3 Ways to Adjust Your Parenting to Your Child’s Personality
Posted on November 29 2017
Every child born into this world is different. It has always been this way and will continue to be this way for many generations to come. Twins or triplets for example, while physically similar on the outside in many cases, are also emotionally different on the inside. The first step to adjusting your parenting to suit your child’s personality is by accepting that your reactions to various situations when you were a child are going to be vastly different from those of your own children.
You can read various parenting books to learn the best parenting tips, but if your child works differently than the child or children the book is based around, then those suggestions aren’t going to be valid for you. So, how do you adjust your parenting to suit your child’s personality if there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach? We’ve outlined some helpful tips below.
Know who your child is.
Knowing who your child is, is a relatively obvious first step. You’re only ever going to succeed in relating to your child and helping them through life when you know who they are. Of course, as a parent, you’re going to have a good grasp on your child’s likes and dislikes. You will know they don’t like broccoli unless of course, it’s sitting next to carrots on a plate. You will know they hate wearing shoes…that is until the next day when they won’t take them off at all. You will also know that they prefer to dress themselves, except on the days when they refuse to put on any clothes at all.
Children can be trying, but those are only their surface features. It’s finding out who they are deep inside and how they react in certain situations, that can help you adjust your parenting to help them progress through life.
Therefore, it’s vital that you work out where they are on an emotional level. Are they happy in the company of both adults and children? Are they shy around other children? Are they happy to leave your side to play and interact? Are they daredevils who like adventure? Or do they prefer to stay in quiet, safe areas where they don’t have to leave their comfort zone? Establishing the personality of your child is a parenting strategy that opens the doors to making necessary adjustments in family life.
To adjust your parenting for the benefit of your child’s personality, both parents need to be on the same page. You can take on board all sorts of advice on parenting, but it’s only ever going to work if you work together. This is vital for achieving your goal, so both parents – together, separated or divorced — both need to have a clear understanding of what daily life has to look like for your child or children. The easiest way to undo all your hard work with parenting adjustments is your child seeing that both parents aren’t sharing the same approach.
But how do you first establish what the ground rules are when it comes to putting your child in particular situations? You first have to agree on what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Are you trying to get your child to come out of his or her shell? Are you trying to get him or her to interact better with children? Become more confident in their abilities and themselves? Try new things? Be less anxious when you drop them off at school or preschool? Once you’ve discussed the ultimate goal, you can then sit down and write about what you will and won’t do to reach your goal.
This could include:
- Never getting angry when your child doesn’t want to do something out of their comfort zone.
- Encouraging them to try something at least once.
- Offering two options for each scenario such as playing on the swing with another child at the park, or choosing to play on the monkey bars near the other child at the park. Interaction with other children and taking them out of their comfort zone has to start somewhere.
- Telling children what is happening ahead of time, instead of putting them in the car without them knowing what’s happening. An example scenario could be “Molly, we’re putting your shoes on so we can get in the car and go to the supermarket. We’re then going to pick your brother up from sports practice and get ice cream”. There’s no surprises or confusion which avoids making a naturally anxious child even more so.
No one said you have to adjust your parenting for your child or children by yourself. In fact, there is so much help for parents out there, including an abundance of literature, which can help you come to terms with making changes in your household, and in how you approach with preparing your child for life.
If you feel that your current parenting techniques aren’t working, you’ve noticed that your child might need help with anxiety, stress or new situations, or you’re merely looking for a way to improve how you relate to your child, there’s no harm in asking for help. Every parent – mother or father – can reach out for support and help at any time. This could come in the form of professional advice from a child psychologist, a parenting support group, or even family and friends who are also parents.
However, while every parent is all too willing to offer advice, you must remember that it’s not always going to relate to your current situation. Every parent’s child is different, therefore, as you’ve discovered, parents adapt to suit their child’s unique needs. The key is to learn who your child is, become educated on how to approach the situation and work together with your loved ones to come up with a solution. Your child is unique, so above all, you should encourage them to be who they want to be, but a little guidance and a helping hand are always going to be beneficial for their development.
Did you adjust your parenting to cater to your child’s unique needs? How did it work for you? Get in touch as we’d love to hear your story.