What Type of Parent Are You Really?

What Type of Parent Are You Really?

How many of you said you were never going to say what your parents said to you? More than that, how many of you now say what they used to say to you and now YOU sound just like THEM!! This just goes to show that what parents model STICKS!

There are three types of parents, and who you are as a parent has a lot to do with the way your child responds to you. I’ve talked about this in depth in other books (Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours is a good resource)

Let me give you the summarized version.

Does this sound like you?

“Buford, have you chosen to go to bed yet?”

Do you want to make sure your child never fails? Are you continually doing things for your child that he could do for himself? Are you your child’s best friend at every turn? Do you find it hard or impossible to say no to him? Promising a reward if he does what you ask?

A permissive parent:

-Places the priority on the child, not on his or her spouse.
-Robs the child of self-respect and self-esteem by doing things for her that he child can do for himself
-Provides the child with the “Disneyland” experience; make things as easy as possible-does homework for the child.. etc..
-Invites rebellion with inconsistent parenting

Does this sound like you?

“You go to bed RIGHT NOW!”

Are you always right? Do you bark out orders to your kid and threaten him with warnings if he doesn’t immediately do what you say? Do you tell him how to do life in no uncertain terms?

An authoritarian parent:

-Makes all decision for the child
-Uses reward and punishment to control the child’s behavior
-Sees himself as better than the child
-Runs the home with an iron hand; grants little freedom to the child

Does this sound like you?

“Let me know when you’ve brushed you teeth, and I’ll come in a tuck you in”

Do you ask your children the facts about a situation and what they think about it before you jump to conclusions? Do you give them age-appropriate choices? D o you look out for their welfare, yet allow them to experience the consequences of their behaviors?

An authoritative or responsible parent:

-Gives the child choices and formulates guidelines with him
-Provides the child with decision-making opportunities
-Develops consistent, loving discipline
-Holds the child accountable
-Lets reality be the teacher
-Conveys respect, self-worth, and love to the child and therefore enhances the child’s self-esteem

You as the parent are in the position to leave an indelible mark on your child. And you do it often without even being aware of it! The truth is, both extremes (permissive and authoritarian) will cause children to rebel. What a permissive parent, there are no guidelines, and children flounder. With the authoritarian parent, everything is heavy-handed. The wise parent finds middle ground!

Put it into practice!

Let’s say you are sitting down for dinner, and your child isn’t crazy about your food choice of pork chops.

The permissive parent would say, “Oh, honey, do you want a cheeseburger instead? I’ll get up right now and make one for you!”

The authoritarian parent would say “Eat it! Pork chops are good for you. And you better clean your plate.”

The authoritative parent would say, “I know pork chops aren’t your favorite, but that’s what I made for dinner tonight. If you want to make yourself something else afterward, that’s fine. But thanks for sitting with us at dinner anyway. Dinner as a family is important” The authoritative parent is majoring on the relationship and minoring on everything else!

For more of Dr. Kevin Leman’s resources, click HERE.


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