When you drive past a car lot you will notice several different looking cars. There are cars with 4 doors, 2 doors, or pick-up trucks. There are minivans, SUVs, and utility vehicles. They all come in different colors and different customizations but all serve the same purpose. They are all to move people. Cars are the same but different.
Children are similar. Kids are the same but each one has a different personality, dreams, habits, attitudes, and giftings. From the very beginning of our conception, God’s hand was upon each one of us.
Psalm 139:13-14 says this:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God planned our personalities from the very beginning. Since we are so different then we respond to others differently. Each child needs to be parented differently. There are no set rules, procedures, or guidelines that are cut-and-dry “how-tos” that fit every child. An introvert needs to be parented differently than an extrovert. Sending my introverted son to spend time in his bedroom alone as a consequence for poor behavior is more of a reward for him. However, my very extroverted daughter would see it is a punishment.
Part of being a parent is being a student of your child. In other words, study them, get to know them. Effective parenting is balancing rewards and discipline. One form of disciple isn’t going to work for all of your children while one form of reward won’t either. It takes time to figure out the most effective rewards and discipline for your children. It takes time to figure out how to communicate effectively with each one.
May I encourage you to take the time and study your children. They are each unique and fearfully and wonderfully made.
How you have had to parent your children differently? Share your answer in the comments below.