Fathers often tend to forget that no single child can run you constantly ragged (after all, he has to sleep sometime!) but two children can — and often do.
A lot of parents say that the worst part of having two kids is the sheer amount of noise they make. Not the loud voices, wild games, or blaring toys, but the particular, maddening sound of children squabbling.
Shouldn’t you do something more, or differently, to keep the peace?
Actually, you may have more peace if you do less. Playing judge and jury in children’s squabbles is a no-win situation: Even if you witness an act of aggression or hear an insult, you can never know what subtle sibling injustice provoked it. Being “fair” doesn’t always help, either. The more you ration out the berries in each child’s bowl, carefully divvy up the number of gifts they get, and tabulate the frequency and fulsomeness of the praise you pepper them with, the more you’ll encourage your kids to measure your performance on a balance sheet — and to find errors.
The fact is that you’ll have times when you must weigh each child’s needs differently. When one child is ill or has a birthday, giving him the extra attention that’s due him shouldn’t leave his sibling feeling deprived. You can’t control the green-eyed monster (who lives in every family) by carefully rationing your attention.
All you can do is try to give your children the sense that no rationing is needed because there’s more than enough unconditional love for everyone.