Posts Tagged ‘ special ’

What’s Your Parenting Product Differentiation?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

22 months.

What is that one fixation you have as a parent that you hope sets your child (your product) apart in a good way?

I’ve noticed that in my conversations and dealings with fellow parents of toddlers, we all seem to have some unique element regarding how we raise our kids, and therefore, have a certain expectation of how they will perform on their own.

For example, some parents are proud of the fact their child is advanced physically, being able to walk, run, and spin themselves dizzy before other toddlers of the same age can.

There are others who have been faithful to teach their child sign language since infancy, meaning that their toddler today has a more impressive vocabulary than the average Brayden or Avery out there.

I recently realized what my wife and I care most about when it comes to our 22 month-old son. Actually, two things: that he doesn’t have a snotty nose and that he’s not a brat.

The phrase “snot-nosed brat” is a familiar term in our society, with good reason.

Part of it is caused by parents making empty, theatrical threats of discipline, then not following through with them on their child. That’s one of my parenting pet peeves.

Our son Jack knows that if we say we are going to do something, then we are good on our word. We want to set a good example of integrity in our communication with him.

Time out means time out. No story before bedtime tonight means no story before bedtime tonight. “No applesauce until you finish your rice and beans” means… ah, well, you know the rest.

While it’s extremely important to my wife and me that our son has good manners and is well behaved, we also care a great bit about his hygiene, as we ourselves are pretty obsessed with being clean.

I guarantee you that you will never see Jack with a runny nose, as long as he is in our presence. His parental clean-up crew is there to swoop in with a wet Kleenex at any given moment.

At least, that’s what I would like to guarantee you.

As parents, we all inevitably focus on certain strengths in our child that outweigh perceived weaknesses; whether those perceived weaknesses are in our own minds or in American society’s collective expectations.

So while Jack may never be the most athletically, intellectually, or socially advanced, we definitely aim for him to have the driest nose and the most respectful attitude.

At least we can have that much.

We hope.

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