Parenting Styles: Fear Tactics to Co-Sleeping

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The first thing I realized when I started to work in daycare was that every parent thinks their parenting style is the right parenting style.  As parents, how do we make these decisions?  Are we making the correct decisions?  Should I start saving money for my son’s future therapist now?  Or should I be patting myself on the back?  The only fact I know is that no matter how long I have worked with children and how long I have been a parent I’m always learning (making mistakes along the way).

Here is what I am sure of:

1. You are not always right and it is good to admit that to your children.  Saying “I am sorry” can actually help your child.  Teach them to be honest, to admit mistakes, to not be embarrassed to admit mistakes,  and to see that you do the same.  Saying “I am sorry” is a character building statement.  “I”m sorry I lost my temper before.  I should not have done that, but I am very disappointed that you lied to me.  I feel like I cannot trust you.”

2. Your children are always smarter than you think.  Communicate with them.  I think many of us can remember asking the question “Why?” and hearing the dreaded “Because I said so”.  If you are trying to teach them a value you believe in (sharing, respecting your elders, eating your vegetables, ect.) make sure they understand why they have to do it.

3.You will always love your children more than they love you.  This is not something to be sad over.  This is the way it should be.  Parents have this amazing place inside their hearts where love is just overflowing.  We will do anything to protect our children.  If children felt that love as intensely as we do, they would never leave our home as adults!

4.Your children will always love you, but they might not always like you.  This is especially true for teenagers. “No, you may not stay out until 3am on a school night.  You need your sleep to do well in school.”  You might find that statement followed by a dramatic declaration from your child, ” I hate you!”  They do not really hate you.

5. Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Consistency gives children a sense of security, even when they are complaining about what you are being consistent about.  They know what to expect from you and they will slowly learn what you believe in.

Parenting Styles:  A Crash Course

I cannot speak about different styles of parenting without mentioning Diana Baumrind http://www.apadivisions.org/division-35/about/heritage/diana-baumrind-biography.aspx  .  Diana Baumrind is a clinical and developmental psychologist, best known for her extensive studies on parenting techniques.  She categorized parenting techniques in the following categories:

Authoritarian Parenting

This style of parenting is when a parent holds the child to very strict rules.  If rules are broken the children are punished, with little explanation.  Orders are expected to be obeyed without discussion.  Parents are often found to be less emotional and nurturing.  Children fear getting into trouble.

Pros:

Children tend to succeed in school

Cons:

Boys tend to show aggressionscreaming-kid

Children may show signs of shyness and be antisocial

Children equate love with obedience and success

Children tend to have low self-esteem

Authoritative Parenting

Like Authoritarian Parents, Authoritative Parents establish guidelines and rules, but in a much more ‘democratic’ way.  When expectations are not met, parents are more nurturing. They administer fair discipline. Children are listened to and encouraged to be independent.

Pros:

Children tend to do well in school

Children often can control emotions

Children tend to have happy dispositions

Children develop good social skills

Cons:
Everything I have read leads me to believe that there are no cons to this style of parenting

Permissive Parenting

Permissive Parents have very few expectations for their children.  They make little demands.  You would almost think that these parents are really just friends.  They nurture their children, but they avoid confrontation.

Pros:

I have yet to read about any pros to this style of parenting

Cons:

Studies have shown a correlation between permissive parenting and underage drinking

Children show a lack of discipline

Children tend to have poor social skills

Children may become demanding and self-involved

Children tend to have low self-esteem

Children often do poorly in school

Uninvolved Parenting

This parenting style is when parents show little interest in their children, except for their basic needs (and in many extreme cases they show little interest in their child’s basic needs).  They are detached from their children’s lives

Pros:

I have yet to read about any pros to this style of parenting

Cons:

Children tend to be fearful

Children have a fear of depending on anyone

Children tend to be emotionally withdrawn

Children tend to do poorly in school

Children often have low self-esteem

http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/parenting-style.htm

New Generation

Attachment parenting, although it has been around for a very long time, seems to be a very new idea and it is growing fast.  The concept is to have a close bond with your child.  This is achieved by focusing on the nurturing aspect of parenting.  By doing this, parents hope to raise empathetic and secure children.  Some concepts associated with attachment parenting are baby wearing, co-sleeping, constant loving, and breast-feeding.  Constant loving means that the parent and child spend most of their time together.  It is suggested no more than 20 hours of childcare per week (and encouraged to do less).  Baby-wearing is exactly that-  using items such as moby wraps to hold your child close to you.  Parents are choosing to co-sleep with their children, which allows them to continuously nurture throughout the night.  Most parents who practice this style of parenting breast feed thier babies.

Many parents become burnt out before their children are out of diapers when using this style of parenting.  After talking to many parents about this, the best way to utilize this method is not use it 100%.  Time away from your children to recharge your batteries will only benefit them when you return!

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/what-is-attachment-parenting

Deciding What Is Best For You

These classifications make it seem so easy.  I can definitely X out uninvolved parenting!  I know I do not want to be overly strict and unemotional!  Check!  That was easy!

When you are face to face with real parenting issues it is a different matter.  I feel like I am walking a fine line of being fair and giving in.  Let the punishment fit the crime.  My son did not clean his room, which means OFF WITH HIS HEAD…. I think not, but perhaps Max is playing me like a sap.  Maybe he knows he can get away with it.  Maybe if he asks one more time I will give in and say “Fine, you can stay up for 5 more minutes!”

Before I get too stressed out, I start to think about who he really is.  Max is a boy who is extremely gentle and patient with his little brother.  If he hurts someone he apologizes.  Before he goes to school he gives me a hug and tells me he loves me.  He enjoys reading and writing.  He loves drawing pictures of super heroes.  His imagination is boundless.

I go back to one of my first statements:  I am making mistakes, but I think in the middle of all those mistakes I am getting a few things right.



Categories: Parenting

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3 replies

  1. Love this post ! LOVE it. I am going to enjoy reading more I am sure !

  2. Jill, you come from an amazing and supportive family, I’m sure you would have still been an amazing person no matter your upbringing but because of your family there really is no way you can go wrong. Max is amazing and is his own person, kind because kindness is innate in your family, brillant because you are all smartypants. Cannot wait to see baby Lucas’ personality. Love you always. Debbie

  3. Great post, and amen! “Good parenting” depends on so many factors, especially the child and the parents. I think the only universal beneficial method is to be openminded and to keep learning.

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