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Parenting: One size never fits all

Spiritually, we’re made in the image of God like everyone else (Genesis 1:27). Yet, we’re all individuals that are completely unique and no one else will ever be the same.

Our needs and desires stand alone and every parent must remember that unassailable fact.

While members of the human race share common characteristics such as the need for love, identity and appreciation, every child who enters the world is a mix that has never before existed.

They won’t respond to the world as everyone else does. To expect them to do so is foolhardy at best. Some parents seem to forget this truism.

Coaches and educators stay in their profession by learning to tailor their plans to fit their players and students. Likewise, parents must be flexible enough to help each child in their specific needs.

While every child is an original, certain truths are universal. We’re given an innate spiritual hunger (Revelation 3:20) and the need for boundaries spiritually (Romans 3:23) and in a general human sense (Romans 13:1-5).

Accordingly, God teaches us to discipline our children (Proverbs 29:17) to help them grow and mature (Hebrews 12:11).  It allows each child to reach their potential in an optimal environment.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV).

That verse doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The “way he should go” is spiritual direction but it doesn’t deny the unique individuality of a child. They’re guided to be the best person they can be.

God knows that children aren’t interchangeable parts. We guide them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually remembering their individuality. Every step of the way must be specifically geared to them.

Parent every child differently so they’re reached with what they need. The differences may be small and nuanced but intentionally distinct.

We can’t treat every child exactly the same. One size fits all parenting will miss all the children and very likely be sin (Ephesians 6:4).

Their hearts, minds and souls need specific nurturing. So study them and learn what they need. Their needs are vastly more important than our system.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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One thought on “Parenting: One size never fits all

  1. I really appreciate your writings about family/raising children. I too have learned that one size does not fit all. How different they all are. Thanks for the good words brother.

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