by Gee Sany
Understanding your parenting style with your kids may help you recognise areas to improve and tweaking your methods to see what best suits them. It helps you to rediscover yourself and strengthen your bonds with your child. Raising happier kids and leading a quality family life is the ultimate goal we all should aim for.
The Authoritarian Parent
You set strict rules and you expect your child to follow your rules without a question. And of course, even a slight disagreement from your child will spur anger in you. Many times, you find yourself saying “Because I said so”, without even explaining the reasons behind your rules. While it is great that you have set high expectations for your child, you may not realise that your child may see you as inflexible and unreasonable in your approach. Worse, if at times, you hit power struggles with them.
If you realise that this may be your parenting style, ask yourself what your children are learning from your technique. “Are my children happy with me? Will they resent my inflexibility? How will they describe me? Is it acceptable that they don’t understand my reasoning?”
These questions will make you ponder and possibly relook at your style of parenting. You can decide if this is the style you want to continue in the long run.
The Laid Back Parent
Being a permissive parent only means that you set very little boundaries and demand for your children as you feel that they are not listening to you. You find yourself rarely disciplining them, having low expectation of self control for them. You may receive remarks from others as being a very lenient parent and even so, you find yourself avoiding confrontation. “What is the point anyways? They will do whatever they want no matter what I say.”
Children of this discipline may struggle with insecurity as they have nothing to conform to and challenge themselves. They follow instructions very slowly and may have problems listening to you. They may start to stir trouble just to get attention from you and push their limits to see how far they can go.
If this is your style, contemplate the benefits of it. “Do my children need me to lead them more than they need me as a friend? What am I teaching them with my leniency?”
The Uninvolved Parent
You may be taking care of your child’s daily needs like sending them to school, preparing their meals, helping them with school work. However, deep down you know that you are generally detached from your child’s life. This is just because you are tired and exhausted or without knowing, you are suffering from depression. You may find that due to this detachment, your child is losing focus, tend to lack self control and possibly suffer from low self esteem.
If your parenting style is strained due to your exhaustion or depression and you wish to do more for your child, seek help and advice. Get a clear picture of what you want your child to benefit from your parenting style. “How can I get more involved and interested in my child’s life? How can I have more fun with them?”
The Fair And Flexible Parent
This is possibly the parenting style and discipline that most of us should aim for. This parenting style means being clear about your expectations and always handling the same behaviour in the same way. Personally, this is my preferred style and the one I am learning to use with my children. It is to strike a balance of giving clear instructions and expectations while being flexible in your approach. This style allows room for your child to express their thoughts and emotions. It helps them to feel responsible over their actions and take control of their own behaviour.
With constant explanation and reasoning of your expectations, they understand that you are in charge and the consequences of going over the limit. With this style, your child will learn to reflect on their actions. You forgive them instead of giving them harsh punishments. By allowing them the room to make mistakes and grow from it, they will learn to self regulate their behaviour and be more co operative. Your parenting style is one that is firm, fair and flexible and most importantly, is constant.