When my husband and I “just” had two kids, our first born, our only daughter, and our first son, born 18 months later, we quickly realized that they were so different and that we had to adjust our parenting accordingly.

We realized this reality when our Rachel had done something wrong at about the age of 4; after talking to her about what she had done, she began crying as she apologized for her actions. I do not recall exactly what it was that our girl had done wrong, but what I do remember is her repentant heart. Rachel didn’t need any more discipline. She was sorry for what she had done. That was pretty much a pattern for her in her growing up years.

Now our son, he was a little different story. When he was a similar age as Rachel and when he did something he knew he shouldn’t do there was a different attitude surrounding it, and it didn’t seem to sink in what he had done, so he needed a bit more of a firm hand when it came to discipline.

As a parent, we have to look at each child’s personality to see what best suits how we respond. We must look to what will ultimately shape our sweet little children’s hearts. I remember the book turned to film A River Runs Through It,where there was a scene in the youngest of the two teenage sons was asked to sit at the dinner table until he finished a certain dish, but after several hours, the boy still didn’t eat that dish and parents realized that making their son sit there would not force him to eat the food, so they let him leave the table.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles.

I remember when I was a child, my grandmother in Germany wanted me to eat a certain kind of lunch meat that I didn’t want to eat; instead, I wanted the “adult” lunch meat. My grandma said that I needed to learn how to eat the other meat, but I didn’t want to. So my mom snuck me the meat from the grown up table. That meant a lot to me as a child.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s just meat. My mom showed me grace, which was a larger lesson in the end.

I know that verse in the Bible found in Proverbs 13:24 that people quote regarding discipline, “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” and there are additional  passages on spanking, but I think it is crucial to look at the spirit of the passage and the individual personality of each child as well as specific circumstances regarding behavior. We need to parent to the heart; it’s not only about external behavior.

Ultimately we want to raise children who are humble and kind and who feel loved and known and appreciated and honored. We need to get to know our children and discover what their personality and temperament are and then discipline based up that as well as the individual situation.

How do you Get to know your kids? What are they sensitive about? Is there one area that they were a bit more?

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This is the 11thpost in my 30 days of November How I Mom series. #howimom30 #howyoumom30 

(I am trying to get caught up, which I have not been able to do since the start of the series November 2. See, I started late and then missed a day. But, hey, I am here. Join me. What are your thoughts on discipline? On each individual child’s personality?)


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