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.