Do You Also Struggle With This Parenting Challenge?

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parenting challengeI remember as a new mom people telling me that raising kids does not necessarily get “easier” but just “different.” I’m sure you have heard this exact same phrase a time or two in your parenting life. I have recently begun truly understanding this concept as my girls age and the “hard stuff” takes shape in all new forms. My old worries of how to get my kids to sleep through the night or wondering if the baby gates were secure enough have been replaced with more mature and harder to settle worries. As my girls become aware of themselves and the world around them a new parenting challenge presents itself around every turn that we must tackle together as a family.

Undivided Attention

One parenting challenge we have been having lately is how to make sure we are giving our girls enough individual attention. Especially with twins, but even with siblings who are close in age, making sure our children feel valued as individuals is no easy task.

The more I have been paying attention to this, the more I have noticed that many tantrums lately have stemmed from one of the girls not getting enough quality parental time. And the more I understand and become aware of what is going on, the more my heart breaks.

Children, regardless of their age, want to be heard and loved. It is innate and natural.

When more than one child is involved, it is hard for each one to feel as if they are getting the parents full attention and love. As I have been finding, this can lead to emotional outbursts and tantrums that may at first appear unrelated but is a sign that our little ones are really just crying out for love.

How do these issues stemming from a lack of undivided attention arise?

In our household, these problems can begin with even the simplest “How was your day today?” Often times I ask this question and I have two little girls competing for my attention to tell me about their day, talking loudly over the other to get their voice to be heard. If I ask them to speak one at a time the child who has to wait gets their feelings hurt and no longer wants to talk about their day.

Parenting Challenge

 

Another example of when individuality comes into play as a parenting challenge is making choices.

No matter if it is choosing where to go, what to eat for dinner, what movie to see, what book to read… there typically is one child who feels that their opinion has been voided. As hard as I try to alternate who chooses what, when it’s all said and done, sharing your life with a sibling is tough work!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think partly this builds character and is very good for children to experience, but not at the expense of their thoughts and feelings not being validated.

Finding time to give each child my undivided attention is a big parenting challenge, but so important.

Moving forward I am hoping to be able to achieve a balance between the hardships of our girls sharing us as parents and the rewarding moments of having parents who see and treat their children like unique individuals. As a parent it can certainly be hard to divide our time and attention between our children.

Especially when you throw in work and school to the mix.

There are many days in our household when we have maybe an hour before bedtime and it is a challenge to say the least to make sure each child has their emotional and physical needs met. Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to give each one quality time with undivided attention.

Talking with other moms, I know we are not alone in this boat and it seems that every family of multiple children struggles with this in some form or another. Fair or not, oftentimes my first instinct when there is a behavioral challenge is to think that this is just a phase and it will pass with time.

In this situation I realize though that, while it very well may be a phase, this challenge is one that needs immediate attention and effort to resolve. With that said, my husband and I have begun discussing what we can do to try and make sure that each child is getting the undivided attention they deserve.

We are in a good spot right now because – with two children – we can pair up.

I am sure this may be a bigger parenting challenge with a higher number of siblings but I believe when there is a will there is a way. Understanding the issue at hand and why it is so concerning is the first step to making a change.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this series where I will offer suggestions that we have come up with to make each child feel special and loved in their own way. Because at the end of the day, no matter how hard the day was, that is all that matters – that our children feel loved!

parenting challenge

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Mikaeya is a Kansas City native that recently found her way to Southern California while helping her husband to chase his dreams. She is a woman that wears many hats and is not only a wife and mother to twin five year old girls, but also a pediatric dentist and healthy living blogger. She resides in Mission Viejo where her and her husband and mother in law run a family dental practice - Sunshine Smiles Of Orange County. Outside of the dental office, you can find her and her family soaking in the sun and outdoor activities that their new California home offers them. Mikaeya lives by her motto: SMILE, Life Is Good! You can follow along with Mikaeya on Instagram (@coloryourhealth) or on her website (www.coloryourhealth.com).