One Size Does Not Fit All

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I HATE wasting anything. I hate wasting food, I hate wasting money, but most of all I hate wasting my time or my energy.  Your TIME and your ENERGY are your most valuable commodities, so it’s vital to know what your kid’s love language is if you are not going to waste your time and energy.  I wanted to be intentional at filling my kid’s love tank, while expending the least amount of energy.

My daughter was age nine when I realized that her love languages were gifts and acts of service, the two love languages that I am the weakest in.  My youngest son’s love language was quality time. One of the worst punishments that I could ever give my youngest child was grounding him from seeing his friends.

My middle son’s love language was physical touch.  One of the ways that I figured out what their love languages were – I took each child out to lunch individually and asked them a series of questions.

I understand that as your children are developing and growing it might be difficult to completely figure out what their love languages are, but pay attention to what makes them light up.

Read the book: “The five Love Languages of Children” By: Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.

It is also vital that you know your child’s personality type.  I know that there are plenty of different personality books out there, but the one that I like the most is the D.I.S.C. taught by Pastor John Fichtner.  Being a Psychology minor in college I was exposed to  several forms of teaching on personality type, but the reason I like Pastor John’s is that he is the only one that teaches  you what the battle is for each personality type. He also lets you know what the curses are for each personality type.   You can listen online by going to: It helped me SO much when it came to understanding my kids.  My daughter is an “I”/”C” type personality.  She was my biggest challenge in trying to figure out.  The I/C is double intense and double fragile.

My middle son TJ is “D”/”S”  He is a Doer, Driver, Direct, Dominate, personality.  With this personality type, negative punishments do not work.  They are goal oriented, so the way that you shape and mold their character is by using a totally different parenting strategy. For a “D” personality you:

AGREE ON A GOAL AND TEST A METHOD. Here is what that looks like practically speaking and an example of what we did:

Parenting Strategy for raising “D” kids – Agree on a Goal and Test a Method.

TJ’s character goal – Peaceful and Easy Going vs. Argumentative and Headstrong!

TJ’s physical reward – One $20.00 Airsoft Gun.

1. Not to disagree, argue, or have a bad attitude for thirty days.

2. Agreed upon goal – One $20.00 Airsoft Gun.

3. Time frame: Depends on TJ. Perfect record, TJ will get his gun February 14th, Valentines Day! He is allowed three strikes each day before he loses a day. That means that the date moves back a day. If the date goes past February 19th, he can no longer reach his goal of earning the gun.

4. Mom and Dad will determine what words, actions, or attitudes constitute a strike. If TJ argues about a strike, another strike will be added on.

5. If TJ loses so many strikes that he is unable to obtain the gun by February 19th, then he does not get the gun at all. This allows him 15 strikes in a 30 day period.

TJ, may I suggest you begin each day by asking the Power of God to enable you to rotate it to “S”? You are an awesome kid and I know with God’s help you will reach your goal.

Contract Signed By:

Tim Shedd _____________________________

TJ Shedd ______________________________

Naomi Shedd ___________________________

Offer expires February 19, 2002

Oh, by the way, he did get his Airsoft gun, but the more important gift was his mom learned how to TRAIN her “D” son using methods that actually work. We were big on using contracts in the teen years.  I have a file in my computer designated to various contracts to apply to various situations.

Here are a few more ideas for creative punishments:

1. TJ  – Agree on a goal and test a method: Example: Brag water backpack. (To earn camel back.)

2. Take away Amanda’s favorite jeans.

3. Take away new shoes.

4. No computer, email, instant message.

5. No phone.

6. Pay money.

7. Read One-Year Bible with Mom for one month. (I like this one.)

This blog concludes this series on Discipline and Punishments, so in summary here is what we covered:

The TOOLS of Consistency:

From ages 1-6 punishment was pretty cut and dry. I used the swat chart to correct my children. On a good day I would read the corresponding scripture before administering the rod of correction. On an average day I would just identify the offense, check for how many swats that offense accounted for and again administer the rod of correction. On a bad day I was too selfish and lazy to correct my children despite their misbehavior.

How much I LOVE my children is directly related to how consistently I correct them when they have done wrong (Proverbs 13:24).

Ages 7-12 We moved into the non-spanking, negative reinforcement. I moved more into the discipline and training of my children. This is when it takes more effort on Tim and I to “always have a punishment in our back pocket.”

Ages 13–18: We moved into the TRAINING era of developing our children. This is the toughest area of parenting, because we have to grow up. This is mutual respect and mutual accountability. This is when we begin the process of transferring authority to our children.

Tomorrow’s blog is entitled: “Relinquish Control or Die

Forever your biggest fan,


About Professional Parenting

Wife, mother, motivational speaker, author, counselor and teacher. I have 3 adult children and a husband of 27 years. For the past 13 years I have served the youth and their parents at Liberty Church in Marietta Georgia. I loved everything about being a mom: I loved the terrible twos, and the terrifying teens, and the cake in my hair, and the spilled punch. I loved the chaos, the noise, the craziness of tons of kids. It was everything I wanted in my life. I loved that constant overwhelming feeling of someone being completely dependent on me as well as that joyful, aweful feeling of watching that same someone just 18 years later leave me and go off in the world on their own. Interests: * Christian * wife * mom * child training * pre-teens * teenagers * youth group * young girls * young women * seasoned sisters Favorite Books: * "Praying for Your Adult Children" By: Stormie Omartian * "Life on the Edge" By Dr. Dobson (Note: This was required reading for my kids when they turned 13.)
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