If you have more than one child, you have undoubtedly discovered that each child comes with their own distinct personality traits, quirks and temperaments. As each of your children are undeniably different, it can be hard as a parent to know how you should alter your parenting to best suit the needs of your children as individuals.
Celebrate Their Differences
No child wants to be compared to their siblings. If there is an aspect where one of your children thrives and the other one falters, make sure you don’t highlight that difference to your children. Chances are the child that lacks in a certain area is very well aware of the fact and doesn’t need to reminded. Instead, you should celebrate the differences between your children. Compliment them in the areas where they excel and remind them that it’s never fair to compare their weaknesses to someone else’s strengths as this will just leave them feeling inadequate.
Change Your Methods
You learn how to be a parent with your first child, this learning process comes with a lot of trial and error, adjusting your parenting style until it’s right for you and your family. When your second child comes you might assume that you can do everything the same way, but this isn’t always the case. Instead you have to learn all over again as you discover what your second child responds best to and then change your parenting method to best accommodate their individuality.
Alter Your Expectations
As your children get older and enter their teenage years it can be difficult not to compare them. When one child comes home from school with an A in math class and the other comes home with a C it will be tempting to expect the same level of performance. Instead you as a parent need to alter your expectations for each child. Once you are familiar with your children’s capabilities, you will be able to encourage more from them when you know they can do better or celebrate them when you know they’ve done their best.
In a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, psychologists found that children’s anxiety and depression were cut in half when parents altered their parenting to best suit their children’s personality. While it may be a struggle to change your parenting technique for each child, the end result will be a happier and healthier child.