Raising Kids Who Are Opposite

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Boy vs Girl.  First Child vs Second Child.  

Brown eyes vs Blue Eyes. Brown Hair vs Blonde Hair.  

These are just some of the differences in my two children.  Same mom. Same dad. Same house. Same structure. But good heavens, they are opposites in SO many ways. Here’s our adventure in raising two very opposite children.  Maybe you can relate…

My son is a scaredy cat. I don’t mean this in a bad way, he is just very hesitant to try new things, go new places, etc.  My daughter, who is two years younger, is the complete opposite. She jumps without thinking and isn’t afraid to try new things – foods, activities, etc.  With that being said, my son is my extrovert and always up to talking with people. He was the kid sitting next to another kid in the airport waiting area and ask, “What are you playing?” when he was 4 and the other was at least 8-9 years older.  My daughter is outgoing to those who know her, but extremely shy otherwise.

From our standpoint as parents, we have to know when to push each one and when to let it go.  It’s been a learning process as they’ve gotten older and showed their personalities. We have to push our son to do things or he’d never leave our house. And we have to push our daughter to speak with others and not just shoot her looks around.  

Our little sporty one
Our Lego lover

My daughter loves to play sports.  She’ll ask to hit balls outside, throw the ball around, and constantly be on the move. My son is content to do other things. Both my husband and I love sports, so we do have our son in sports, but won’t force him to do things he doesn’t like as he gets older. Right now though, we have to push him along (see above – hesitant to try new things).  It’s definitely a little tricky to parent when the little sister hits the ball every time off the pitch in t-ball and older brother has the use the tee from time to time! We have to learn to play up their strengths and not play the comparison game or push our own wants and wishes on them.

Even in school, first grade and 4K, they are already very different. My son loves numbers and always has. He’ll pick math to practice any day of the week. My daughter is craving to learn to read and write – the opposite of our son at this age. He only did it because he had to.  It’s still pulling teeth to get him to write a sentence or read to me. Reading is coming along better now that he can read books with more substance, but it kills this momma-teacher’s heart that he doesn’t have the love of reading yet. And it’s not from lack of books or exposure either. My daughter will “read” her memorized books to me for an hour straight if I let her.  This definitely changes how we approach school work with each because we want them to see learning as a benefit and not a punishment. It also shows us what we need to encourage more in each one.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in the differences in my two kids.  I know so many other families that have the same thing. Their kids are total opposites in many ways as well.  Just when you think you have parenting somewhat figured out for one kid, you have to change course for the next!   Keep the faith parents that we’re doing the best we can, for whatever each of our kids needs.

 

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Stephanie was born and raised in the Green Bay area. After meeting her husband Tom at UWSP while earning a degree in elementary education, they returned to the area to start their family and careers. Stephanie has been blessed with two outgoing and entertaining children - Landon and Ava. Teaching third grade keeps her plenty busy during the school year but she couldn’t imagine doing anything else! When she’s not at school, Stephanie loves to read, cook (and pretend to be a Masterchef), spend time in Door Co with family and craft/DIY. Her favorite thing in the world is to take her kids to free adventures all around town (or find a great deal while shopping her with her mom!) Literacy is a true passion of Stephanie’s which inspired her to also start her own business with Usborne Books & More!