What Type of Parent are You?
The first column
Happy Sunday! So as I mentioned before, I will be featuring a Dear Jeanna column on my blog weekly. I have received quite a few questions. All questions will remain anonymous, so if you have something you really want to know please do not hesitates to ask. It can be personal, advice, tips, etc… If I do not have the answer I will research it until I can answer properly. I hope you enjoy today’s column. The question of the day is; What type of parent are you?
What Type of Parent are You
Thank you for this question. First I want to explain the 4 parenting styles according to Psychology Today. Take this quiz to see which category you fall into.
4 Parenting Styles: What Type of Parent are You?
Permissive: The Friend
You love your children and want the best for them, and you trust them to do the right thing. You don’t like to set rules or enforce them and prefer to live in a spirit of harmony with them.
Authoritarian: The Boss
You provide your children with the guidance and structure they need to grow into adults with your values. You see your job as being a parent to your children, not a friend, and you don’t feel a need to explain or discuss your rules and orders. When your children disobey, it is your job to make sure they are appropriately punished.
Authoritative: The Parent
You want the best for your children and set rules and boundaries that you expect them to follow until you feel they are old enough to make those decisions on their own. You avoid threats and punishment, instead using positive reinforcements and reasoning to guide your kids. You expect maturity and cooperation, and offer your children the emotional support they need. You pay attention to the context of your children’s misbehavior, and spend time listening to their concerns. You are both highly demanding, and warmly responsive to your children’s needs and concerns.
Neglectful: The Uninvolved Parent
These parents are completely neglectful; sometimes not even aware of what or where their children are. Sometimes this stems from their own addictions.
I took the quiz and scored high as an authoritative parent with permissive falling right behind it. After analyzing the quiz results and reflecting on my own kids, I have concluded that you can be a mix of different styles.
I am a mom to a 21 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. I am by no means a perfect mom and will say up front that I have parented each child differently. And that is because each one of them have their own personality and respond to different tactics. I have made mistakes as a parent but thank goodness kids are resilient. I embrace the authoritative and permissive parenting style.
I set rules and boundaries. I explain to my kids what is right and what is wrong. I also explain to them the consequences of their actions. I try not to hover or give too much advice. Their is a fine line between being pushy and over bearing to teaching. And as parents that is one of our jobs; to teach. I want them to be able to make decisions for their selves and learn from their mistakes. I have never set strict curfews as long as they are honest about where they are. I never have told my kids who they could or could not be friends with. (I can’t stand when a parent does that.) Even if I am not so sure about the person they are friends with; I instead will give a little advice and let them figure out if that friend is a true friend.
- Rules and Boundaries: I set clear rules and boundaries. I do expect my children to follow them, however if they mess up, it is not the end of the world. We talk about it and then start with a clean slate. This is the way kids learn right from wrong.
- Support: I do my best to support my kids decisions. Even when I do not agree with their decision. I am famous for giving scenarios. Talking about it without trying to force them to change their mind is scenarios. Being a supportive parent is very important even when you do not agree with their decision. If you are not supportive, when it does not work out or shit hits the fan, your kid will not return to you for help or guidance. And that is wrong. They should always feel comfortable and safe to seek your guidance.
- Advice: I do give advice. However I try to give neutral advice. Meaning, I do not want to come off as pushy but instead give them advice that hopefully makes them think a little harder about their decision.
- Punishment: This is a big one. Over the years my punishment style has changed drastically and different for each kid. Every kid will respond/react differently to punishment styles. I used to be a “spanker” and can honestly say I think that was a huge mistake. When you spank a child or even yell at them they immediately shut down. Their minds are no longer processing what they did wrong but are instead in fear mode. Think about when you are scare of something. Is your mind clear? Are you processing information effectively? No. Therefore I do not think spanking or yelling is effective.
- Do NOT ARGUE with kids: Sometimes you do have to set a hard NO or a boundary. When I do that, it is not a form of punishment. It is more of a gut feeling. Example; your son ask to go do something. Usually I say yes. However, I occasionally get a gut feeling about something and know I need to say no. It is not something I really understand myself. I know from experience though to trust those gut feelings. So when your kid is pissed off at you because you said no, that is ok. Make a rule not to argue with your kids over a decision or rule you made. Just don’t do it. If they continue to push, I will even say “The discussion is closed. I refuse to argue with you about it.” And it is ok if they get mad at you. We are the parents, we have the tough skin. They will survive and tomorrow will no longer be mad at you.
4 Parenting Styles: What Type of Parent are You Conclusion
In conclusion; I think I am a mixture of permissive and the authoritative parent. I want both of my kids to grow into strong, independent adults. I want them to understand the difference between right and wrong. I want them to not be afraid to make mistakes and understand and learn from the consequences. At the same time I want them to be respectful and know that as a parent anything I say or do is because I love them and want what is best for them.
I don’t always agree with their decisions and choices. However it is my job to guide them, not force them, down the right path. I feel like parents have a 6th sense. We know how something might turn out. However all we can do is give them the facts, help them see the big picture, and pray that they make the right decision. If they don’t then our job is to help them pick up the pieces when things fall apart. Kids are not replicas of you or anyone for that matter. They are individuals. Their minds are growing, learning, taking everything in. One day they will be full fledged adults. When that happens, you want them to be able to make decisions on their own and problem solve. If you hover over your kids and make every decision for them, they will never be able to take care of themselves.
I remember when my daughter was about 2 (maybe a little younger). We were in Memphis visiting my family. My daughter, myself and my mom were shopping. It was hot as hell outside that day and we shopped for I know a good 8 hours. Well my daughter kept taking her shoes off in the car. I got so angry with her because trying to put shoes on a toddler is like trying to fit a square cube into a round hole. I yelled at her. My mom didn’t tell, hey you are being too hard on her. Instead my mom said (and this is not word for word), Hey she is just a baby. It is hot and her shoes are making her feet hotter. Do you think maybe she is just miserable after shopping half the day in this 100 degree weather. The back seat of this car is pretty damn hot.
My mom’s comment made me think. Yes I was being too hard on her. She didn’t understand my frustration that it would take me 5 minutes to get her cute (but complicated) sandals back on her feet. And she sure as hell didn’t understand when I would yell from the driver seat, “do not take your shoes off again.”
My daughter is now 21. So she is an adult (but still my child). Parenting at this age is even harder then when they are children. Now even more I have to learn to not be pushy. If she is making a decision that I don’t agree with or can foresee that it probably will not work out, I more than ever have to let her do it. At this age you can not offer unsolicited advice because they surely will not take it. So instead I just nod my head and pray that she will seek me when she needs me.
My son is 16 and full of hormones. He was an easy toddler and kid. Always super smart and ahead of everyone in his class. He is also at the stage that offering unsolicited advice goes in one ear and out the other. However 16 and being a boy, requires a lot of guidance. So with him I set rules and boundaries. However I also try and let him make decisions. I will offer my advice but try not to be pushy about it. I will occasionally give him a scenario or what could be the possible consequences of his decision. I refuse to argue with a teenager but do try to listen to his reasoning.
Being a parent to a teenager and young adult is much harder than when they were younger. It is even harder then those TWEEN years. They don’t understand that I have already been there and done that and know how it is going to turn out. They lack the wisdom that a 46 year old mom has. However like I have said, no unsolicited advice, guide, pray, and be supportive.
I hope you enjoyed today’s column and I can’t wait to answer more questions. I have several already but please send me more. You will remain anonymous. No question is off limits. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, direct message me on my twitter @JeannaKay2 or message me on my Facebook account. Please check out my blog for other post on parenting.