Good parenting isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a trait that’s learned…largely from experience, from what works well and what just, truthfully, backfires on you. Add to the mix children that are each wired differently, meaning just when you think you have one kid figured out, another one comes along that changes your game plan around disciplining, loving and teaching.
One child loves order. The other is sensitive, independent and seeks out challenges. And yet another is clingy with a witty sense of humor.
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Wildly different personalities, yet they all came from the same parents…from the same gene pool.
What works for one kid seems to rarely work for the other. I’m one of those parents that have learned this the hard way.
My husband and I share in the disciplining responsibilities in our home, and do so as a united front. What dad says, mom agrees, avoiding the “he said, she said” controversies with our kids.
So thankfully, we agreed early on that we would resort to any discipline means necessary to teach our kids to respect authority, and most importantly, to obey their parents. We frowned upon time-outs initially (I mean, really, how effective is it to sit your child in a chair while you stare at each other for 3 minutes). Having both grown up with spanking as an occasional (ok, so maybe more than occasionally in my case) discipline option, we went that route with our firstborn. Come to find out, a little tap on the rear did the trick and he whipped himself into shape immediately.
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We tried that time-tested theory on our second born and it bombed. She merely laughed in our faces. Oh boy. Very quickly we learned that in order to maintain a firm ground with her, and with all of our children, we had to find the style of parenting that fit for each of them.
One likes to be touched – a rub on the back and hours of just one on one talking. Another avoids kisses like the plague and feels love much more completely when you spend quality time with her.
While demonstrating love and managing discipline varies by child, it makes parenting much more complex and a lot more experimentation to figure out what will do the trick, regardless of their gender.