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Three I's of great modern parenting

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Today parenting is more nuanced than ever.

Parents don’t need one philosophy to raise kids; they need to call on many philosophies and principles to raise their children. What works for one child won’t work for another. What works at one time, may not work in two or three years time.

When my parents raised me, parenting was black and white. That is, there was a right and a wrong way to raise kids. Now you only have to read comments parents leave on my Facebook page about various issues (e.g comments about Minecraft left on our Facebook page last week) to realise now that there are shades of grey in most modern parenting issues. In fact, there are many ways to be right.

From close observation it seems effective modern parents either consciously or unconsciously are guided by these three I’s when raising their kids:

1. Intuition:  This a mother's strong point and is as old as time itself. But intuition is often a casuality of the information age. We can easily be so bombarded by information that we become confused and forget to follow our gut. By all means seek out expert opinion; find out what your peers are doing; but follow your gut instinct (intuition) when raising your kids. Intuition is a mother’s strong point.

2. Individual differences: The premise of my birth order book (Why first borns rule the world and last borns want to change it) is that children are niche marketers who amplify their differences so they can stand out in their families. Quite simply, if your first born buys your ideas about helping out at home, there is a good chance that your second born may well resist those same wonderful ideas! That’s the way of family-life in most instances.

Also understanding gender differences is a modern day parenting essential. The learning, emotional and maturity differences between girls and boys are significant, and need to be accounted for in your parenting.

3. Intelligence: I think you’ve got to be smart these days to raise kids. I’m not talking about the number of degrees you have. No, I’m talking about the native cunning you bring to parenting that enables you to, at times, outfox your kids. I’m talking about your ability to think your way through new problems and new issues that kids present. And I’m talking about your ability to gain information about parenting and children whether in book or articles format and use these ideas to formulate your own ideas about raising kids. I called my first book One Step Ahead as I’ve always believed that great parents stay ahead of the curve, and are smart about their parenting!

So how do you rate?

Do your trust your intuition when you unsure about how your kids are travelling? Do you cater for individual differences or do you use a one size fits all approach? Do you think your way through problems, weigh up different approaches and try to be as savvy as you can be?

Combined they'll help maximise the effectiveness of the impact that you have on your kids.

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