How much have you thought about parenting styles? How effective is your current style? What would you like to change to make your parenting skills more effective? Before you try to make changes you must begin by identifying your style.
Are you a permissive parent? This style typically does not enforce many rules and allows misbehavior to go undisciplined. Instead of creating structure, this style allows the child to create their own patterns and to learn from their natural consequences. This style is confusing for children. Without guidance and limits, children will often make unwise choices.
Are you an authoritarian parent? This style of parenting is very structured with many rules and limits. This type of parent makes decisions for their children and doesn't allow for freethinking. Misbehavior is disciplined very firmly and these children learn to follow not lead. This can cause problems later in life when they may run into the wrong crowd and immediately follow bad behavior instead of thinking for themselves.
Or are you an assertive-democratic parent? This style allows you to balance freedom and responsibilities while still setting limits. These parents give choices and encourage children to make some decisions for themselves. Through this style of parenting a child will learn to be responsible, independent and have high self- esteem. They will learn that choices carry responsibility and they will learn to have compassion and empathy.
There is a good chance that you may identify with more than one of these styles. This is normal. Most parents fall somewhere in between or feel they go back and forth between two styles. Consistency is the first step to making progress as an effective parent. If something works, stick with it.
So why are we trying to identify our style? For starters it is important to know what your style is so that you can identify what you want to change and what you want to keep. Once identified, we can explore where we want to begin to change. Often time's parents go through the motions of parenting without any thought as to why their parenting is ineffective at times. Once you can identify the type of parenting style you have it opens the door to making a change and creating a difference in your parenting. You will see a difference in your children and in yourself. You can learn to be more effective and less reactive. So, start today by making a small change in your style and see what happens! I'd love to hear from you about any progress you've made.