As much as we love this blog and writing about the fun things we are doing with our families, one of the real reasons Jennie and I started this project was to help give support to other parents. We love hearing from our readers, and thank you so much for continuing to send us such great info to share with everyone! Keep it coming!
On that note, it seems only appropriate for me to write about last month’s Beech Acres workshop. It was on “parenting styles” and it was one of the best yet! There was actually a great turnout and there were quite a few dads there as well, which is always great to see!
The number one question from couples was how to overcome the differences between Mom and Dad in their differing parenting styles. It’s pretty easy for parents to differ on how to “handle the kids” and this isn’t a bad thing….necessarily! Each spouse brings something different to the table in terms of parenting techniques and when both parents work together the idea is to create a pretty great team.
The three most popular parenting styles are:
Authoritarian parents, also known as “strict”, expect quite a bit of their child but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries. They are less responsive to their children’s needs, and are more likely to spank a child rather than discuss the problem. The parent is demanding, but not responsive. Children of this parenting technique may “conform” well when they are younger but studies have shown they may have less social competence as the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself. This can make it difficult for kids to learn “self regulation” and they tend to rely on “being told what to do” which can also lead to lack of self motivation and making them “approval junkies” (i.e. they do things for the approval for others, rather than doing things for themselves and making the right decisions for the right reasons.)
Permissive parents, also known as “indulgent” parents, are responsive but not demanding. They have few, if any, behavioral expectations for their child and are the “do whatever you want” parents. These parents are involved with their kids but have no boundaries or expectations. They don’t require the child to regulate themselves or behave appropriately. This style of parents can lead kids to being more impulsive and being used to getting their own way as they get older. Kids of this parenting style may have a difficult time with boundaries and taking “no” as an answer from others since their parents have had very little to no limits and discipline in fear of “rocking the boat” and wanted to avoid conflict at any cost.
Authoritative parents are responsive and demanding. These parents understand their children’s feelings and teach them how to regulate them and help them find appropriate outlets for problem solving. They are the “what could you have done differently?” parents. They also have high expectations for maturity and encourage their children to be independent but still place boundaries and limits on their actions. They encourage a verbal “give and take” and are not as controlling with their children, allowing the child to explore a little more freely which results in teaching them to make their own decisions based on their own reasoning. (i.e. self regulating)
Authoritative parents set limits and demand maturity, but when punishing a child, the parent will explain his or her motive for their punishment. “Their punishments are measured and consistent in discipline, not harsh or arbitrary. Parents will set clear standards for their children, monitor limits that they set, and also allow children to develop autonomy. They also expect mature, independent, and age-appropriate behavior of children.” They are attentive to their children’s needs and concerns, and will typically forgive and teach instead of punishing if a child falls short. This is supposed to result in children having a higher self esteem and independence because of the democratic give-take nature of the authoritative parenting style. *Excerpt taking from Wikipedia
I’ve gotten some slack for being an Authoritative parent. Most of the people, friends included, around me who have kids are the Authoritarian type so I get where they are coming from. My parents were very involved with us as kids but where more of the strict type and boy did I rebel as a teenager! I honestly don’t think it has to be that way (I’ve seen that it’s possible!), I am definitely a “people pleaser” as an adult and I’ve learned over the years that I can still be sensitive to other’s needs and it’s okay not to always have that approval from people. It may work great when kids are young but personally….my parenting goals are NOT to control my kids, they are to teach my kids how to navigate the world as they grow into adults. Another thing to take into account is that there aren’t always the resources available to parents in raising kids. My mom always talks about how she wishes she had the resources we have now in raising children, especially these great Beech Acres Workshops! Click here to learn more and register for next month’s workshop: The Frazzled Family, July 13th from 7:00pm-8:00pm.
It’s a huge reason why I chose to stay home with my kids, your parenting style has so much to do with how they grow up as adults I really don’t want to hand that over to someone else to shape my child so intimately. Does it mean if you’re not a SAHM mom that you’re kids won’t grow up to be contributing, positive members of society? NO, absolutely not! That’s why you are picky about your childcare providers and that’s why I hear so many people say how much they adore their babysitters! Depending on YOUR parenting goals you choose a daycare provider accordingly!
You have to understand and be accepting that everyone’s comfort levels are different, parenting goals are different and trust levels are different! For me, there’s no one out there that I would trust to raise my child with the morals, values and lessons that I want for my kid(s). Some parents simply cannot afford to stay home and I get that too, trust me – we make sacrifices every day to allow me to be at home with Luke. For us, the pro’s outweigh the con’s and there’s NEVER been a day that goes by that I regret staying at home and the sacrifices that come with it.
And yes, at times it can make things a little awkward when you’re with friends and one parent is spanking their child, another is patiently “talking” to their child and the other is letting them do whatever they want with no limits. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I want to encourage you to try not to be judgmental and instead try to focus on your own kids and do a little more to educate yourself on how you can be a better parent, we can always be better and learn more! We have great resources, so there’s no excuses!
My question for you is how were YOU raised and how has it affected your parenting style?