Monday, January 25, 2010

One Size Fits All

On our last vacation we went to the beach.  I remember standing in a novelty shop looking at some T-shirts with the name of the beach on them.  As I went to look for my size I noticed a sign that said, "One Size Fits All!"  Who were they kidding?  I'm petite and those shirts were not going to fit me.  As a matter of fact, I could only think of a few people who could wear those shirts.  Talk about false advertising!

I believe many of the parenting books on the market today also advertise, "One Size Fits All."  The reality, every child is unique and will need a fresh approach to parenting.  Don't get me wrong, your expectations and rules can remain the same, but the way you will accomplish these goals will need to look different for each child. 

How do you accomplish this?  First, you need to become a student of your child.  Learn to watch them in different situations.  Notice how they respond and how they react.  Find out what makes them happy and what motivates them.  Learn what their love language is, then be sure to fill up their love tank.

I remember growing up with 2 older sisters and an older brother.  My Dad always said that while he had to be firm with my oldest sister, all he had to do was give that look to my next sister and she'd break down in remorse.  My brother, he was a whole different story.  I think they had to spend more time reasoning with him to get the same result.  Do you see a pattern?  There really isn't one and there can't be.  All the siblings had the same basic rules to follow, but the approach was different for each one of us.  Are you wondering where I fit into all of this?  I was the spoiled baby of the family who could do no wrong.  Actually, I have always wanted to please my parents and I learn from others' mistakes.  If my parents had raised their voices with me, I would have melted down and it would have crushed me.  I need gentle words of wisdom, nothing more.

While parenting books are full of good advice, be sure to balance it out with the individuality of your children.  There's nothing easy about parenting, but the joy of a healthy relationship with them is priceless.



Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

That's some good wisdom...I have three boys, and they are each night and day from each other.

BTW, that has to be the most ADORABLE picture I've seen in months! Very sweet post.

Sue J. said...

Having kids with developmental delays, it's sometimes very difficult for me to read a parenting book. The applications just aren't realistic for kids who don't understand what the words mean. (We use a lot of pictures!)

But God's principles are a constant, which is what I'm trying to see. Finding what works best in relating those principles to the kids is my challenge. (It would help if I didn't carry the expectations of the parenting books into this teaching!!)

You are so right here, Sonya!

B His Girl said...

Great advice Sonya. B

Edie said...

Great advice Sonya. This adds a new dimension to the way I will study my grand-girls. Thanks!

Edie said...

Oh, and I LOVE that picture!

Nezzy said...

So very true. I raised two very distinctively uniquely different children who had to be disciplined in very different ways. As a retired educator every child is different and sometimes the approach has to be very creative.

God bless ya'll and have a terrifically blessed day!!!

Warren Baldwin said...

My dad used to say that his 4 kids were all different and had to be dealt with differently. I couldn't understand that until having 3 of my own, and they are all different! You are right that we must recognize and respect their individuality as we teach and discipline. Good post!