My biggest struggle after I had Luke was learning how to divide my attention to make both children feel loved and not like one is more loved than the other based on quality time, toys and presents, or anything that could express favoritism. Fortunately, I quickly realized that both of my children have different needs, wants, and personalities. What makes Chad feel loved doesn’t necessarily make Luke feel loved and vice versa.
Here are a few things that have helped me make each of my children feel loved.
- Quality time: for Chad, that’s sitting with him every night just the two of us before he goes to bed. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day and something I love about our relationship. For Luke, it’s holding him. He loves being held, climbing into my lap, etc. I can do that when I’m reading books, cleaning, etc.
- Toys: we do separate toys a little bit. There are toys that the boys share, but we try to give each boy a toy that is theirs. They both really enjoy when we sit down and play with them with their specific toy. It’s really special for us as parents. It coincides with quality time and we love that.
- Talk to them!: Chad is starting to speak in fuller sentences, so we always try to talk to him and have actual conversations with him. We try to talk about things he’s interested in- Animals, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Roadster Racers, shapes, and letters. With Luke, it’s reading books, baby talk, etc. We’ve always been adamant about communicating with our kids.
- Donuts: this sounds so silly but Chad LOVES donuts and HATES grocery shopping. So we give him a donut when we go grocery shopping and he is such an angel. He always says “Thank you” multiple times throughout our grocery shopping trip. It’s our special thing and we love it.
- Service: Chad feels like an AMAZING big brother. We try to involve him in diaper changes, feedings, getting dressed, and everything that involves Luke, even Luke’s bedtime routine and baths. I think it really helps them bond and it makes Chad feel needed.
- Nicknames: we have nicknames for each boy that we don’t use with the other. Chad is always referred to as “Buddy”. We’ve called him “Buddy” so much that he thinks “Thank you, everybody” is actually “Thank you, every buddy” or “Thanks buddy”. He started calling US buddy haha! Luke is our Lukey Bear. Again, we call him that so much that Chad calls him Lukey Bear too.
We aren’t perfect, but we try so hard to make our children feel loved, and loved equally according to their needs. Luke as a newborn obviously needed a lot of attention, but that doesn’t mean we loved Chad any less. I think it’s so important to find ways to convey that early on. Every kid is different, but they all just want to be loved.
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Alexis at Witt Family Happenings
Lauren at The Andrew Life
Haley at Embrace the Journey