My parenting style for my 3 children is so different.
I know this is the same for every parent with children different ages, but for me with Ethan at the age of 9 my parenting style hasn't really developed or changed a lot.
Firstly they are all different ages and stages but more importantly they can all achieve different things.
From the outside it might look like I'm harder on the girls than I am Ethan.
Ethan can't answer me back or pull things out of a cupboard.
I've written before how when people moan that their child is into everything and how they wish they wouldn't and there's me over here wishing he would be in the DVD cabinet pulling them all out!
On a daily basis I have to do this for Florrie and yes it's frustrating and time consuming but I love that she can do this.
I secretly love that I find a toy in my bed now or accidently step on one when I head to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
I have to teach the girls boundaries and rules. So that means reminding them, lots, that they need to not throw their toys or they need to use their manners.
I don't need to do this with Ethan. He can't get up to mischief and shout at me when I ask him to do something. Dakota always finds it annoying that Eth never has to tidy up.
But he doesn't have to because toys are brought to him, not him getting them out!
Ethan doesn't get my annoyed voice very often because he can't be naughty. I mean he is very cheeky but he's not drawing all over the walls.
I'm saying I always stay calm because sometimes he is so moany I have to use my stern voice at times to try snap him out of it.
My interactions with Ethan are more calm and are all pretty much one sided.
He occasionally babbles back to me in response. He responds with facial expressions so I guess what he's thinking.
I know him inside and out but it's still a massive guessing game when he wants something.
The girls are easy to know what's up. They are both at an age now where they can tell where hurts or if they are hungry (in Dakotas case she's always hungry!).
So the girls needs are met easier and quicker due to them making more noise. Ethan is very placid, mostly, and he doesn't demand my attention as much as the girls.
The girls can get into situations where they need catching or saving quickly. So I go to them a lot.
Poor Ethan has been left on one side of the garden centre while I run after Florrie on multiple occasions.
Playing with each of my children is totally different.
The girls can play back with me. Dakota can have full conversations and extend play which makes role play and games more fun. Florrie's attention span is lower so games are often quicker but she still plays back with me.
I find the easiest things to do with Ethan are messy activities or activities which don't need words to extend play. He loves stories and looking at lights.
It means I can interact on a completely different level with him.
Just because I have to interact and parent my 3 children differently doesn't mean I love each of my children any differently.
All 3 get my best and worst at times.
I hope that others can see that I'm trying my best and adapting to each child's needs the best I can.