Thursday, January 17, 2013
Day 7: The Toolbox Approach
(Click HERE to read the entire 30 Days of Grace Parenting Tips series!)
There is no "one-size-fits-all" tool for successful parenting. (If there was, somebody would get rich quick on that book!)
Even the "best" parenting opinions have exceptions, unusual circumstances, or unique problems to take into consideration. :)
For example, you might say that breastfeeding is "always BEST" until you are talking to a woman with breast cancer who had a double mastectomy.
Maybe you're completely anti-vaccines until you adopt a child with a contagious infectious disease and need to protect your other children.
Co-sleeping may be the "only" way for some (I prefer it myself.) but co-sleeping with triplets is pretty.much.impossible. LOL. (I should know!)
Now, we live in a "quick fix" society--We want to push a button and have a machine give us a solution NOW!!
So not only do we like the "one-size-fits-all" solution----WE ALSO WANT IT NOW.
How does all of this relate to Grace Parenting?
The law is black and white. All absolutes. "Break" this law, and you face "this" consequence. It is a "one-size-fits-all", quick fix to problems.
GRACE looks to change behavior by reaching the heart.
Most "Christian" parenting books offer a "this will work for all children" solution to parenting dilemmas. This appeals to desperate parents looking for that "quick fix".
I remember reading one such book when I was pregnant with Ellie. It described the typical toddler tantrum, gave a solution---and then promised that if you followed their "method", you would NEVER see a tantrum again.
I was hooked. I followed their method. I was one-hundred percent consistent.
And I'm here to tell you that 12 years of parenting later---I'm still occasionally dealing with a typical toddler tantrum! :)
I'll say it again---There is NO "one-size-fits-all" tool for successful parenting!
With this thought in mind, we have a Toolbox Approach to parenting our children.
(I'm excited to share that Brent has a couple of guest posts planned for this series---one dealing with the "toolbox"---as we thought it would be helpful to get a man/father's perspective on Grace Parenting.)
Anyway, we don't have ONE go-to technique that works perfectly with every child every time. This is because each child is a unique blend of personality, strengths, and weaknesses. They respond differently to the same discipline.
A wise parent (especially with more than one child) will quickly realize that children are indeed unique---even if born to the same two parents and raised the exact same way!
The firstborn in a family has different struggles than the baby of the family does.
Boys are wired completely different than girls.
Some children clam up under stress, bottling their feelings deep within them.
Still others will wear their feelings on their shirtsleeves, expressing themselves a little too well at times. :)
If you approach each discipline situation with a "quick fix" mentality, you will not be reaching the heart of your child.
If you parent with a "one-size-fits-all" mentality (parenting each child the exact same way), you will not be reaching the heart of that individual child.
It is best to learn each child's learning style, natural bent, motivators, and nature, and tailor your toolbox accordingly.
As we work our way through the remainder of this series, I'll be offering more ideas for your parenting Toolbox.
Each technique may or may not be the most effective disciplining tool for each child.
Just because it works for me doesn't mean it's best for you.
I have found, however, that as my toolbox of parenting strategies grows, the easier it becomes to quickly find the "right" solution for the daily situations I'm faced with. :)
Take an honest look at your toolbox today.
Have you gotten lazy and neglected to add enough tools to be successful at training your little ones?
Are you overwhelmed and scrambling along through your journey with an empty toolbox?
Perhaps you've been resorting to only using ONE tool.
I've faced all of these problems, too. :)
My goal now is to have a toolbox full of strategies, ideas, connecting methods, discipline techniques, teaching tips, Biblical truths, and character building thoughts.
Blessings, dear mothers, as you seek to fill your toolbox in a way that brings glory to the Lord and GRACE to your home.