What is your Parenting Style?


Have you ever given much thought to what parenting style you follow and what the effects of it are on your children?

There are three main categories of parenting styles, Authoritarian, Permissive and Democratic. Barbara Coloroso, a well-known parenting expert, names these Brick Wall, Jellyfish and Backbone.

Authoritarian parenting, the “you will do as I say” style, the main style of generations past, is today recognized as being old school and quite simply not right. Permissive parenting on the other hand, a more modern day form of parenting, the “do as you please” model, has most probably evolved as a result of parents not wanting to be authoritarian but not knowing just how to modify and adapt it resulting in it going too far in the opposite direction.

What has happened?

Parents are caught between these two very different styles of parenting, authoritarian and permissive and flip-flop back and forth between the two. Children are confused by this inconsistent mixed style: one minute they can do what they want and the next they have to do what they are told.

What can we do?

We need to transform our parenting style to more of a Democratic one (Adlerian Parenting), the one Barbara Coloroso terms Backbone, the “I will guide you approach”. This is the style that most parents today would naturally aspire to follow as it is a style that is eminently fair, firm but kind and one that fosters the development of good core values and competencies in our children.

Democratic parenting helps build social interest and respect in our children, respect for self, respect for others and respect for order. It focuses on encouragement rather than praise to help develop self-esteem and self-confidence. Also key to this parenting model is for parents to develop a strong connection and attachment to their children as a sense of belonging is a primal need of every man, woman and child.

Next week I will discuss how you can become a democratic or backbone parent.

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