What Kind of Parent Are You and What to Do if Your Partner Doesn’t Parent Like You Do?

September 6th, 2011

Okay, if we are really, really honest with ourselves we realize that at some point in our adult lives we start to take on the characteristics of our parents in our relationships. You may begin to notice you are sounding like your mother or you’re acting like your father (the good, the bad, and the ugly). We are all influenced by our upbringing and experiences, and even if you vowed to yourself that you would never be like your parents you may find yourself acting in the extreme opposite way, still influenced by your upbringing. Egads!

Here’s the good news, you get to choose how you parent. Regardless of your upbringing or circumstances, you can consciously decide how you want to respond to your child’s behaviors.

Read more on how you can choose to be a parent that best helps your child grow into being a responsible and respectful adult without having to resort to acting like your parents.

Parenting camps believe there are three general parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian Parenting: This style of parenting is “old-school” meaning the adult sets the rules and consequences, and the child is expected to obey these rules. This is a restrictive punitive parenting style without discussion and compromise, which may lead to physical punishment as a way for children to obey the rules. Children with Authoritarian parents may develop “learned helplessness”, may act aggressively to get their needs met, or may act out, shutdown or run away.
  • Permissive or Indulgent Parenting: This style of parenting often leads to allowing children to do what they want with minimal consequences and expectations. These parents may be nurturing and accepting and are often hands-off and allow children to behave as they desire. Children with permissive or indulgent parents may develop spoiled behaviors and may engage in risk-taking behaviors.
  • Authoritative or Democratic Parenting: This style of parenting encourages children to be independent and holds children accountable for their behaviors. Authoritative parents hold their children accountable, yet also are warm and nurturing and teach children how to solve their problem rather than rescuing or telling the child what to do. They encourage resourceful creative problem solving and prefer to teach children how to make positive decisions with corrective feedback and consequences when necessary.  Children with Authoritative or Democratic parents tend are believe to have higher self-esteem and are better able to regulate their emotions and behaviors when they encounter problems.

Which parenting style sounds like you and your child’s mother/father? If you are not parenting on the same page take the time to talk with your partner/spouse/ex and decide how you both can change your behaviors to best support your child.

Children are masterful at figuring out at a young age how to get what they want; so if one parent is a Authoritarian and other is Permissive your child will quickly learn that if one parent says “no” the can go to the other parent and get want they want. This creates splitting in the household and teaches your child dysfunctional ways to get their needs met (and causes lots of arguments between parents).

If this is happening in your home it’s time to commit to a change.  If you need help for you and your parenting partner to get on the same page we can help. Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!


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