Boy standing in shadows with arms crossed

Parents with more than one child may find it difficult to divide time and energy so that your children get an equal amount of attention from you. I don’t know any parent who gives exactly equal time to each of their children, most I know will have some one on one time with one child and have quality time with the other/s when they can too.  Most parents try and make it fair.

What if parents can’t make it fair? Maybe you have one child who is particularly gifted in an area or committed to an activity that requires you to be with them and/or transport them about on a regular basis so you end up spending more time with them and paying more attention to their achievements and progress.

How does the child who is getting the attention feel that you are spending time taking  them to their activity/sport/interest?  Most will love that their parents are taking an interest and supporting them.  But if one child consistently gets more attention, how does it make the other child/children feel?

The Importance of Paying Attention

I can’t imagine the other child/children being too happy with not having the attention and focus that the parent has with that one child. It may make them feel left out or that they are not as ‘special’ as their sibling.

I have seen this in one particular family where the oldest child is chauffeured around regularly because they have a strong talent for something whilst the other children are left to fend for themselves. They are required to have regular play dates or make their own social plans so they are not alone.

Is that fair to children?

Well that depends on your relationship with the other child and how committed you are to their needs and wants.  They may not be talented in a specific area but they are all talented and skilled in some way – we need to pay attention to the things they are good at, notice them and encourage them.

Parents do need to make sure that we take notice and pay attention to all our children. We should not just focus on the one child that has a gift. Yes, spend time and help them attain their dream but don’t neglect your children. Nurture and focus on their talents too as their self-esteem and validation is important too.