When you become a parent, you learn that there are very few hard-and-fast rules to help you along the way. Despite this, there are some tips that can help make you a better mom or dad. It may be helpful to know that parenting is partly about teaching, partly about caring, and partly about disciplining your child. You'll have to learn and adapt rapidly to your child for every new situation you find yourself in. As you consider different parenting styles, the most important thing to remember is that, as with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. Read on for an overview of four common parenting styles.
With this form of parenting, punishments are common disciplinary measures. Authoritarian parenting comes naturally to some and falls awkwardly on others. For those who practice this style, it’s important that you pick your battles as wisely as you can and prepare to put your foot down when you need to make a point. Sending your child to the naughty step or the naughty corner works well as a punishment, as does taking away treats or privileges.
The indulgent or permissive parent tends to buy their child anything they want. These parents take direction from the child and include their kids in the decision making. This is no bad thing from time to time but it shouldn’t be the only way you deal with your children or they may not understand how to share with others. This form of parenting leaves the child with very few parameters so if you adopt this at all time, you’ll end up with a child who sleeps when they want to and only eats the food they like. When you’re having fun with your children and there are no time constraints, you can adopt this way of being with them.
These parents give their children a lot of freedom. This can breed independence but it can also lead to discipline issues and a lack of social skills. A parent who stays out of the children’s way doesn’t communicate with their offspring very often so a bond won’t develop naturally. The child grows up without any direction or discipline which can be fine for those who are naturally self-motivated but in most cases, children need the love and support of their parents. You can adopt this form of parenting for short periods if you want to encourage some independence but your children need their parent when they have questions and when they need love, encouragement and emotional support.
Unlike authoritarian parenting, authoritative parents take the time to listen to their children. They give rules and set expectations but they’re strict when it comes to the child abiding by the rules. Communication in this type of relationship between parent and child is frequent and it’s normally a two-way-street as the child is often asked for their input when goals are set. Overall, this is the best parenting style to adopt as your basic way of being with the children in your life.
In truth, at times you will have to adopt each of the parenting styles outlined here. Sometimes you need to be the disciplinarian so that your child learns where the boundaries are. At other times, you need to be the indulgent parent so they know how special they are, and there are times when you need to give your kids the chance to learn for themselves by backing off and becoming the uninvolved parent. Don’t make the mistake of adopting one role and being that parent in all occasions. Love every moment you share with your children, learn every moment you can and you’ll be a better parent each and every day.