Although it’s intriguing and important to consider the differences between your children, it’s also important to deal with the differences carefully. Accept each as she is, nurture her, and encourage her to pursue activities that she enjoys and is good at. Don’t push and pull her in directions she can’t or doesn’t want to go. Remember not to compare your children out loud. They’ll hear your comparisons as judgments, and one will end up feeling superior or inferior to the other.
It’s natural to feel disappointed in your children at times. “He’s not the ball player I’d hoped he’d be.” “I wish she were more sociable.” Try to accept what disappoints you. It’s emotionally unhealthy for your children to hear your negative evaluations. They’ll wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” “Why couldn’t I be like my sister?”
The best way to treat differences is matter-of-factly and with respect. “Sam enjoys reading.” “Julie likes gymnastics.” Your kids will be affected throughout their lives by the way you view them. If you set the right tone, they’ll follow your lead and learn to appreciate and accept differences as a natural part of life. As a result, they’ll grow up feeling good about their siblings and themselves.