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if you have one easy child and one 'very intense' child, how do you avoid favouring one over the other?

(11 Posts)
Kveta Fri 19-Oct-12 14:36:02

DS is a 3 year old tornado, has been very high maintenance since birth, doesn't sleep, ignores any attempts at routine, has been able to throw a tantrum since he could walk at 9 months, and is constantly pushing, pushing, pushing, looking for the next boundary to ignore. Everything is a battle with him, and always has been. He is a hilarious wee boy, great fun when he's in a good mood, but GOD he is hard work.

DD (4 months) on the other hand - totally placid, happy little dumpling, just beams and laughs at everyone, and utterly content just to watch the world go by. and she sleeps brilliantly, normally only up once or twice a night.

DH and I were joking that if we had to pick a favourite, there would be no contest (this was after DS had had a screaming fit because it was dinner time and apparantly 'I CAN'T WANT DINNER! WAAAAAAH', whilst DD beamed at us all before deciding to fall asleep of her own accord in her chair). We are both quite worried now that we will automatically favour the easier child though.

I don't think we do favour her over him at the moment, and of course, it may all change as they get older, but we are going out of our way to spend more one on one time with him as often as possible, and doing stuff we know he enjoys. I'm just concerned I suppose that we will end up generating an unnatural dynamic, or 'spoiling' him with attention to her detriment.

god, this parenting thing is a headfuck sometimes confused

treadonthecracks Fri 19-Oct-12 14:39:35

I think it fairly common to have a favourite, I find my favourite changes day by day though, so I suppose it will even out.

I expect your DS is still getting used to the new baby. I know its completely usual for all the problems to be about the older one once you have no 2!

Hope someone comes along with wiser words soon.

ReallyTired Fri 19-Oct-12 14:41:28

ha! ha!

The cute little baby could become the teen from hell.

Children go through easy phases and hard phases. Its very hard on the older child when a baby comes along and everyone thinks the baby is lovely. Is understandable that the older child is angry and jelous.

wigglybeezer Fri 19-Oct-12 14:42:43

You won't favour the easy child but unfortunately the " intense" child will think you are! ( despite getting more than his share of your attention by being a handful).


I Have an intense child, a quiet, well behaved child and an ecxentric child.

BrightenMyNorthernSky Fri 19-Oct-12 14:50:03

I agree, this will change! My hard work, non-sleeping, intense, eccentric baby / toddler / pre-schooler has turned into a fairly placid, engaging and interesting (if still eccentric) school boy. Whereas my dream baby (slept, ate, smiled, went back to sleep all on his own) is now a tiny toddler tyrant. I can never so much as finish a cup of tea without having to retrieve him from wherever he has climbed to now / fish him out of the toilet bowl / prise some inappropriate kitchen implement from his grasp and deal with the ensuing tantrum. Yet if you had told me a year ago that this was how life would be, I wouldn't have believed you. Just make sure that you make special time for each of them (however much they are winding you up) and I'm sure that it will be fine.

Kveta Fri 19-Oct-12 14:52:12

DS has always been intense though - he hasn't noticably got worse since DD arrived, and he seems to just adore her so far. we do know that some of his behaviour must be due to her existence, but he has always been a tantrum waiting to happen, and a child who tests boundaries. we are glad he was our first child anyway... if it was the other way round, I suspect both DH and I would be severely depressed (seriously).

GladbagsGold Fri 19-Oct-12 14:56:36

TBH you just muddle through as best you can. Making special time for each of them as and when you can, and telling them both how amazing they are and you love them etc etc.

My two seem to take it in turns to be 'the good one' - I think they have a v sophisticated good cop/bad cop thing going on between them.

AllDirections Sat 20-Oct-12 00:04:46

Two of my children have personalities that have made parenting them very difficult but the characteristics that I find difficult to deal with I also admire. I love that they're so assertive BUT...... I don't want them to be assertive with me. grin

DD1 (16) is now lovely but DD3 (5) can still be really difficult to deal with. DD2 (12) has always been very calm and compliant so she's been much easier to parent but I can feel a storm brewing.

I don't favour DD2 and I'm not sure why given that she's been much more pleasant to be around. At any time if I could have a day with just one of my children (and I didn't have to be fair about it) I would have chosen the easiest child. But I don't do that because it wouldn't be fair.

I enjoy spending time with DD1 (though I didn't for the first 12 years shock ) and or DD2 and I look forward to the day when I can spend time with DD3 without any challenging behaviour.

ThisIsMummyPig Sat 20-Oct-12 00:14:52

Honestly, I don't even try.

When DC2 is small, they don't know how much attention they are getting, so you can just spend the time with DC1. As DC1 gets bigger he will spend more time out of the house, so you can spend the time with DC2 then.

I have spent hours agonising over spending too much time with DD1, or showing favouritism to DD2 (I do favour her, you can't help it, everyone loves her more).

DD2 is 2 now, and DD1 is at school, and they both seem happy with what they have. I work 3 days a week, so am at home on my own with DD2 a couple of days a week, I try and do an activity on my own with DD1 every weekend (usually swimming). I still feel guilty about favouring DD2 though.

The hard work is so so tiring though. I do wish you luck with it.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 20-Oct-12 00:16:07

I had that lovely baby and difficult four year old. Now I have a prickly eleven year old and an easy fifteen year old. It changes, truly.

BackforGood Sat 20-Oct-12 00:21:37

What WigglyBeezer said grin

You honestly love the "challenging" child equally, just differently. I find, if anything, my feelings for my challenging one are possibly more intense, because I know he finds everything in life hard, and you develop a fierce, kind of protective love I guess, whereas the "placid" one you know everyone loves and finds easy to get on with and doesn't mind looking after, etc.

I'm not very good with words, but just trust us, your love just expands and envelopes them all.
Oh, and when he's had a bad day, go and look at him when he's asleep, and your heart melts.

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