it.  Meg’s tantrums always outlasted her mom’s patience.

Zane’s mom is fun.  She crawls through the house pushing trucks and cars, building towers, rolling the ball for a game of toddler kick ball.  Meg’s mom was too busy.  Meg needed to entertain herself or find something else to do because her mom was just too busy.

These are the differences I have noticed but I am sure there are more.  Part of me can’t wait to talk to Zane and Meg as adults and find out how they would describe their moms but only part of me.  The biggest part has learned that ten years slips by too fast and we all change too much.

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