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Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Childhood Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Childhood – In The Wright Direction

Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Childhood

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17 
We have two children, both with very different personalities
and learning styles.  If you have more
than one, I can almost guarantee yours are just as different (I’m convinced
it’s life’s little joke on us as parents). 
I remember as a new mom, reading parenting book after parenting book and
trying different methods until I locked-in on exactly what worked with my
firstborn.  I thought I had this
parenting thing all figured out until my second child arrived and my surefire
parenting strategies didn’t seem to work…AT ALL!  I tried and tried to make her fit into the
parenting style I was used to but it just left us both frustrated. I struggled
with the belief that I needed to treat and raise both of my children exactly
the same to be fair.  There’s just one problem
with that theory…my children aren’t the same and it is actually more unfair
to treat them like they are!  I ended up
having to re-buy all the parenting books I had given away back when I knew
everything and start all over again.
Here’s an overview of my two blessings ( I won’t use names
but if you know us, it probably won’t take you long to figure out which child
is which):
Child One
  • A rule
    follower so they rarely do anything to warrant punishment
  • Loves
    to please so again, they rarely get into trouble
  • Tender-hearted
    to the point that a disapproving glance can bring on the tears so lower
    levels of discipline are usually all that’s needed to correct a behavior
  • Has a
    heavy conscience and will often confess before you even know they’ve done
    anything wrong
  • Safety
    first so that saves them from a lot of trouble
Child Two
  • Rules?  What rules?
  • Very
    intelligent and may often use that intelligence to find trouble where
    others may not and also to avoid discovery of said trouble.  If a tree falls in a forest and no one
    is there to hear it, did I really do anything wrong in the first place?
  • Happy
    in all circumstances so punishments don’t seem that bad.  Seriously, you put this child in
    time-out and they will put on a puppet show with their socks! 
  • Happy-go-lucky
    attitude means punishments and lessons are quickly forgotten which leads
    to repeat offenses and tougher punishments
  • Not
    afraid of anything
One of my children is a lot like me which makes parenting
much easier.  I usually know how they
think, how they feel, how best to explain new concepts, etc.  Teaching the other child requires more effort
on my part but is also very rewarding because I’m learning and growing right
along with them instead of staying in my little box.  Anyway, I want to parent both children the
best way possible and so that leads to a lot of praying.  One day as I was praying and ironing, God
used that ironing to show me that not only is it okay to parent my children
differently, it’s often necessary.
When I first started ironing my own clothes I thought it was
absolutely ridiculous that there were so many settings.  I ironed everything the same.  My motto was, “turn that puppy on high
and let’s get the show on the road.” 
It didn’t take too many melty, shiny spots on my favorite outfits to
develop an appreciation for all those ridiculous settings.  Not enough heat on cotton and you are wasting
your time…the wrinkles will remain.  Too
much heat on silk and you will hurt the fabric. 
Parenting kids with different personalities can be similar.  If your child is more like cotton (think my
kid #2) and you don’t use enough heat (punishment), you may fail to “iron
out” their wrinkles.  If your child
is more delicate like silk, it can be easy to use too much heat and hurt the
very fabric you are trying to improve. 
It’s tough to know just how much discipline and correction
is right for each child and each situation, but with patience and God’s
direction, I know we’ll get it Wright.

Handle with care!


  1. Kathy- Great thoughts. I can relate to everything you said as a parent of two sons (ages 20 and 21) and also as a second grade teacher. Teachers have those same struggles trying to be fair to all children when they all have different needs and temperaments- not mention different learning styles, as well! I enjoyed your post.

  2. Very well said Kathy!!!!

  3. Great post! As a mom of four I am always saying to them, "Fair is not always the same." It's true that each child accepts discipline differently and it's often difficult to find a good balance. I totally agree with Lisa also about teaching (I teach high-school) and we teachers have to try to strike a similar discipline balance, keeping in mind the different personalities and struggles of each of our students.

    One more thought…discipline is important and necessary. I think too often parents want to be friends with their children and forget that a parent's job is to teach them how to make decisions and respond/react to the world around them. Sometimes children need to be taught that bad choices have immediate consequences. Just my opinion 🙂

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