Equally Does Not Always Look the Same

Equally Does Not Always Look the Same

I have two daughters.  They are 31 months apart.  My oldest just turned 15. Now that she’s a freshman in high school, and 15, I feel that she’s old enough to have certain privileges.Sometimes you have to have different parenting style for different kids

For most of their lives, their father and I have treated them the same.  Same bedtime, same curfew, same bedtime, same chores, same laptops, iPods and cell phones.  In fact, they even wear a lot of the same clothes.  They both got their ears pierced for their first birthday, they couldn’t shave their legs until they were ten, and make up is not allowed outside the house until they are 13 (15 at their dad’s house).

Meredith (her friends call her Murri) is now a freshman in high school and I feel that there is a significant difference between 15 and 12 and that difference should be respected with giving her a little more freedom, and also more responsibility.

Her 12-year-old sister does not agree.  In fact she has complained continuously that it’s totally unfair and that I’m the meanest mom ever.  (Which is a sure sign I’m doing something right).   So now I’m faced with the dilemma of

How do you explain that even though it’s not the same, it’s still fair?

The basic rules of the house are still the same, the expectations are still the same, I love them both equally, but I love them differently.  The saying is “Life isn’t always fair” but I wonder, is it possible it is fair, just not always the same for everyone?

Now that Meredith is 15, she will be allowed to go out with her friends more often.  She will be allowed to go to movies with her friends, without me.  She will be given more freedom and responsibility.  And Megan will be left at home to pout and stomp, roll her eyes and slam her door.  Believe me; giving Meredith more freedom is not going to be any kind of picnic for me.

I’m not sure Megan understands that this freedom will cost Meredith some money to go running with her friends and Mom is not spelled A-T-M so Mere is going to have to find a way to earn some dough.  Truth be told, I’m not sure Meredith realizes that yet either.  Oh life is but a rude awakening.

It’s only going to get worse before it gets better.  Next year, when Meredith turns 16 and starts driving, Megan will only be 13 and still stuck at home with mom.  (Oh the horror). I wonder if she realizes yet that when Meredith is 18 and gone to college, Megan will only be 15 and still stuck at home with Mom.  I’m sure when she realizes that, her head will explode.

This is just the beginning of “Yes it is fair, it’s just not the same” battles we will have. I have to remind Megan, that yes Meredith is older, but once Megan reaches that age she will get the same treatment, the same privileges, the same responsibilities.

And yet, that concept is hard for her to grasp, even at 12.  All she sees is “Life’s Not Fair!”

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Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

Ten to Twenty

Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

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