I know that we all have different parenting techniques that we have learned and grown into. Some of us are really strict, and some of us are really laid back. We all do things differently as moms, and all are good ways to raise our kids. But have you ever thought about how you need to use different parenting techniques for different kids in your family?
So I have two boys that are three years apart. And they are incredibly different. They just came out with different little personalities. They were even completely different babies. This was not always something that I realized until later, since my boys are so different, I need to parent them differently.
I Talk to Each Boy Differently, I’m Letting You In On Something I Didn’t Realize For Years
When my older son was a toddler, I discovered that when I really needed him to listen to me. Like we were at the park and he needed to stay out of the street. Or we were at a different house and I needed him to stay away from the stairs. I would raise my voice, and he would know I was serious. And whatever I was telling him he needed to pay attention to. I would not be mad or anything, but I would get out my firm voice. He knew that I was not backing down on whatever it was.
I just thought that is how all kids were. They knew the firm voice and knew that this was something important. Then my younger son came along. From a very young age, he did not respond in the same way to the firm voice I used. He would get upset and cry, and probably do exactly what I told him not to do. It took me years to figure out that the way I talked to my older son, was not working on my younger son. That is why I am telling you guys this now, because I do not want you to go through the years of struggle. If you want to read more about how I respond to my younger son, read here!
I discovered, eventually, that my younger son responded to a nice, calm voice. And he always needed a reason. I learned to say that, we could not run into the street because mommy does not want you to be hit by a car. Or we can not go by the stairs because mommy is afraid you will fall down them and hurt yourself. My older son just needed to be told not to do something in a firm voice, he would listen. My younger son only responded to the calm voice. And with some reasoning. Who knew that two kids from the same parents would need to be parented so differently?
One Boy Likes Words of Affirmation, One Boy Likes Touch, So I Have To Use Different Parenting Techniques
Now, I have had my boys take the Love Language quiz by Gary Chapin. Go here if you would like to get the book with the quiz!
But definitely not necessary to have them take the quiz because most of us know how each of our kids likes to be loved, if you think about it. Unfortunately, I did not think about it until they were older. That is why I am writing this for you guys. So maybe you can think about how your kid needs to be loved and respond with great parenting techniques.
My older son loves words of affirmation. He loves when I tell him he is doing a good job. Or when I tell him he did well at an activity. He just melts when I tell him I am proud of him. But, this does go the other way. I am very careful with my words around him. If I tell him I am disappointed in him. It had better be something big that he did. Because he will go into a tailspin of feeling awful about himself with just one word or one sentence from me.
My younger son could not care less what I say to him. I could tell him I was proud of him, and he would just go on with whatever he is doing. He is my kid who loves touch. He responds to hugs and kisses on the cheek. And he is constantly wanting to just be near me, and have his hand touching my shoulder. Any kind of contact. While I get annoyed by this, I have to remind myself that touch is his love language. So he is just showing that he loves me. I do take advantage of this because he is my only kiddo to still hold my hand every so often. Even at eleven.
With One I Have to Repeat Myself, The Other, Not So Much
So my older son is sweet and kind, and if I need him to stay out of the street. I use my firm voice and he listens! But, if I ask him to do something, especially something with more than two steps. I will have to repeat it at last a couple times. If I say to him, to go put his shoes away, put his bag in the den, and wash his hands for supper. I will be lucky if he caught one of those things he is supposed to do. I will have to repeat the three things probably three times before he remembers them all. It just takes a bit for his brain to process what I am saying, and to remember what I want him to do.
While my younger son has a mind like a steel trap. I could tell him ten things that he needs to do. And he would be able to do them all, without me repeating. It took me a bit to realize that he was different from my older son. And my younger son would actually get a little annoyed that I would repeat things to him multiple times. He would say, “I got it the first time, Mom, you don’t have to repeat yourself!” I just needed to parent him differently. No repeating.
Even though both my boys are almost teenagers, I still remember these parenting techniques I have picked up along the way. All kids are different, and need different parenting. Even kiddos from the same family that are raised together.