As a mother of girls who are 16 months apart, I struggle with an ongoing issue… do they both get to do the same thing at the same time or should it be special for just one? When my oldest was starting kindergarten, I wanted to make it special for her, so I had planned on going to get a pedicure with her. When my middle daughter, who is only sixteen months younger, realized where we were going (nothing can be kept a secret in our house), she didn’t understand why she couldn’t go as well. I struggled with the decision whether to let her go or not. In the end, it was a group outing and we all had pedicures. I seem to be faced with these decisions quite often and I’m not sure I know the best way to handle them. I want to allow each child a “Rite of Passage” when reaching a milestone in their life – without neglecting the other children.
In talking with other mothers, I have received varying feedback:
– One mother says “Go ahead and allow them both to experience the milestones together without making the Rite of Passage a big deal. If one gets their ears pierced, go ahead and let the other too.”
– Another mother says that milestones should be special. If the younger child got to do everything when the older child did, then when her time came, that milestone wouldn’t be special.
After taking different responses into consideration, here is how I have chosen to handle the Rite of Passage (at least for today):
As each child reaches a milestone, we will celebrate it with her as a family. So for example, as each child enters kindergarten we can do something special together to celebrate this new milestone in her life. That child can choose how we will celebrate it. That way no one is left out and it can be a family event that involves everyone. So far, this seems to be working…but of course I have many more milestones ahead to figure out.