Every child is different. And every parent realizes this shortly after the second child is born.
For us, the births were entirely different.
The sleeping patterns were different.
The ages they accomplished things were different.
I could go on and on.
Somehow the differences stand out. We had to make up our mind - do we judge one as better than the other, or just different?
We worried that our son couldn't compete with his sister academically, socially, athletically. She shone in all the easy and obvious ways. So, one day I sat down and made a list of his strengths.
He's energetic. Creative. Affectionate. Strong-minded. Confident. Imaginative. Funny. Focussed. He can draw. He can sing. He's a leader.
Once we knew his strengths, we could help him see himself in a whole new light.
It wasn't about who he was compared to his sister. It was about - who he was. Unique. Wonderful in his own way.
And with this we fostered tolerance and love of diversity. And a self-esteem that couldn't be shaken.