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  • Eddie White

Tailored Parenting

I am not a proponent of "cookie cutter" parenting. To me, each child requires tailored parenting to account for their unique attributes.

This is a fairly obvious statement and presumably parents not only passively, but actively consider these facets in how they raise each child. The characteristics are derived from the respective parents and are revealed in varying ways at each stage of growth. Therefore, active and perpetual observation and consideration must be included.

So, the question is what does tailored parenting mean to you? I will share what it means to me and you can compare.

As written in previous posts, it starts with knowing yourself, and your spouse/partner knowing themselves, both of which are needed to recognize the derived traits of your children. Without this start, it becomes difficult to tailor your approaches. Then, you identify the strengths and weaknesses, the respective interest and potential regarding social, athletic and academic/activities as well as the circumstances in which the children exist (i.e. younger or older than classmates).

The situation is ever changing as the kids get older and different facets of their personality emerge. Also, their perceptions affect how they act, which reveals more characteristics. With all of that said the "tailoring" is grounded in the understood standards each child is expected to meet. These standards are adjusted based on each child’s unique combination of attributes. Once established, the demand on the children is adjusted accordingly, which includes the imposed stress and expressed expectations.

To me, you selectively apply a single standard, then determine how to set unique standards based on the child. For example, we set the age for dating at 16, that was the family standard for both girls. Conversely, we set academic criteria based on each of the girl’s particular strengths. For my youngest, who was tested as gifted and talented and easily excelled in school, we had a higher expectation than our oldest, who had to work harder but still would not do as well in school.

We were discrete about how we shared these varying standards with the girls but it was clearly known between my wife and I. Each child understood what was expected of them, and we held them to account for meeting those standards. But it was not universal to make it easier for me and my wife, it was tailored to best enable the children to excel and develop.

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