Every Child Is Different, But Parenting Principles Remain the Same
From time to time, we’ll be offering suggestions on how to better parent your child. To some you’ll say, “We already do that.” To others you’ll say, “We’d never do that with our kids.” And for some you’ll say, “Something like that might work, but I’d have to make some changes.” To which we would say, “Every child is different, but parenting principles remain the same.“
The thing about parenting to remember is that it is equal parts art and science. There are underlying principles to follow, but the exact methods are going to change from family to family or even child to child. Knowing the principles is the science part, but learning to apply them in the most effective way possible for your particular child is the art part. Our experience has been that some techniques that work for our eldest child are completely ineffective when applied to our youngest, and vice versa. Does that make it a bad technique? No. It just means that it needs to be adapted in order to make it work effectively for each one.
Perhaps the most important fact you have to know is: No book, tape, video, or “system” you buy or pick up at the library is going to work 100% of the time for your child. Neither is every tip or suggestion we provide here. There are two major reasons for this: 1) each child is unique, and 2) children are going to constantly test their boundaries – what they can and can’t get away with – no matter what system you put into place. Any person or company claiming that their product will produce a perfectly harmonious family environment and a perfectly behaved child is lying. Period.
The only way to have a perfectly harmonious home is to let your child get away with absolutely everything and anything they want to do, and we all know therein lies the path to danger. As parents, it is our responsibility – both to our children and to society at large, to set limits on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. And just like adults, children are not going to like being told, “No. You can’t do that.” And just like adults,sometimes they’ll begrudgingly accept the limit, and sometimes they’ll completely melt down instead. There’s no getting around that, no matter what some snake oil salesman is trying to sell you.
The best any parent can do is to create an organized and consistent set of rules by which their family operates. That’s what the suggestions here will strive to help you do: figure out just how to go about doing that. Even if you follow every single suggestion we will be providing here, your rules will probably differ in some ways from the family next door doing the exact same thing. If that’s the case, then we’ve actually done our job pretty well. It will be our goal to set forth principles on how to set up your family framework, offer some suggestions on how to work within that system, and listen to your feedback on how it’s working for you and your family.
With that in mind, we hope you’ll be offering your own suggestions in the comment sections of our posts and in the Parenting 101 group and the Parenting 101 forum as well. No one ever grew up and instinctively knew every single thing they needed to know about being a parent. We are all products of different environments and different influences – some good, some bad, some inbetween. We have the benefit of knowing what generations before us did – right and wrong; and we can share our own day-to-day experiences of what is and isn’t working for us. No single person can be an expert on everything a parent needs to know and do, but drawing our collective experiences and knowledge together we all can be.