Every new parent has the same thoughts, “how the hell do I do this?”, “why didn’t this baby come with a manual?” or “this baby sure didn’t read all those baby books”.
These things are often said in jest, but speak to a deeper truth. There is no manual, baby’s don’t respond the way the books say they will and you feel out of your depth simply because one size does not fit all.
We are all individual in how we’re put together. Individual in how we respond to others, in how we experience emotions & in how we feel and think and act. This is just as true for your child as it is for you. However, too often we treat children as though they are from a single category called “child”.
We often use a one-size-fits-all approach. E.g., two siblings get into a fight. Both receive a stern talking-to and no TV for a week. This is how parenting often works. A punishment is a punishment is a punishment. The temperaments and personalities of the individual children are not considered.
But our children do not emerge from a one-size-fits-all box, and they often require different, individualised responses to life's challenges. What they need may be different to that of their siblings, your friends’ children or the kid down the street.
Following generic parenting advice that you read about online or from “parenting experts” may help you get you results OR they may not. What works for you might not work for someone else.
More to the point, what worked for you last week might not work this week! No one parenting hack or way of doing things truly stands above all others if it’s not right for you.
The fact of the matter is that when it comes to children, parenting (and actually everything in life) one size does not fit all.
References: Allen 2015; Dawson 2016