“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
― John Wilmot
If you don’t have kids or only have one, here’s something you will learn as soon as the second one arrives: no two kids are alike. Even if they are a combination of the same genetic material, each one comes out with a different personality, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. If our children are all going to be different in significant ways, why should our parenting be the same for all of them?
If nothing else, each new child will teach you something new about parenting.
Let’s take my two sons for example.
My first son has always been a cautious kid. He always looked three times before he leapt. He is curious and quirky and is always singing a song. He wants things always in a routine and falls apart when he doesn’t get it. He has an incredible memory and can often bring up events that were months past in great detail. He loves being teased and messed with.
My second son is a fearless little guy. He’s always climbing, exploring and tumbling around. He could care less about routine, and often likes to push the boundaries of bedtime. He likes to go off on his own and has his own favorite personal spaces. He takes offense if you tease him. Like his brother, he loves music and dances around whenever he hears it.
Take any advice you hear on fatherhood as just that: advice. Really the only rules should be flexibility and getting to know the needs of your children.