It's no surprise that we inherit our parenting ideas and abilities from our own parents and caregivers. Even if you have decided to do "the opposite" of what your parents did, it still originates from what they did or did not do. Because our parenting styles are so ingrained in us, we rarely give it much thought, unless there is real stress in the family. Before you go calling the Supernanny, take a few moments to discover your parenting style(s), and how they may or may not be the best approach for your kids. (Remember, you may have more than one style, depending on the situation.
) 1. The Too-Busy Mom. The Too-Busy Mom is always on the go, rushing from work to the gym, to the grocery store, to baseball practice, to the dentist and to social events. Her schedule ? and consequently her kids' schedule ? is jam packed with obligations and leaves little room for spontaneous fun or relaxation. While the Too-Busy Mom is fantastic at exposing her kids to new experiences through classes, team participation and other activities, she may not make time to really connect with her family in simple ways.
2. The Overprotective Mom. The Overprotective Mom's main focus is on her child's physical, mental, spiritual, and sometimes social well-being.
She is concerned about the possible negative outcomes of every situation; her "child proofing" goes way beyond infancy. An Overprotective Mom is a champion for her kid's health and safety, and is informed about the possible dangers her kids face in the real world. On the other hand, she may be preventing her children from experiencing life, teaching them to "play it safe" when life requires us to take a risk now and then.
3. The Best Friend. The Best Friend Mom has a hard time saying "no" to her kids. Either because she believes in their autonomy or because she wants to avoid confrontation, the Best Friend Mom prefers not to limit her children and avoids punishment at all costs. While a Best Friend Mom is often able to create a haven at home, where children feel safe to be who they are and try new things, the lack of boundaries and consequences can actually stress children out and set them up for a lifetime of irresponsible behavior.
4. The Dictator. The Dictator Mom has the first and final say about anything and everything, and is never questioned or challenged.
She knows what is best for her family, and will not hear an argument to the contrary. While a Dictator Mom is confident in her parenting ability, values, and general decision making, her parenting style may make her children feel as though they do not have a voice in their own home. 5. The Overachiever.
The Overachiever Mom runs her family like a business, complete with to-do lists, calendars, and detailed instructions for basic activities. Her goal is success for all members of her family, and she gives up a lot to make it happen. The Overachiever Mom is organized, and helps to keep her family running smoothly. However, her goals for the children may not be in line with their own aspirations, and so her children may feel stuck on her path, or concerned they will let her down if they choose another. There are positives and negatives about each parenting style, and there are times when we have to be the authority, have an eye on our kid's futures, be the confidante, protect them from danger, and schedule activities for them.
But what we really need to recognize is how our parenting style may be affecting each of our children. What might work for one child may not be effective for another. One child may thrive under your style, while another may react negatively to what you bring as a parent. No matter what your parenting style is, just being aware of it will help you to be a better parent.
Karen Fusco is co-founder of SilkBow.com which supports Busy Moms with free gift ideas and helpful tips to meet the challenges of motherhood. She is also co-founder of WellnessArticles.net , a directory of articles covering many areas of wellness. Karen can be reached directly at: karen@SilkBow.com