What Do These 3 Faces Say to You?

If we took a snapshot of your kids would they look as happy and secure as these kids look?

If not, here’s a description of different kinds of parenting styles. See which one you are and match it with your kid’s faces. It’s never too late to turn fear and sadness into love and security. We can always take another snapshot.

Sometimes as parents, we need to learn the tools to parent. These are different times than when your parents parented you. Have you adjusted your parenting beliefs to fit the times and your child’s particular needs?

Parenting Styles

I. I guess we could say that the first kind of parent would be the toughest. This is an authoritarian parent. This parent sets the rules and delivers punishments when expectations are not met. This parent does not engage their child in conversations about choices or feelings. In this case, the child may feel powerless and resentful.

The child does not learn how to think for themself or experience real life consequences.  Many times this parent is continuing a harsher kind of parenting that they may have experienced themselves. This child may feel aggressive towards others because he acts what he learns and he cannot take is anger out on his/her parents.

I ask this parent to look back and remember how it felt growing up with authoritarian parenting and ask yourself if you truly believe that this is the most effective style of parenting today.

II. The second kind of parent is authoritative in his/her style of parenting. In this kind of home children are treated with respect and are asked for input on decisions. These parents communicate with their children to understand their feelings, behaviors, and needs. This parent will most likely be treated by their child with the same respect afforded them.

In this parenting style children feel like they have some say while their parents set the boundaries. Authoritative Parents model and teach problem solving skills and allow their children to learn from their mistakes without anger or shaming or judgment.  This parenting style teaches children how to forgive, communicate, and get along with others.

III. The last parenting style I will discuss for the purposes of this blog is called the permissive parenting style. This parent may be a little too easy and too uninvolved. This parent leaves too many decisions to the child either making the child feel uncared about and without boundaries. A permissive parent does not implement rules or punishments. He/She may be more like a friend than a parenting figure. This parent does not expect or ask much from their child.

This type of parenting can leave a child feeling out of control and unprepared to deal with life’s developmental stages. Without an appropriate amount of parental control this child will have some difficulties.

Of all the parenting styles, my favorite is the authoritative style. I believe it blends the best of all. Authoritarian parenting is not my cup of tea, nor is permissive.

So, tonight when you see your kids, check their faces. You’ll probably be able to tell what your parenting style is. Of course, let’s not forget that sometimes our kids have a bad day and our teens can be pretty grumpy.

Children come into this world with their own temperament. I believe that how you parent will give you the best odds at helping your child to grow into a happy and productive adult. You’ll probably also be lucky enough to have a loving relationship with your child.

You must start while your child is young but it’s never too late to make changes. It’s okay to tell your kids you’re sorry, or that you made a mistake. Let them know what you hope for in your relationship going forward. Ask for their input, if they are old enough to understand.

The thing about parenting is that it’s not about you any longer.  It’s about what’s in the best interest of your child. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way. Sometimes we need to spend time learning about ourselves so that we can be a better parent.

I always say this about a parent’s relationship with their adult children and I wholeheartedly believe it’s true, “You get back what you put in”. Chances are that someday in your old age, you’re going to need your children to treat you with the same respect and care that you gave to them! So, which kind of parent are you?

 Want more parenting tips?

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About Ilissa Banhazl

Ilissa Banhazl is a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist, former grade school teacher and holds a masters degree in reading. She has a private practice in Glendora, CA and lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and three children. She specializes in adult, adolescent, individual, couple, and family relationship counseling as well as eating disorder treatment and recovery. She facilitates a Women’s Support Group in Glendora as well as a Women’s Disordered Eating & Body Image Group. Ilissa authors 3 therapy blogs, Marriage and Family, Eating Disorders and Group Therapy. You can follow her at FB and Twitter. http://www.ilissabanhazlmft.com or http://www.eatingdisordersgroup.com
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