Being a parent is a life-changing phase that comes with both positive and negative effects.
It requires lots of sacrifices as it’s no longer just about you, but also about your kids. Being a parent means that you’re going to make choices that affect not just you but your child also.
This can lead to you questioning yourself to know if you are doing things the right way. Are you being too harsh? Are you being too soft? This is often accompanied by uncertainty after every important decision.
Types of Parenting Style
- Authoritative parenting
- Authoritarian parenting
- Permissive parenting
- Neglectful parenting
- Gentle parenting
Authoritative parenting is a style of parenting that combines both calmness and firmness. Authoritative parents prioritize their children while still making the best decisions. They always act in their kid’s best interests, but with a sense of calmness and understanding that the kids might not always agree with them.
Instead of strictly enforcing rules, they take the time to explain and involve the kids in the decision-making process, fostering understanding and compassion.
Authoritarian parents like to be in control. For them, It’s either the “my way or no way” mindset. They believe that making the best decisions for their kids is key, regardless of their kid’s objections or emotions. They want what’s best for the kids, but they may be a little too inflexible in their decisions.
For instance, if a parent wants the child to go to bed early while the child wants to stay up a bit later, an authoritarian parent would simply command the child to go to bed without explaining the benefits of a good night’s rest for the child’s well-being.
Permissive parents as the term implies means that as a parent you’re more open to “allowing” than “enforcing”. You believe in allowing the kids to have their way rather than putting them through.
You make the rules but are open to objections and even breaking the rules because you try to understand where they’re coming from and why they’re acting in that manner rather than facing the likely outcome of their actions. For permissive parents it’s more of “I was a kid once, and I did worse, so I’ll let kids be kids.”
Neglectful parenting is almost like the kids have absent parents, showing little interest or involvement in your kids’ lives. It involves allowing children to do as they please as long as it doesn’t bother you, without setting any rules or boundaries.
This can be categorized as the worst form of parenting because the kids are usually left on their own without any form of guidance and support at a young age.
Gentle parenting is full of nurturing. There’s a lot of consideration and compassion involved in this type of parenting. There’s the belief that there’s no need to be harsh to kids to train them. Instead, it prioritizes making kids feel seen and heard, encouraging them to express their emotions and needs while validating their feelings. Gentle parents strive to calmly see things from their kid’s perspectives, promoting a peaceful environment with no yelling or malice, even during arguments. They prioritize being considerate, understanding, communicative and respectful in their parenting style.
Why Your Parenting Style isn’t Working
There are many reasons why your parenting style may not be working and some of these reasons are
- Your Parenting Method is ineffective: While knowing the type of parenting style you want to adopt is important, it’s even more essential that it’s compatible with your kid. Some kids might be a little too stubborn and may require clear boundaries, making gentle parenting less effective for them.
- You don’t practice what you preach: Kids always observe and may imitate deviant behaviour if they witness you going against your instructions. It’s thus important to incorporate the values you want to see in your kids into your daily life as well. Be a reflection of the qualities you want your kids to practice
- No clear boundaries: Regardless of the parenting style you practice, boundaries are very important. It’s essential to establish clear rules and boundaries for the kids to follow. Though leniency is acceptable, the boundaries must be clearly defined and adhered to. Allowing frequent disregard of boundaries can undermine your parenting approach.
- Unrealistic expectations: it’s essential not to have unrealistic expectations from your kids. Do not project your needs on the kids in the form of expectations as this may only end up distancing them from you. Remember, they are kids and should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Avoid expecting them to be perfect, as even parents aren’t perfect themselves. Embrace their imperfections and support their growth.
- Lack of effective communication: Every parenting style requires effective communication. Your parenting skill might be faltering because you haven’t incorporated effective communication with your kids. While it’s natural to take charge, remember that they have emotions and objections too, and it’s important to listen to them and consider their perspectives.
What to do when your parenting style isn’t working
- Identifying the issue: To become a better parent, take the time to relearn and understand your child’s unique nature. Consider the possible reasons that might be causing your kid to become distant or disobedient as identifying problems could be an effective way of building a stronger connection with your kid.
- Be patient: Raising kids requires the utmost patience. You have to take your time to know and understand your kid
- Show the kid unconditional love to assure them they’re not alone and that you will always support them.
- Do not invalidate your kid’s feelings: Listen to them talk and express themselves without shutting them out.
- Communicate with your kids: Explain the reasons behind your decisions, seek their opinions, listen to their concerns, and make sure they understand the “why” behind the choices you make.