Why I Shouldn’t Be Married to My Parenting Style

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

Each of our children is unique. Some like lots of activities; others prefer time alone. Some are compliant; others constantly test the limits. Some have thick skins; others are easily offended. And each child will change over the years. As a result our parenting approach depends on knowing each child and responding according to his unique personality.

For the undisciplined or rebellious child, admonishment is needed. You will be challenged to deliver consequences consistently and with empathy.

For the discouraged child who is tempted to withdraw, comfort and encouragement are necessary. Learn to listen to their concerns and reflect their feelings back to them as you communicate confidence in their abilities.

A weak child needs help. Maybe he tends toward adherence to “the rules” without understanding there are principles behind the rules. Spiritual wisdom can be passed along by helping the child explore the reasons for his actions.


Regardless of the personality type, God asks us to be patient. God wants us to “know” each child and adapt our parenting style to each particular personality.

(source: Parenting by Design Daily Devotional – Day 56)

When I read this devotion this morning, I immediately thought of all those quizzes on “Mom” sites that help us figure out our parenting styles. These are great for finding out our natural strengths and weaknesses, but like most personality quizzes, we have to be careful not to use these as an excuse not to grow and flex when we should. If I parent a timid child with a heavy hand, I won’t get good results. So I may need to curb my authoritarian ways (if that’s the case), and work more gentleness into my approach. On the other hand, my original method may be exactly what a strong-willed child needs. I need to pay attention to how my child reacts to me and be willing to vary my approach to get the best results.

Question: When have you stepped outside of your natural parenting tendencies to accommodate your child’s personality? What was the result? Reply in the comments section below.

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