The Ideal Child Part 2

The Ideal Child – Part 2

As stated in part one of The Ideal Child, the first step to changing a kid’s behavior is recognizing that you need to understand how to work with the kid you have, not the one you thought you would be getting in life.

I’m skipping ahead a bit, but this relates to the idea that you can (and should) parent each child, even within the same family, differently. (Yes, I know the controversey that will initiate among sibling rivalry enthusiasts.)

Here’s a concrete example. Most kids have curfews because they need them. They will stay out all night if they are not given a strict time to return home. When I was a teenager, all my friends had certain times they were supposed to be home and we would watch the clock to make sure they were not late. In my own case, I didn’t have a particular curfew. Technically, I could have stayed out as long as I wanted to, but I didn’t feel the need to do so and I never stayed out past a time that my parents thought was inappropriate or that any of my friend’s parents would have found inappropriate for their kids.

Because I was reasonable and responsible, my parents knew that I would return home at a reasonable and responsible time each night so there was no problem and no need to impose curfews. There are plenty of kids for whom that attitude would never work and should never be tried because they would take advantage of it and stay out until the next morning.

This reinforces the point of parenting to the reality of the situation, not the idealized version thereof. Learn how to parent the kid you have.

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