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Which Parenting Style is Right for You?

by SarahD on October 5, 2010

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How to Decide and Develop Your Own Way of Parenting

There are all kinds of parents, and very few of them resemble the cookie cutter mom and dad you saw on sitcoms like Leave it to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show.  And while you have read all kinds of books to prepare yourself for the onslaught of rugrats, you may have noticed that a lot of them espouse conflicting advice.  Maybe they tell you that you must be immovable and set strict boundaries.  Or perhaps they propose an open and understanding approach by which you allow children to grow and explore without any limits whatsoever.  Some suggest punishment while others say rewards work better.  In honesty, all children are different, and they need to be treated on an individual basis if there is any hope of raising them to be productive and well-balanced members of society.  That said, however, there are a few universal truths when it comes to childrearing, so take these tips for developing a parenting style that really works.

1.  Be firm.  You don’t need to be zealously strict with your kids.  In fact, if you don’t allow them to make their own choices (including a few mistakes) when they’re young, you’re going to face the consequences as they get older and start acting out against your authority.  If, on the other hand, you raise them to be confident and capable young people, you can send them out into the world knowing that they’ll make the choices that are right for them.

2.  Be understanding.  There are going to be times when you want to ring their necks, but those are the times when you must be the most nurturing.  A fight at school need not lead to a fight at home.  Instead, listen to their side (with a grain of salt), show some sympathy, and try to help them figure out what they could have done differently.  Treat every situation as a learning experience, both for your child and yourself.

3.  Be honest.  You will no doubt be tempted to sugar coat certain truths about the world when your child asks.  And indeed, there is no need to frighten your kids (unless it has to do with getting into cars with strangers).  But you also don’t need to lie to them.  They’re going to ask you things that will make you pretty uncomfortable, but treat their questions as valid and try to give them an honest answer, even if it means referring to an anatomy textbook.

4.  Try to avoid arbitrary decisions.  Giving them a toy for good behavior one day and then nothing the next is going to confuse them, especially when they’re young.  So think about what you can do to set up a rewards system, so that good behavior leads to positive reinforcement, as well as a system of punishment that lets them know which actions are unacceptable.

5.   Don’t be a friend.  So many parents want to be friends with their children, but think about it this way: would you be friends with someone that age if they weren’t your child?  Absolutely not!  They have friends their own age.  So don’t confuse your relationship just because you live in the same house.  You are the parent and they are the children and when you start acting like the situation is anything else, you risk losing the authority that allows you to protect and raise your progeny.

Sarah Danielson writes for Adiamor Engagement Rings. Adiamor offers a large selection of engagement rings, loose diamonds, and other fine diamond jewelry at affordable prices.

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