Is it ever possible to “love your children EQUALLY?”, and by equal, I mean, the same in degree and value?
I don’t think that it’s ever humanly possible; it’s not as if my love for my kid exists as one whole to be divided into three equal parts — one-third for Ben, one-third for Nat and one-third for Becks. I think those people who claim to love their kids equal are just saying that for the sake of making their kids (and themselves) feel good, but realistically it’s just not possible if you have more than one.
For one, I think it’s perfectly fine to love one or the other more on some days. Like when a little one falls ill. Or scrapes his knees. Or gets bullied by a friend. It’s inevitable that you’ll love one or the other a little bit more when he or she needs it more. That’s how God loves us, isn’t it? When you need it, when you’re especially down, He gets close and loves you just a little bit more. The sun shines for you. The rainbow appears for you. The gentle breeze kisses your face when you need that refreshing touch.
Above all, I think as parents, what’s of utmost importance is not sweating the issue of whether our children feel that our love towards them and their siblings is equal in parts, but more importantly that we’re speaking their love language and that whatever we do is translated into them FEELING they have been, and are loved.
You can love someone very dearly; but if you don’t speak that someone’s love language, it’ll never be felt and that can leave a great sense of disconnect. So if my love language is physical touch, and you come to me and pour me a nice cup of tea after a hard day’s work, I’d probably think ‘yea, nice gesture, how thoughtful’ but won’t go all mushed up inside as compared to you coming over to give me a big bear hug.
In other words, it’s not our job as parents to strive to love our children equally (it’s futile and frustrating to try to do that anyway); it’s learning the primary way of how our kids express and interpret love, and doing and saying the right thing according to their language of love. That will eliminate any sense of unfairness they perceive and help parents find their bearings as they find their way around a child’s web of emotions.
To know more about the five love languages — Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch — check out Dr Gary Chapman’s website (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/learn-the-languages/the-five-love-languages/).