When I discovered I was pregnant the first time, I knew I wanted to be an excellent mother. How I longed to find the key to my child’s heart and never make the mistakes my own parents made, even though those blunders weren’t huge. However, as time passed, I had several children, five in all, and I made tons of mistakes.

I came to understand this job wasn’t easy and required careful thought, determination, self-discipline, planning, prayer, guidance, and more prayer. That’s no joke! Each child has a unique personality and may not respond to the techniques you used in the past. One may obey after a scold while others require sharper discipline. My husband and I tossed aside formulas and all the one-size-fits-all patterns. A parent needs to know the child, find the key to what motivates him. If you misunderstand the child’s motives, he will believe you treated him unjustly.

For instance, when I was in elementary school, I was on the see-saw with another girl. At one point, the other girl wanted down, and I agreed she could get off. I had no idea that being way up in the air meant I would fall backward when she got off. I tumbled to the ground and got the air knocked out of me. When I couldn’t breathe, I was terrified and drug myself to the teacher. She frowned and told me I was overreacting and to snap out of it. Her reaction horrified me because I was really uncomfortable and afraid I was dying.

All that to say, knowing your child is key to being successful. Today I have Gwyn McCaslin as my guest. In addition to being a special friend, she is a marriage and family counselor from Sugar Springs, Ohio and chatting with her is always a pleasure.

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