What Parenting Style Am I?
There are 3 major parenting styles and each one will directly affect your child’s development and behavior in a different way. As parents, it’s your job to help your child to grow, flourish and succeed, but it’s not always easy to do when you don’t know how to respond to situations. With parenting being a learned skill and NOT intuitive, it takes time, practice and patience to help develop your parenting styles to be the most effective. Once you understand the 3 parenting approaches, you will be able to determine which category currently fits your parenting style and help guide you towards easier parenting. Keep reading to find out; “what parenting style am I?”
Parenting Style #1: Authoritarian
Authoritarian Parenting Style – This approach falls under the punishment umbrella. Punishment is anything that causes your child to feel BLAME, SHAME, or PAIN. Think yelling, screaming, spanking, eye rolling, unfair consequences and time-outs.
Jane Nelson Ed D the founder of Positive Discipline states: “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children DO BETTER, first we have to make them FEEL WORSE?”
When you punish your child you are making them feel poorly about themselves and this takes away from teaching the lesson your are trying to teach. Let’s use an example to help explain this. Your child has just spilled their glass of milk. The parent reacts with eye rolling, a big sigh and yells;
“What are you doing? why do you always have to make such a mess. Go to your room!”
Parent reactions affect your child’s behavior
This reaction made your child feel blame, shame and pain for spilling the milk. Your goal is to help your child learn that when he/she spills their milk, they clean it up. Therefore the main lesson needs to be when you make a mess, you take responsibility and tidy it up. You are not trying to teach your child that when they make mistakes or spill, they are a bad person. Right? This approach is a quick-fix, band-aid approach. The behaviors may stop for the moment, but they will come back and next time your child will be more angry and insecure.
Punishment and Authoritarian parenting is not fair to your child and it won’t work in the long run. In a nutshell, an authoritarian approach is described with the following idea in mind; “you do it because I said so.” The child has no say = no power = major power struggles due to their need to fill their daily quota of power and attention. Punishment is a no win for you and your child, as behaviors keep reoccurring and the cycle never ends. Over time, you and your child will grow farther apart which leads to sneaking around, lying and avoidance.
Parenting Style #2: Permissive
Permissive style – This approach is the exact opposite of Authoritarian parenting. Permissive parenting is a very loose parenting style where the kids run the roost. In other words, your child is in charge! This approach lacks boundaries and parents often don’t follow through or hold their kids accountable for their behaviors or actions. Typically giving in and not following through with set consequences. The mind-set of Permissive parents is that it’s easier to have a short-term, quick fix, by letting them get away with anything, to simply get the behavior to disappear for the time being. It’s here where your kids are in the driver’s seat and they are left searching for boundaries. Basically, begging you to take charge in a positive manner and follow through.
Parenting Style #3: Positive Discipline (Authoritative)
I call this approach Positive Discipline instead of Authoritative, because it’s get too confusing sounding too much like authoritarian. Positive Discipline parenting is the ‘sweet spot’- the secret sauce to easier, more enjoyable parenting! It’s like getting a hole in one in golf – it’s not easy to do, but with time, practice, patience and commitment you will get there! In order to achieve positive discipline you must be FIRM, FAIR, and CONSISTENT in everything you do. These three words sum up positive discipline. When you work to be firm (no yelling), fair (respectful in all you do), and consistent (follow through) your kids will feel better. When kids feel better, they do better and I know this is your goal! With this style you have fair boundaries and teach your child lessons without being punitive.
Changing your parenting style
Whether you’re currently more Authoritarian, Permissive or combination of all three, it will take time to switch your paradigm and approach. It isn’t something that will happen overnight and it will require practice and commitment. You will make mistakes and it’s through these mistakes, learning will take place for you, your kids and your parenting style. These are all good things! By making these changes now, you will be reaching the long-term goals you desire to achieve. Working each day, little by little, making small adjustments, will help your now, dependent child grow into the independent, happy, well-adjusted adult you want them to become.
Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen right away or you have a bad day. Instead get back out there, jump on that horse and try again. You can get there and I am here to help you do just that!
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For more on how parenting styles affect your child read here.
Small Changes Make BIG Results!