The Best Style for Parenting Today
Parenting today is certainly very different from parenting in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Although parenting styles remain the same, there has been an emphasis shift as to which styles are more predominant for parenting today.
The permissive parenting style, for example, was very popular in the 50’s and 60’s. As a reaction to the dictatorships of other nations during World War II, parents took more of a hands-off approach of parenting. This allowed the children to make their own decisions and think for themselves. When the children misbehaved, parents usually did little to correct it. Unfortunately, children raised by permissive parents have trouble in a populated society and have difficulty conforming to rules of the workplace. When misbehavior is ignored, children are given no boundaries as to the right and wrong way to behave. This can lead to aggressive behavior later in life, especially in trying to meet their own desires.
The authoritarian parenting style, too, was popular in the sock-hop era. The “my way or the highway” approach instills in the child that there is only one correct way of doing things – the parent’s. This teaches the child that only one authority figure is right and the children have trouble finding their own way. Consequently, some children might fall into listening to an undesirable element, not knowing if it is the correct one.
Parenting today might command more of an assertive-democratic parenting approach. With this style, children are given guidelines for behavior. Although they are given the latitude to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for themselves, they are disciplined appropriately when they cross the pre-established boundaries. Parenting today also involves the parents working with the children in a problem-solving mode in order for the child to learn alternative ways to satisfy their desires. Children who are overly out of control will be given a time-out instead of being punished.
In today’s society, where everything is fast-paced and changes quickly, the assertive-democratic parenting style is appropriate. Choices are plentiful today, and it is important to teach the children to arrive at a good decision, as there is more than one “correct” way to approach something. Children raised by assertive-democratic parents are able to meet change head-on, can make decisions, accept responsibility, and have the tools to thrive in the collaborative workforce.
Your Core Parenting Tips Can Change How You Raise Your Child
Some people go through life wondering how their lives would have been different if only their parents had done one thing or another. They wonder what could have been had their folks taken some parenting tips to heart. Yet when they become parents themselves, they end up repeating the very behavior they now lament. There is an exercise that parents can perform which will help them to break that cycle.
Ask yourself one question: What are one or two parenting tips that would make the biggest difference in your own child’s life? Think about that for a moment. Take a few minutes free of distractions. Relax and really think about the question. What impact will that one tip have on the quality of your life, your child’s life, and your relationship? Then write your parenting tips down. It is not enough to verbalize it in your head. You must write the parenting tips down on a piece of paper and read it to yourself. In most cases, what you wrote down will reveal to you the very essence of your own parenting beliefs.
When you write it down, it forces you to stick with what you came up with. If you are having difficulty with determining your core beliefs, visualize that your child has grown up with children of her own and has come to you for parenting advice.
After you have written it down, reflect upon your own childhood. How were you raised? How did your parents treat you? How did they respond to you when you needed them, physically and emotionally? How did your upbringing shape your feelings about yourself? In reflecting on your own upbringing, think about what their core belief was that guided their own parenting, as if you had gone to them and asked them that very question. Try to distill your parents’ beliefs into one or two sentences and write that down below your own core belief. If mom and dad had different beliefs, write each one down.
Now see how your beliefs compare to theirs. How similar or different are they? What are your reactions to what you have written down?
Performing this exercise allows you to take a long, hard look at yourself and your upbringing. Once you can communicate this to yourself, you can make adjustments of your own.