This article about a mother who taught all of her children to succeed in school is a good reminder that it’s important to keep each child’s individual interests and strengths in mind. Tyler’s still so little, but I can already identify differences between him and Alex. And while I know both Alex and Tyler will inevitably be shaped to some extent by their environment, I have promised myself to do my best to allow their sense of self to develop as independently as possible so they can truly be *Alex* and *Tyler* and not someone who is the result of fear or insecurity. This is a good metaphor for our family:
A family is an ecosystem, with each organism striving to find a niche. In a family with several children, it takes a tuned-in parent to give each child the space to follow his or her own light. Once that happens, neither competition — nor the fear of competition — controls the direction they grow in.