You are different

Our family is different just like everyone else’s family is unique.  This past Christmas we were lucky to have all of my brothers and sisters in town, which means 14 nieces and nephews (counting my two children) spending a lot of time together. In the span of that week we experienced sick kids, tired kids, kids not wanting to share, etc. What was fun to watch is the different styles of each parent.

What was different about this time for me was that I realized how different each niece and nephew are, not only in comparison to my children, but even to their own brothers and sisters. As soon as I gained that insight, I stopped comparing parenting styles, thinking one is better than the other. Yes, there are basic principles that all parents should seek to include, such as, listening, patience, and consistency to name a few, but at the same time, each child needs something a little bit different.

Sometimes it is time out, sometimes it is special privileges, it all varies from situation to situation and from child to child. I truly feel there is no formula to how to be a good parent. All parents should seek to love and understand their child and learn the needs of their children, which I have seen great examples of in my life.

So many of us try to replicate parenting styles of certain books, or others we know in our lives. Sure it worked for them and their kids, but what works for them may not work for you. Why? Because you and your child are different people than they are. Look for principles rather than specific applications in other parenting styles, then seek to apply the good principles in a way that fits your needs.

What principles of parenting have you learned from?

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