the ultimate guide to parenting

Does parenting make you feel like a failure sometimes? Have you ever thought, I have no idea what I’m doing as a parent?

Have you noticed how everyone around you is an expert on child-rearing when you’re having a bad day with your kids?

It seems like everyone has an opinion about your parenting style, including people that have never parented. What’s worse is that experts don’t always agree on what works best either.

Most parents get discouraged at times. Many of us feel judged, but the truth is, we’re all in the same boat. Kids don’t come with operating manuals, so we’re left to figure it out as we go.

If you want to know more about parenting styles, how to identify yours, and what works best, look no further. Learn the surprising method that works best and improve your parenting skills today.

Why Should You Care About Parenting Styles Anyway

Parenting styles shape the emotional climate that characterizes a child’s home environment. Parenting behaviors develop from a combination of factors that evolve over time.

There are essential correlations between parenting styles and outcomes on children’s behaviors. Your parenting style must support healthy growth and development. The way you interact with your child will shape them for the rest of their life.

It’s easier to identify what impact your behaviors have on your child when you understand parenting styles psychology. Once you understand the concepts, there are helpful techniques you can adopt to overcome some common parenting hurdles.

And this information can help you navigate the most important job you’ll ever have in life — BEING A PARENT.

Were Your Parenting Skills Shaped by These 4 Research-Based Parenting Styles?

Developmental psychologists have researched how parents affect child development. But, finding links between parenting and child behavior can be difficult.

Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist, developed the Baumrind Parenting Styles.

Baumrind’s research distinguished what parenting behaviors produced the happiest, most well-adjusted children, and which practices caused the most significant problems for children.

Baumrind discovered two essential elements that could help shape successful parenting.

Responsiveness: How much independence you’re willing to grant.

Demandingness: How much obedience you demand.

These two behaviors define your dominant parenting style. In 1967, Baumrind introduced three parenting styles: Authoritative, Responsive, and Authoritarian.

In 1983, psychologists Eleanor Emmons McCoby and John Martin added a fourth style known as Uninvolved or Neglectful. So what does all of this mean?

Think back to your childhood. If the walls could have talked in your home, what would they have said?

Let’s say you kicked your brother in the shin and took away his Pokémon card. Don’t lie; you know you did something like that when you were a kid. Okay, maybe you were a little angel, but you get the idea.

If you were in a home that practiced authoritative parenting, your parents might have sent you to your room. They may have talked to you about why hitting and taking something that doesn’t belong to you is wrong. They were supportive and encouraged you not to engage in this type of behavior in the future.

If your parents practiced authoritarian parenting, they might have screamed at you. They may have spanked you and sent you to your room without dinner. They likely offered you no support or guidance. When you cried, they may have said; I’ll give you something to complain about if you don’t stop.

Let’s say you had permissive parents. They may have threatened punishment but never followed through. They most likely ignored your behavior and let the issue escalate or resolve on its own. The home environment may have felt chaotic and out of control.

If your parents used the uninvolved style of parenting, they were busy watching television or doing their own thing. Most likely, they didn’t even know what was going on.

These influences may have shaped your parenting. Which style best describes the way you parent now that you have children? Do you see any influences from your childhood experiences in the Baumrind descriptions below? Did you turn into your parents, or did you go in a different direction?

Name Your Baumrind Parenting Style

Now that you have a better understanding of some parenting behaviors of each style, can you identify your parenting style with these statements?

Authoritative Parenting (Supportive with structure)

  • You want your child to have some control over decisions.
  • You hold your child accountable but explain your actions when responding to negative behavior.
  • You want your child to be successful and capable of self-determination.

Authoritarian Parenting (Strict structure and harsh discipline)

  • You’re in charge, not your child.
  • There will be pain and consequences for negative behavior.
  • You sometimes shame your child and withdraw love as punishment when they disobey.

Permissive Parenting (Indulgent but lacks structure and boundaries)

  • You want to be your child’s friend.
  • You want to be extremely involved with your child, but you don’t want to demand too much or place controls over your child.
  • If you ignore your child’s behavior, they will eventually make the right decisions on their own.

Uninvolved Parenting (Disengaged or neglectful)

  • You’re content letting your child learn from the school of hard knocks.
  • You don’t need to have rules. You don’t need to know where your child is or what they are doing.
  • You have a lot on your plate. You’re overwhelmed. They will have to figure things out on their own.

By now, you may be thinking, my parents might have parented in this way, but times have changed, and new ways of raising children have developed. What if I don’t fit any of these parenting style descriptions?

Baumrind’s Parenting Styles started the ball rolling on identifying parenting style behaviors and effects on children. But over the years, new techniques developed. More modern parenting techniques emerged, and new styles were born.

Today’s Parenting Styles: Which One Describe’s You Best?

Things have indeed changed. Many of today’s trending styles are variations of the four generally accepted methods. But, there are some subtle differences between them.

Slow parenting is about balance. The aim of this parenting style is for parents to micromanage kids less and give their kids more space and freedom to just be themselves. Parents can get wrapped up in the fast pace of our world and push their kids too much. This style pushes back on that philosophy.

  • You give your child space to discover and explore the world at their own pace.
  • You limit your child’s access to electronics and focus on simple toys and activities.
  • You promote a relaxed and hands-off approach to raising your child and educating them.

Tiger parenting (Focused on high achievement and discipline)

Opposite to Slow Parenting, tiger parents tend to push hard for excellence and high performance. A child is expected to be disciplined, to respect authority without question, and to pursue excellence in everything he does.

  • You expect your child to do what you say immediately and without question.
  • Your child must pursue excellence in everything he does. Failure is not an option.
  • You compare your child’s accomplishments to other children. You shame them if you don’t feel they measure up to the standard you’ve set.

Helicopter parenting (Extremely involved and overly protective)

Helicopter parents control everything their children do. They are excessively involved in the decisions their children make from picking their friends to what coaches and teachers their children have. They have difficulty allowing their children to solve problems for themselves.

  • You need to be right beside your child at all times, just in case something happens.
  • You need to be part of every decision your child makes.
  • You need to solve all of your child’s problems for her.

So what’s next? What effect does all of this have on your children?

On the surface, some styles seem like the perfect way to parent. But, be aware of behaviors that can potentially cause psychological harm for your child as they mature.
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