Do You Know What Type Of Parent You Are?

The way you choose to bring up your kids is as personal and as individual as the wallpaper you put up in your house. Some people use different styles for different situations while some have certain methods they use across the board. It's been cited by counsellors that bringing up kids is the number one challenge couples face in their relationship and one that both parties commonly disagree on.

Mother with tween daughter

So, I bet you are thinking, what is my parenting style -- am I easy going, strict or a bit of both? This can be answered by looking at the three categories psychologist Diana Baumrind devised in the 1950s.

Authoritarian

This is a very strict style where parents set out a set of rules which the children are expected to follow explicitly. If the kids don't follow the rules they are normally punished. Parents who follow this style do not normally reason with their children or explain why something has been asked of them. Children can be quiet and withdrawn and may not be able to think for themselves as they have never been given the chance. If this is your style, try and encourage them to put their ideas and opinions forward and, if they don't appear to understand why they are being disciplined, explain the reasons to them.

Authoritative/Democratic

These parents set rules and guidelines for their children, however, unlike authoritarians, they are far more open to listening to their children and understanding their needs. If rules are broken, children will be reprimanded, but in an understanding way which nurtures them and helps them develop. Although parents will monitor and watch their children's behaviour, they won't become overbearing and will step in only if they feel their children could be in danger. This is considered the most ideal parenting and also the most common.

Permissive

Children brought up in the permissive style of parenting tend to show spoilt tendencies and tend to be fairly disruptive and badly behaved if they don't get what they want. Their parents do not set boundaries and even if rules are put down, they are not normally enforced. Children are normally showered with love and affection, even when they are being naughty, which gives them a false sense of security when growing up. When entering the "real world" as young adults they are sometimes not expecting to be treated like everyone else and cannot understand why they are not placed on a pedestal as they were when they were children. If this is your parenting style, set rules and enforce them, even if you find this difficult. Do not give in and don't try and buy good behaviour with gifts.

More on parenting styles

How to marry two parenting styles in one household
Parenting styles: Too hands on...or too hands off?
How to determine your parenting style before baby arrives

Tags: child behaviour parenting style

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