My Kids are so Different! Learning to parent for each child's needs
A couple weeks ago I was speaking to a group of wonderful mommas. After my presentation the moms were discussing the questions I gave them to talk through, when I overheard a mom saying how her 2 children had very different personalities. She shared her challenges with navigating discipline for each of them differently. This got me thinking… many parents out there could probably benefit from some added tools in this regard. After all, each child is so uniquely different!
When it comes to gentle parenting methods, it can be difficult to decipher between when to be firm, vs when to make room for our children to learn from their mistakes more independently. Some children may need a lot of firm boundaries, while others may need more choices… and then there’s the children (like my own) who need a good balance of both! So how do you know what’s best for each one of your kiddos?
(If you’re a parent of one child, please read on. I’m sure you will find the tips helpful as well.)
Here are some tips for parenting to the needs of your children individually:
1. Learn about their Love Language.
2. Learn about their temperament.
3. Learn about your own temperament.
4. Remember to consider their age and developmental abilities.
5. Learn which Love and Logic strategies work best for them.
In the Love and Logic class, parents learn 5 core principles for handling misbehavior:
When you ponder on these principles, also consider what we discussed above. For example my son has a spirited, strong willed temperament. He tends to need firm boundaries, but also a lot of choices when things are going well. He likes to feel in control. He is also very sensitive and takes criticism harshly.
In the heat of a moment were I need to set a boundary, the situation can quickly escalate causing him to become dysregulated. Many times, the most effective strategy in these moments is to use the empathetic statement and delay the consequence.
I’ll admit, it can be difficult to do this when my own emotions are running high because I’ve been triggered by his behavior, but I must remember that I cannot expect him to be calm and collected if I’m not.
When I delay the consequence it gives both of us a chance to have some space and time before addressing what needs to happen. It gives him a chance to truly learn from his mistake, because I can wait for a moment when he is more receptive. It also gives me a chance to ponder on a consequence that will be logical and effective.
Then, knowing that his 2 primary love languages are words of affirmation and quality time, I can follow up by reassuring him that I love him just the same, even when he makes mistakes. And I can spend a little time doing something he enjoys so he’s reminded that we have a strong and secure connection.
It can sound like a lot of work, I know. But with time and practice it will come more naturally to you. And just in case you’re still struggling to decide how to handle tough parenting moments with each of your children, you can use the guide below:
Fill in the blanks for each of your children.
I am blessed with the gift of parenting (name) ____________. Their primary love language is ___________________. Their primary temperament is ______________________. To feel connected they need ___________________, _______________________, and ______________________. When I need to set a boundary, they respond best when I use the following techniques:
As always, you can reach out to me anytime! Simply email me or book a free consultation.