A question that needs to be carefully considered for successful parenting is: should you have a double standard in parenting? The answer is no, sometimes, and yes. Here is the first of 3 ways in which a parenting double standard varies from being wise to being crippling:
No, there should not be a parenting double standard when it comes to the birth order of your kids. However, here are two common ways a double standard is often started as well as solutions to ending it.
- Parents Rethink Control. When I first became a dad with Megan, I thought I was in control of her health and her happiness, her safety and her success, and everything in between. Somewhere along the way, it hit me that I never had, nor would I ever have, the control I longed for. Realizing you’re not in control of your kids’ lives can greatly impact the way you parent. A double standard is easily created when you switch your mindset of trying to completely control your first child’s life to knowing you can’t control everything in your second child’s life, and so forth. Either extreme, trying to completely control or letting completely go of control, is not healthy. So, I’d encourage you to understand what you should control and what you shouldn’t control in your child’s life. My blog, How to Be an Out of Control Parent, may help.
- Parents Get Weary. Another way double standards can grow is when moms and dads become weary in their parenting. When their first child is born, parents are fresh and ready to put all their time and effort into their kid’s life. But by the time the second, third, and fourth children come around, the steam has slowly run out. It may look like this: your younger kids begin to complain about having to wait like their older sibling to get a phone or be allowed to go on dates. You think to yourself how you’ve fought this battle before and it’s not worth it to create another stressful argument. So, you give in and let them get the phone or go on the date at an age that their older brother or sister was not allowed to do. Be careful that you don’t just give up or give in to your younger kids in your weariness. Oftentimes waiting for things like a phone or date can build patience, perseverance, and character in your children like nothing else can.
What are some times you’ve seen a double standard in your parenting? Leave a comment below to share your story. And be sure to check back Thursday for the other two areas where double standards in parenting often occur.