“The Girls”…..

I am the proud father of 1 boy and 3 girls. Their names are Christian, Selah, Jadah, and Adriah. I needed to state that because I recently found out that when I refer to my children I actually only have 3 of them. Christian, “the girls,” and Adriah. Somehow my common speech when describing my family has left out the names of my twin girls Selah and Jadah.

This was pointed out to me a few months back by one of my best friends, Nate Woods. Nate doesn’t have any kids of his own yet and has a very dry sense of humor, so it actually surprised me when he pointed this out to me several times (apparently I refer to Selah and Jadah this way often). After the 3rd time of him telling me, I realized he was serious and that it happened all the time.

This realization of my phrasing made me think about how I look at my children individually.Or how sometimes I may NOT look at them individually.

Parents of identical twins can attest to the difficulty of this task. If I spend a lot of time with Jadah, it’s hard to make sure I create some time for Selah because in some ways I feel like I was just with her!

They look the “exact” same, are the exact same age, and are at the exact same stage developmentally. Normally if you go from spending time with one child to spending time with another, these variables will change to add a little diversity to your interactions as a parent.

It makes me recognize how extremely intentional we need to be in our interactions with our various children. What cheers one up on a bad day may make another one sad. My son’s favorite meal may be one of my daughter’s least favorite. (I am NOT suggesting making them separate meals. You’re home is not a made to order restaurant.)

They are each very distinct individuals, and I need to make sure that I constantly see and praise that individuality–that unique design. For me, maybe it simply starts with consciously making sure I refer to my children as Christian, Selah, Jadah, and Adriah?

May we as fathers and mothers see our children as the unique individuals they were created to be. May we parent them based on their needs and avoid the concept of parenting children and in exchange parent each child. And may we accurately learn and recite each of their individual names with as few mistakes as possible. 🙂

–SH

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