Episode 7: What Is Your Parenting Style?

I’m Heather Anderson, and this is Episode 7: What Is Your Parenting Style?

Hello, amazing moms! Thank you for spending time with me today. Our topic is about different parenting styles and figuring out which one you identify with.

Do you already know your parenting style? Even if you think you do, stick around because it’s really good information to have and to know how your parenting type is affecting your child.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t fit into just one box, or one type of parenting style, but it’s good to know all the different types and how they can affect your child. And it’s really good to figure out which type you are. It’s important to be sure that your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development, because your interactions with your children and the way you discipline them will influence them for the rest of their lives. And if after listening to this podcast, you identify with one that you don’t feel is serving you or your children well, you can totally start changing everything around. If you need help doing this just jump on a free 30 minute coaching call with me and I can help you figure out what needs to happen to start making those changes.

And also if you want to know what parenting style you are, I’ve included a link to a parenting styles quiz in the “mommy resources” section of my website at The-mommywhisperer.com. I would encourage you to go on there and take it, because it’s really interesting to see the results that you’ll get. I was actually a little surprised by mine. I was surprised by how many different parenting styles I use, it just kind of depends on the situation.

There are some new age titles for different parenting styles like: helicopter parent, or drill sergeant parent, tiger parent, balanced parent, strict, over- bearing, consultant parenting, laissez faire, or free range parenting, bulldozer, snow plow, or lawnmower parenting, also attachment parenting.

Some of these new age titles are worth addressing, and I will probably do that at another time, but today I’m going to go back to the old-school, researched-based parenting styles. You’ve probably heard of these titles: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. It’s important to understand each one, not necessarily to give yourself a label or put yourself in a box, like I said, but there are going to be times when you identify with one style and times when you feel like you are being more of another. And that’s okay. And sometimes you need to even adapt to use different parts of different styles with maybe different children. The goal, however, is to become an authoritative-type parent. That is really the most ideal parenting style to embrace, and to try to use the ideas behind authoritative parenting whenever possible.

So, let’s get started with the first one: Authoritarian Parenting, or also called disciplinarian. This type of parent focuses on obedience and uses punishment instead of discipline. Some might have the viewpoint of, “kids should be seen and not heard”, or when it comes to the rules, it’s “my way or the highway.” This type of parent believes their child should follow the rules without exception, and their reasoning is “because I said so.” Children are not involved in problem-solving; the rules and consequences are created and enforced with little regard for children’s feelings or opinion. Parents might choose to use this approach because that’s the way they were raised, or because maybe it’s naturally their culture or ethical background that might dictate it, or they just don’t know any other way to try to keep their kids in line. They might believe that ruling with an iron fist is the only way to bring order to chaos, and it’s the only way to keep kids under control. But this type of parenting style is not ideal, and although it seems like it might be working, it really doesn’t work. Boundaries and expectations are definitely healthy and always recommended, but these things need to be balanced with love, warmth, and respect for the child. There are many negative side effects to this type of authoritarian parenting, including children who can be aggressive, or maybe socially inept and shy, and cannot make their own decisions because they never get practice for making decisions, because they are forced into the parent’s reason for the decisions. Children usually have poor self-esteem and will most likely rebel against authority figures when they are older. Children will model these authoritarian behaviors with their peers, and as a future parent. The children from these types of parents rarely learn to think on their own, and they have a difficult time managing their anger, and are usually very resentful.

The second parenting style I would like to talk about is called Permissive Parenting. It’s also called Indulgent Parenting. These types of parents don’t like to set limits for their children; well, they might set rules but they rarely enforce them, and they don’t usually give consequences. They might really try to give consequences, but if their child begs enough, they’ll give privileges back quickly. And let them maybe get out of time out early and not follow through completely. They do this because they believe a child has to be true to his nature, and that they will learn best with little interference from their parents. They are lenient and usually only step in when there is a serious problem. They have the belief that kids will be kids, and these parents take on more of a friend-type role to their children. Gift-giving and bribery are their main parenting tools. They don’t have many expectations for their child, and they don’t like to say no because they don’t like confrontation or asserting authority. Although they try to be nurturing and warm and are emotionally supportive and responsible to their children, studies have found links between permissive parenting and increased alcohol use among teenagers, as well as higher rates of behavior problems at school and lower rates of academic achievement. Because screen time and snacks are not monitored in this type of family, children are at a higher risk for health problems like obesity and diabetes, and average about four hours of television a day. Children can also be more impulsive, aggressive, and lack personal responsibility, with this type of parenting style. They might be very demanding and selfish, mainly due to the huge lack of boundaries, and they might suffer from anxiety and depression.

The third type of parenting style is the Uninvolved Parent, sometimes called the Neglectful Parent. They respond very little to their child’s needs. They expect their children to basically raise themselves. They make very few demands of their children, and are often dismissive, indifferent, or even completely neglectful. I can’t imagine too many neglectful parents tuning into a podcast about parenting, but I’ll keep explaining it because I think it’s really helpful for everyone to know the different parenting styles. So, uninvolved parents probably don’t ask their children about school friends or homework, and they usually might not know where their child is or who she is with. They just don’t spend much time with their child. Sometimes this type of parenting is caused by mental health issues, or substance abuse problems, but other times uninvolved parents just do not understand child development. And sometimes they are just completely overwhelmed by life and work, and all that comes with life, like paying the bills and managing a household. And this may also be how they themselves were raised, so they don’t know any different. Children from this type of parenting style usually do poorly in school, have frequent behavior problems, they have lower self-esteem, and they report feeling a lot of sadness. They might become anxious, depressed, emotionally withdrawn, and they have an increased risk of substance-abuse. And because these children don’t feel the emotional responsiveness and love from their parents that they need, they usually have difficulty forming attachments and having healthy relationships later in life. And because they didn’t have any boundaries or rules, they don’t learn appropriate behaviors and limits, so they may have major deficits in social skills, too.

The fourth type of parenting style, the most ideal one to try to achieve, is called Authoritative Parenting. These parents put effort into creating a positive relationship with their child. They have higher expectations and open communication. They give reasons behind their rules. Sometimes rules and consequences are even created with the child’s input. These parents are consistent with their discipline, they enforce the rules and give consequences, but they also validate their child’s feelings. They try to be a safe place for their children to express themselves. They do make it clear that adults are ultimately in charge, and they use positive discipline strategies to reinforce and shape good behaviors. Research has found that children who have this type of authoritative parents are most likely to become responsible adults who feel comfortable expressing their opinions. They tend to have high self-esteem, are happy and successful and capable, and they are more likely to be good at making decisions. They are socially responsible and cooperative. This is the ideal parenting type. This authoritative parenting style is the healthiest and not for children.

What is your parenting style? That parenting style quiz that I posted under mommy resources is really, really great for figuring it out. When I took it, it was tough because with four kids I’ve responded to all sorts of different situations in so many different ways; therefore, I kind of came out a mixture of styles. But the one I’m always working toward is that authoritative style. Even though I see some of the other styles creep in at times.

I hope this information was helpful for you and causes you to think and reflect on your different parenting style, and what types of things you’re doing well and maybe what types of things might need a little bit of tweaking and changing. And remember in order to raise confident children who are independent, and emotionally healthy and resilient, children need support and guidance from their parents, along with warmth, love, boundaries, and structure.

Thank you so much for spending these few minutes with me and putting time into learning the things that are so important for your children.

I’ll talk to you next week!

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I am a Certified Life Coach with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a happy mother of 10 wonderful children (4 children of my own plus 6 bonus children) and 7 grandchildren. I am just like you. I am a mother who wants the absolute best for myself, my children, and my family. I have the privilege of helping hundreds of mothers just like you who want to be better and feel better. Mothers who want to learn more effective parenting skills, who want their children to be more respectful and responsive, who want to improve their relationships with all those around them, and who want to hit the pillow each night feeling happy about their efforts and accomplishments…

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