A tale of two bags

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I regularly find myself fascinated, amazed and frequently speechless about the differences between Ellie and her step brother. There are lots of differences but for once, I’m not going to tell you what I’m talking about, I’m going to show you…because one simple, seemingly innocuous object perfectly demonstrates my point.


This is the contents of Ellie’s school bag this evening:

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This is the contents of her Step brother’s school bag this evening:

Shall we play spot the difference? Well, you get the point. 

What’s interesting is what this says about their different approaches to school and to life generally. Neither one of them is a better approach than the other, but they are just fascinating in their difference.
Ellie is very ordered about her school work, school bag and pretty much everything in her life. She likes to know where her things are, what she’s going to be doing and she likes things in their place. This makes her keen to do her school work, keen to help tidy and a touch over the top when things aren’t quite right – enter tantrum stage left. 

Ellie’s step brother is much more relaxed about life in general, and whilst that can be frustrating because he won’t volunteer to do school work and usually can’t find his stuff…he worries less and is generally more relaxed about what’s going on around him.

What this reminds me is that no single style of parenting can ever be seen as the ‘right’ style – because different children need different things. There is no doubting the fact that Ellie and her step brother need totally different styles of parenting input. Of course knowing this is the easy part, but doing it…well, I’m learning.

10 thoughts on “A tale of two bags

    1. Sharon Smyth

      Ah yes – I fear she would collect more if she could and then we have to read them all at bedtime…because bedtime = stories! 🙂
      thanks for reading x

  1. Tori Wel

    I think that parenting is such a varied job anyway but when you through another child into the mix, you have to be very malleable – a bit like being a teacher I guess!! Thank you so much for linking up to PoCoLo 🙂 x

    1. Sharon Smyth

      My absolute pleasure to link up #PoCoLo – it’s a great way of finding other blogs to read and sharing mine. I have a weekend of discovery ahead of me again. x

    1. Sharon Smyth

      I wonder if it’s a boy/girl thing but whilst I’m sure there is an element of that – I just do think their personalities are totally different.

  2. Jess

    Hi,great post!I so agree with what you say,each child is so individual and to parent them ‘exactly’ the same would not work.What a good idea to look at the contnts of a school bag,Im going to do that 🙂
    popping over from #pocolo


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