In a research conducted by the University of California, Dacia, it was revealed that 65% of mothers and 70% of fathers clearly preferred one child or another, usually the older kid. Parenting siblings with different personalities, skills and academic performance is a challenge for parents but perusing the above statistics it is fair to say that most parents fail to overcome it. The key to parenting such sibling successfully is appreciating their talents and abilities.
Understanding why siblings are different
The moment we become parents we know we are supposed to love and care for each child equally but unfortunately we don’t. It’s obvious from the statistics that a majority of parents have their favorites among their children and most of the time it is the older child who is preferred more over his or her siblings. Even worse is the fact that the kids observe and know about the ‘favorite’.
To treat siblings equally, a slight shift in the parents’ role is needed. They need to get rid of the favoritism among siblings and behave more like a teacher. When a single teacher is confronted by the challenge of a classroom full of students with different proficiencies, capabilities, talents and skills, he or she must meet them at the point where they stand and at the same time hold high expectations from all of them. It is crucial for the healthy development of a child that they are deemed equal to their peers.
A child, for instance, with a lower proficiency at school might excel at some other skill or capabilities but puts in a great effort to achieve satisfactory grades. It would be a great idea to grade each student according to the effort they put in but sadly our system of education does not make it possible. Parents, like teachers, should appreciate the effort their child has put in and encourage them to work to bring out the very best of their abilities. Holding firm to what is expected of them will boost their efforts and encourage them to reach higher.
As far as the grades are concerned…
Grades are not the endgame. According to Dr Duckworth, there is a great chance that a child who works themselves to the bone to achieve satisfactory grades may be more successful in the practical life than a student who effortlessly gets high grades. In the meantime, parents ought to keep on both children regardless of their grades to work towards their goals which have no connection with the letters mentioned on their report cards.
Grades do not define the shape of one’s life. It’s the development of skills such as grit and self-determination that do. The key to parenting siblings with different proficiencies fairly is to identify what your child is really interested in and excels at and push them towards their goal.