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The Hard Work of Parenting Multiple Kids

Parenting is no easy task. It is made even more difficult when you have multiple children.

One of the coolest parts of being the parent of multiple children is watching each child grow up and discover their uniqueness. God makes every child different. I have three kids. They all have different hair color and thickness. They have different interests and abilities. They have different temperaments and emotional make-ups. They are very different and they are very special.

The hard work of parenting is that I must assess each child's differences and then react to them in the way that best works with their uniqueness. I cannot discipline Jacob and Andrew the same way. I have to remember that Jacob's defiance at age 5 needs a different response then Andrew's defiance at age 2. I also have to remember that Isabelle will not react to praise they same way that Jacob will. Jacob is much more emotional, he loves t be praised for his good works. Isabelle is a more cerebral and independent, she loves to be rewarded with new responsibility.

Identifying what makes each child tick is hard work, and in the heat of frustration the temptation is to throw a blanket of authority over all the kids at once and demand that they obey. But in hindsight that is foolish. It will only make me more upset when I demand that Andrew behave with the same amount of patience and good decision-making as his older siblings. I need to take a step back and clarify for myself what are the realistic expectations I should have for each of my kids.

Ultimately, parenting all your kids the same way is lazy and unfair to the children. You are only setting the kids up to fail and setting yourself up for frustration. An old adage is in play here: the best things in life never come without hard work. If you want to succeed as a parent and raise healthy, respectful children you need to put in the work to parent each child appropriately for their age and God-given uniqueness.

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