Are you guilty of it?
Sometimes I am guilty of it.
I find myself unconsciously encouraging one son over another because of their age or their skill set. Sometimes it comes up immediately, "Why did you clap for him and not me?" one of my boys will ask. And you have to stop and think about it.
I often find I'm a little harder on my older son when it comes to some things because I expect him to be older and wiser than his younger brother.
Back in the beginning of July, we went to a friend's lake house and had a blast. It was a weekend of tube'in, kneeboardin' and jumping off rocks.
Both kids took to kneeboarding right off the bat. My oldest Spencer even nailed the first kneeboard 360 of visitors to the lake house. He even got up on the wakeboard as well. I felt like I had the Flip rolling non-stop for both of them while we were out on the boat.
Yet we when got back from the lake, I only seemed to have footage of one son. "Why didn't you Flip me, dad?" said Cole as he sunk into a funk on the coach. "Are you sure there is no footage on there?" I asked him.
And sure enough there wasn't.
I felt like shit.
I made a mental note on various ways of positive encouragement and that I would try to remind myself to give equal praise (if equal praise was due) to each of them.
And then we made it back to the lake.
And then I got to right my wrong... and gave my youngest son the kneeboarding ride of his life. Replete with a Jersey Shore fist pump from him at the end.