Many new moms and dads seek advice from family, friends, online articles and magazines to help them learn how to be a better parent. You can learn a lot from experienced parents because they have seen a little bit of everything. However, one thing you need to figure out for yourself is your own parenting style.
When parents use different parenting styles it causes all types of problems. For example, it can get confusing and the kids won’t know which set of rules to follow. It also makes it easy for kids to play parents against each other, which is something that most all kids do at some point. If you have an au pair (go to Cultural Care Au Pair to learn more or become an au pair), nanny or babysitter then you will need to make sure they know what style to implement.
For these reasons, parents need to be on the same page so you can combine your parenting styles together and create a plan you both can adhere to. If you’re not sure, here’s how to find your parenting style.
Answer the following questions:
- Are you the type of parent that always wants to protect and take up for your child no matter what? Do you always run to her rescue when she is unhappy, disappointed, feeling rejected or when she is dealing with any other bad feelings or difficult experience? If so, then you may be the overprotective parent.
- Do you believe you know best and what you say goes without negotiations? Do you feel like you need to show your kids you’re in control and therefore you don’t need to listen to their side of the story? Do you have a strict set of rules that you expect your kids to follow to the letter, no exceptions? If so, then you may be the authoritarian parent.
- Do you do your best to set limits and boundaries for your kids and do you hold them to high standards? Do you try to be a good role model by setting good examples and do you have clear goals and expectations for your kids? Do you explain the rules and consequences for breaking them and then follow through if the rules are broken? Are you consistent with the rules and do you engage in open communications and discussions with your children? If so, you may be the authoritative parent.
- Do you tend to be very lenient with your kids? Do you find it easier to let them do pretty much what they want, when they want even if you don’t really agree? Do you prefer to compromise with your child instead of setting and enforcing rules? Do you believe that being your kid’s friend is more important than being a figure of authority in their life? If so, you may be the permissive parent.
- Do you spend time with your kids or does your career have a tendency of getting in the way and taking up all your time? Do you know the name of your child’s best friend, her favorite book, movie or meal? Do you know what games she likes to play? If you answered no to these questions, then you may be the uninvolved parent.
Learning what your own parenting style is will help you see where you need to make changes to become a better parent. It will help you find that middle ground so you can work together with your spouse in a unified and consistent manner to raise healthy, well adjusted kids that are ready to tackle whatever life dishes out.
Jessica Peresta says
I feel like we have different parenting styles with each of our 3 boys because they have all different personalities. But, we are consistent in how we have rules, yet discipline in love.
Arushi Garg says
Honestly I am still figuring out my parenting style. I don’t want to fit in any definition but it seems I will be going with a flow. My son is 15 months old now. I guess I will know in a while. thanks for sharing
Joanna Clute says
My husband and I discussed our parenting styles as we were prepared to have our first. We wanted to be a better team. These are great questions to ask yourself.
Naya @ Lactivist in Louboutins says
It took me a while to figure out my parenting style. I discussed with my husband before we had my oldest, but everything kind of went out the window once he was born (thanks sleep deprivation!). It turns out that we both are fans of gentle and positive parenting. It seems to be working really well on both of our kids. These are thought provoking questions and really open up the conversation between partners!
I’m still figuring this out with my 16 month old, but I’m really glad I read your post. Being thoughtful and intentional in my parenting is really important to me, and I think figuring out my style would be helpful.
Lisa Clark says
That is a great way to parent and I do think knowing your parenting style will help you with that. It will get more challenging as your little one ages, but also fun. 🙂 Mine are aged 5-18, so I’ve been there.
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms says
I think my parenting style changes as my daughter ages and new challenges come our way. She is now a toddler with a stubborn streak (probably came from me), so I have had to become more authoritative. I’m sure it will keep changing as she grows and changes!
Lisa Clark says
That is a very true statement. My oldest is 18 now and I think my parenting style has changed quite a bit from when she was a toddler. It’s interesting how you kind of grow together in this, if you know what I mean.
Jalisa Harris says
I’m still trying to figure things out but I will say things have changed. I will say I’m not as defensive as I was at first.
I think most people won’t fit in just one category, but asking the questions is definitely valuable for being aware of the type of parent you are/want to be.
Amelia Furman says
I’ve definitely noticed that my husband and I have different parenting styles, and I can see how that would be difficult for the kiddos. We have come to compromises and agreements on the major stuff, but I think we need to keep talking about the small things so that we can be a united front on a more consistent basis. The cool thing is that I see we are learning from the strengths and weaknesses of each of our own styles and we are both coming more to the middle. It’s neat to see. We just might have this together by the time our youngest is 18. ha!!
Rebekah @ The Mama Bear Blog says
I think I’m more of a laid back attachment style parent, if I had to pick a time, but maybe that will change over time. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Lauren | also known as mama says
I’m definitely the overprotective parent and proud of it! 🙂
What’s crazy about these questions too is you may answer them differently about yourself than someone might about you. As in my mom might think she was super strict, but my dad thought SHE was really lenient. We can have a tendency to perceive ourselves differently than how we actually are.
Another interesting thing is how you answer these questions from child to child. The youngest tend to be more spoiled because parents are more lenient than they were with their first born after having experience with situations already. I’m sure it’s important to reestablish your parenting style every few years as you grow and change with each other and your children!
But I’m not a parent, just observing 🙂