You often hear parents complain about something they did with their first children not working with subsequent children, and to those of us on the outside, the answer is obvious: they are different children, so why would you rear them the same? But if we are honest, we often fall into the same trap when it’s our own children.
Perhaps it’s a desire to be fair: we did it this way with one child, and don’t want to be “softer” or “harder” on the other children. Maybe it takes us a bit of time to realize that the way we taught one child to ride a bike is not the way to teach the next child. I sat on the ground watching Bethel struggle with something and scream in frustration. It reminded me of the different ways that our children respond to difficult situations. From the time he was very young, David would seem to say “That’s okay, it wasn’t that important anyway.” Bethel has always had difficulty asking for help. She screams first. Laurel seems to have a more quiet tenacity about her, but I could be mistaken.
All of these have ramifications in how I discipline.Â When David is corrected, his tendency is to say or do anything that will make the peace. I have to be careful that I don’t assume because he says yes, ma’am he understands or has repented. Bethel’s easier to read, but I’ve found it easy to avoid discipline because it won’t be well received. That’s smart, huh?Â We’ll see about Laurel. So far she’s been bright enough to understand no, but being an infant she needs lots of repetition to learn. Right now she’s got an interest in night lights, which we have in all shapes, sizes and colors, and in every room in the house.
Remembering our children’s personality is knowledge that will help us apply God’s Word to their lives. With that, I must depart, since we have a zoo day today.
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