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Why flexibility could be your parenting style superpower!
Hello there, from one busy parent to another! Whether you are managing a bustling household of five – three boys, two girls, and a whirlwind of activities or trying to figure things out with your first 5 month old. As parents, we must be constantly learning and adapting. Children grow up fast and we have to be at our best as parents to raise our 2-year-old princess and 15 year old boys.
As a parent I won’t have to convince you that each day is a new adventure in parenting, constantly evaluating and shifting our parenting style types. What are the different parenting styles? ( If you need a quick rundown of all the Baumrind parenting styles take a quick peek at our parenting style chart it offers a quick recap of all the features, benefits and drawbacks of the different parenting styles psychology).
The parent test: Parenting tv show
Which parenting style is best? Is the question everyone wants to know and I realized something as I was watching “The parent test” parenting show on Hulu with my family. The concept of the show is to put 12 families under the microscope in the ultimate parenting stress test; each family represents a different type of parenting ideology. Based on how each family performed against each other we would discover which parenting approach were best, or which ones we identified with the most from the parent test show. However, I found myself agreeing with concepts from many different parenting methods. But it seemed odd that these parents were content to lock themselves into a singular parenting strategy.
There’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in parenting. Our go-to parenting approach– be it authoritarian style of parenting, permissive-parenting-style, Authoritative, neglectful parenting style or uninvolved parenting style – offer us vital insights but can seem overly rigid and uniform. Our kids, on the other hand, are the exact opposite – ever-evolving, vibrant, and filled with surprises.
Unpacking the ‘One-Style-Fits-All’ Approach
Our children, like life, are ever-changing. When they’re newborns, they crave comfort and constant care. As they grow into toddlers, they explore, throwing caution to the wind, while we chase behind them, ensuring their safety. Then, as they evolve into teenagers, they seek independence and understanding. a single parenting method really isn’t flexible enough to address all these stages and their specific demands. Even if we choose one of the four types of parenting styles that child psychologists rave about. Psychologists make us feel like we have to ask the question what is my parenting style?
The Dynamic Approach: Parenting Styles as Tools, Not Labels
How about we shift our perspective on parenting style theory and instead of labeling ourselves, we view these parenting perspectives as tools? Imagine a toolbox, and depending on our child’s unique needs and our current situation, we select the most suitable tool, or in this case, parenting approach.
This approach allows us to:
Embrace the Individuality of Our Children
Our children, like us, are individuals, each with unique temperaments, interests, and coping mechanisms. For instance, your oldest may son thrive on structure and consistency (hello, Authoritarian style!) while your 10-year-old daughter’s creative spirit soars when given the freedom (cue the Permissive style). Recognizing and embracing these unique characteristics allows us to provide the most effective guidance for each child.
While these parental styles structures do come in handy, they work best when the style, is a great match for everyone involved, mom, dad and the child also. In most cases the jagged one-style-fits-all strategy is not the best match for our one-of-a-kind children who are constantly growing, changing and developing.
Prioritize Growth Over Compliance
The essence of parenting lies in nurturing our children to become their best selves. Different parenting methods foster different abilities. For instance, an Authoritative style might build discipline and a sense of responsibility. In contrast, a Free-Range style can encourage independent thinking and flexibility. Let’s consider the Permissive style; it offers a warm, accepting environment but might lack the structure and discipline that the Authoritarian style provides. By blending elements of different parenting approaches, we can support our children’s growth holistically, encouraging them to reach their fullest potential.
Adapting to Ever-Changing Landscapes
Children are not static; they grow and evolve, encountering new experiences that shape their needs and behaviors. My teen son’s quest for autonomy wasn’t as strong during his tween years. An unyielding, authoritarian style may suffocate his emerging need for independence. In contrast, a more democratic approach that balances rules with freedom can foster responsibility and self-governance.
Parenting styles psychology says a lot more about each parent’s individuality, desires and dreams than it does about children. If we choose to make parenting about the child’s requirements rather than our own we would certainly discover that accepting a more flexible parenting design that works for each kid’s special qualities and grows with them as the develop is a more sensible option.
There are lots of advantages of utilizing a much more custom-fitted tailored parenting style that merges concepts and principals from several different parenting styles into a custom-made approach for each child depending on their needs and stage of development.
Building Robust Parent-Child Relationships
The bedrock of parenting lies in nurturing strong, meaningful relationships with our children. But this isn’t guaranteed by any singular parenting philosophy. A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect and understanding, recognizing our child’s individuality, and setting necessary boundaries.
For parents with more than one child, especially with varying ages or different maturity levels, embracing a flexible parenting strategies is even more crucial. No two children are the same, and each will respond differently to various parenting methods.
Final Thoughts: The Flexibility is in the Journey, Not the Destination
Embracing a flexible approach to parenting isn’t about aimless navigation through parenthood. Instead, it’s a conscious decision to adapt our parenting to best support each child’s evolving needs. Our ultimate goal is to raise happy, healthy, and well-rounded children, not to win an award for the ‘Best Parent’. We can create a nurturing environment for our kids by learning from different parenting approaches and customizing our approach to suit each child’s individuality.
In the end, the beauty of parenting lies not in sticking to a rigid style but in adapting, learning, and growing with our children. So, let’s embark on this journey, armed with our parenting toolboxes, ready to adapt and grow.
After all, each day in parenting is a new adventure. Happy parenting!
|Parenting Style||Key Features||Benefits||Potential Drawbacks|
|Authoritarian||Strict rules, punishment for rule-breaking, limited communication||Creates structured environment||May result in children exhibiting aggressive behavior|
|Permissive/Indulgent||Liberal affection, minimal discipline, lots of freedom||Child’s needs/wants are prioritized||Could result in immature behavior|
|Authoritative||Clear rules, consistent discipline, open communication||Children are happier, confident, and socially competent||Requires balance to not become authoritarian or permissive|
|Uninvolved/Neglectful||Limited communication, indifference, uninvolved in decision making||Less pressure on the child||Negatively affects child’s mental and physical health|
|Free-Range||Encourages independence, allows room for mistakes||Fosters self-reliance and problem-solving||Could lead to risky situations|
|Helicopter||Over-involvement in child’s life, micromanagement||Close relationship with child||May hinder development of independence|
|Snowplow||Removing obstacles, providing structured environment||Helps the child achieve their goals||Could inhibit problem-solving skills|
|Lighthouse||Encourages independence, provides support and guidance||Promotes self-awareness, allows room for mistakes||Need to balance guidance and freedom|
|Attachment||Provides physical comfort, builds trust, spends quality time||Fosters a secure attachment, encourages emotional intelligence||Could lead to over-dependency|
|Tiger||High expectations, constant monitoring, clear rules||Promotes discipline and high achievement||Might cause undue stress and pressure|
|Strict||Clear rules, consistent discipline, encourages open communication||Instills discipline, encourages responsible decision making||May limit child’s creativity and independence|
|High Achievement||Clear expectations, focus on growth, open communication||Fosters resilience, promotes high performance||Could put excessive pressure on the child|
|Negotiation||Encourages communication, allows room for compromise||Builds problem-solving skills, fosters mutual respect||Decisions may lack maturity or foresight|
|New Age||Inclusive, positive reinforcement, flexible||Fosters creativity, respects individuality||Could result in lack of structure or discipline|
|Child-led||Respects individual needs, allows for self-expression||Promotes autonomy and problem-solving||Lack of guidelines might put child’s safety at risk|
|Disciplinarian||Firm rules, consistent discipline, reinforces good behavior||Establishes discipline and respect||May negatively impact child’s self-esteem|