What works for one child will sometimes be useless for the next.
I once thought parents created children, personality and all. I thought all my children's accomplishments were directly related to my great parenting! Can you imagine the pressure this put on me? Because if that were true then all of my children's bad behavior was directly related to poor parenting.
When my first child had a potty accident I was certain that I needed to immediately fix the problem. There was no time for accidents, no time for learning. My parenting ego was on the line.
As I had more children my mind opened to the idea that each child comes to earth with their own personality. My first two children unloaded the books on our bookshelves daily. They didn't care if I shouted at them to stop. They took little notice to the timeouts that followed. They wanted the books and they went after them. But my third child was completely different. As she took interested in the books I simply said "no, no" and she buried her face in the carpet to cry. It broke her little 1 year old heart to be corrected.
Seeing the vast differences in my children, even while being parented the same, gave me insight to how important personality is to families. Our personalities shape our perspective.
My two children who unloaded those bookshelves daily now read for hours daily. They love books, learning and they don't take no for an answer. They are real "go getters"! My sweet third child loves to please her mom. Yesterday, I asked her if I could have a piece of her Halloween candy and she brought down 8 pieces. I asked her why she brought me so many and she said, "Mom, you know I love to spoil you."
Our children can't always be parented the same as our neighbors, they can't always be parented the same as their siblings. We must look at them as the individuals they are. We must be kind and patient with what we view as their weaknesses.
Believe in your children. Believe that their personalities will bring joy and purpose to their lives. Be a mindful parent. Be willing to meet their individual needs.
I can see now, more than I could see at the beginning, that each child has a living spirit within them. Just as each parent has their own.