The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #5

#5- Potential Cracks In The Walls- Understand That Every Child Is Different

One thing that is important for every parent to grasp is the fact that every child is different.  Every child will have a different personality, energy level as well as what motivates them.  Even gender plays a big part in children’s differences.  In order to create a successful parenting, especially discipline, plan it is important to understand these things about your child.  There are things about children in general that can be approached with all children in a similar fashion, such as a schedule and consistency, but there are also things that we cannot take a cookie cutter approach too.

Rewards seem like one of these issues.  For example, in the residential homes at Sheridan House if a resident does perfectly on their school report for five days in a row they earn a lunch out off campus.  This is something that is applicable and enjoyed by both genders.  On the girls campus a reward for hitting a certain points level is getting to go and get a manicure.  This is obviously not something that would be as exciting for the boys so they have a reward that applies to them.

Make sure to take the time to process through your children’s differences, some children are more motivated by the consequence for bad behavior and some are more motivated by the reward for good behavior.  The “pleaser” child for example is devastated by doing the wrong thing and can be more motivated by the consequence.  The “barbarian” child can see the consequence almost as a challenge  to be tested and may be more motivated by the reward for doing the right thing.