Does copy and paste parenting work?

I enjoyed a coffee with a friend who’s recently become a first-time dad. Myself being the dad to four boys, I was asked if one approach worked for all of them. Sadly, from the point of view of my friend, I identified this was not the case – what worked for one did not necessarily work for another as each had their own personalities and primary motivators. It was then my friend said he was hoping for “copy and paste parenting”!

I love this term because parenting is anything but copy and paste. Every child is unique. Each child has their own personality with likes and dislikes. Every son and daughter have their own set of motivators, their own “hot buttons”. As parents, my wife and I apply the same set of values and behavioral expectations to each of our boys but how these are outworked is different taking account of their individuality.

It is important for us parents to take the time to understand our kids’ personalities, to really grasp what drives them and what limits them. Parents should be calling their children to the one set of values whilst accepting this will look different for each child. So from my experience, unfortunately for my friend, copy and paste won’t be effective here!

What about your family – has copy and paste parenting worked?


Acknowledgement: Many thanks to my mate Sam for the inspiration for this post!

Image credit: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo

2 thoughts on “Does copy and paste parenting work?”

    1. Thanks for the comment. You hit the nail on the head when you use the term “skills” – parenting is, of course, heart and intuition but it is also skills and knowledge and all mums and dads must be willing to learn / enhance their skill set. Have a super day!

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