Sunday, October 14, 2007

The family thing...

I figured I might as well type this up whilst it's fresh.
So I was talking to Beki about how some families seem to have a favorite child and how I think it's wrong and damaging. Beki agreed. In our family we can all think we're the favorite because we're favorites for different things but no-one is more a favorite - Dad says he dislikes us all the same!

I started to think of it from Heavenly Father's view. Sure he loves Jesus and knew he could count on his to do the right thing - set the example of baptism for us, atone for our sins etc. But Heavenly Father wants us all to make it home to him and loves us all no matter what. Heavenly Father has the same rewards waiting for all of us and the instructions to the get the reward are there for all of us... That's a perfect example to me. Perfect equality. We're all sinner's, right?

I've spoken to some people about this because I'm finding it interesting and quite disturbing at the same time. A lot of people really feel like they aren't an equal part of a family. They aren't treated the same or loved the same as their brothers and sisters. How can that be? It isn't fair. What makes a parent prefer one child over another and is it really right for them to make one child appear to be the favorite? I know the answer is 'no' but why does it happen?

Money tends to be a big part of these things too. Some kids get spoiled more and the others feel left out and less important. Do parent's treat children differently because some children seem to not need the help or love? How can you really judge how much attention, love or appreciation an individual needs? Isn't it just better to over love and super appreciate someone rather than not enough?

When a child gets married how much should the family relationship change? I was talking to a friend who's in-laws always encourage them to be independant but once there's something the in-laws want to do they'll practically bribe them into giving up the 'independance' so they can be part of the family again for a week and then they go back to abandonment. They'll help them out with the fun stuff but not with the adult stuff ie. tution, rent, car payments. The fun stuff ends up causing more stress than the late car payment because it pulls the husband from the wife.

My mum encouraged me last month to use my time without children to learn more about being a good parent that's where this topic stemed from. I really do think I'm learning things now I've put my mind to it. I'm learning a lot from watching parent's around me and thinking about my own upbringing.

Here's what I've learned:

  • When I have children they'll all help around the house. Equal. I'll set the example by having a nice tidy bedroom so they don't feel that cleaning their room is a punishment.

  • My children will earn rewards. If a child tries their best but isn't quite up to parr with the other kids that's still worthy of reward. Effort isn't something you can measure by outcome. Intent of the heart is important.

  • I'll tell my kids everyday that I love them. I'll hug and kiss them more than once a day. They need to know they're loved.

  • If I have to punish my kids it'll always be explained to them that it's to help them become better people and that I do it because I love them.

  • They'll play outside and won't be 'entertained to death'.

  • We'll have family time hopefully every week in some form or another. Going out for a drive together, going to a park, learning new things or whatever but doing different things and enjoying it - or not.

  • Family relationships are important.

  • I think it's also important for children to see their parent's as part of a team. If that means grocery shopping together or cleaning up together the example still has to be set. I'd hate if my kids said "My mum loves me more than my dad."

  • As parent's we'll be affectionate infront of our kids. My mum and dad snog infront of us and if we walk into the kitchen - which is usually where they snog - they don't stop. Sometime's I'd squeeze inbetween them like a Laura Sandwich and we'd all have a great big hug together. I was never embarrassed by my mum and dad's kissing. It's important for our children to know that we love eachother.

  • One on One time is important but Family time has to be just as important and maybe a little bit more.

Tell me what you think and what do you do to help someone who clearly isn't the favorite in their family?


ShaBANG said...

It's tough not being the favorite. I wouldn't really know because I'm EVERYONE'S Favorite! Ok, ,not true. In my family we each see the others as the favorite. I claim my sister is a favorite, but she reminds me off all the cool stuff the family has done for me. And then we start to think of all the cool things the family has done for each other and it all pretty much evens out.
To someone who is clearly not the favorite, keep in mind "when your father in the flesh form forsakes you, then your father in the Spiritual form will lift you up" I have seen kids who aren't the favorite. No particularly in my family but in others. I like to give them special attention and let them know how great they really are. That seems to be a turning point, or at least a beginning. Also if there is one who for whatever feels the weight of family issues more than another, I like to give them special attention as well. And this is an AGELESS act of kindness. Why not give special attention and love to someone who appears to need it. There is kindness and love to go around. That should never run out

bethiepoos said...

laura i LOVE reading your blog. you are such a good person, and i am amazed at how mature you have become!! I wish you lived in arizona!! come on MOVE!!! You are going to be an amazing mum when the time comes! Mark and I were sooo anxious to have babies right away, and when it didnt work out as we had hoped, I began to obsess about it, I didnt take advantage of the time we had alone as a couple. and now... 2 babies later, I wish I had enjoyed our special "mark and bethy time"
you are AMAZING laura!! xxx