This story was originally supposed to have three examples: the breastfeeding, the simultaneous table feeding, and the “house rules” myth. Because I was going CRAZY due to this belief that had been hardwired into me since birth, I guess…the belief that every child in the family is raised with the same exact rules, which, when broken, result in identical punishment, all the time, no exceptions. And I had been unable to make things work that way. I kept trying to adjust the “matching expectation” list to make it effective, blahblah…until one day, my friend Bill started dating an amazing woman who had raised two kids a lot like mine. And she was telling me about how different they were and she had to parent each of them gobs differently than the other. They had different rules, different consequences, different EVERYTHING. Because they were DIFFERENT CHILDREN.
I think I may have cried from the relief of individualizing the care of my children. It had never even occurred to me. Because I was raised hearing how everything had to be “fair” and in my head that meant equal but it DOESN’T!
Anyway, that’s kind of the story. I was going to be more detailed but this got so long i left it out altogether. That has been the single most freeing parenting epiphany of my life.