Are You A Bad Parent For Treating Your Kids Differently?

  • Personality. You can’t expect an introverted child to have the same hobbies or activities as an extroverted child. Encourage your kid to identify what interests them and be supportive of what they choose — whether it’s sports, ballet, drama, painting, or even reading quietly by themselves.
  • Age. It’s normal for a younger child to complain when their older sibling is allowed to do something they’re not. But as the parent, it’s important to stand your ground about what’s developmentally appropriate for each kid.
  • Be firm but empathetic about why, as a 7-year-old, your kid can’t drink coffee or go to the mall on their own. Acknowledge their frustration and let them know you understand their disappointment. That acknowledgement will help them release the negative emotion and let the issue go.
  • Special needs. If your kid has a learning condition, allergies, or any type of special needs, by all means cater to them. Encourage their siblings to practice being considerate and supportive of each other’s special needs, too. If one child is allergic to nuts, for example, ask your other children to be selective about the food they share at home and have alternative food options their sibling can eat.
  • Maturity level. Not all kids have the same level of maturity at ages 5, 10, 15. Some children are more mature than others, and should be treated accordingly to nurture their autonomy and independence. Still, navigating these considerations can be difficult for parents, as I learned firsthand.
  • Implementing value systems. Your expectations for behavior and responsibilities should be consistent among all your children. Let your kids know that everyone is expected to be kind, considerate, and helpful — inside and outside the house. No exceptions.
  • Showing appreciation. Whether you’re attending your daughter’s field hockey game or your son’s piano recital, be their biggest cheerleader. Celebrate who they are and how they choose to express themselves.
  • Spending quality time. It’s important to spend quality bonding time alone with each child. Schedule a “Mommy/Daddy and Me” time at least once a month with your kids — and hold that time sacred and immovable. Every day spending 20 minutes one on one with each child in child directed activity time can keep each child’s cup filled and prevent the negative attention from happening as a substitute.



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Katherine Sellery

Katherine Sellery


Katherine Sellery, CEO and Founder of Conscious Parenting Revolution, helps individuals minimize misunderstandings and melt-downs in order to communicate.