“Parenting style” is one of those aggrandized balloon terms that kinda confuses me. Ideas about my disorientation regard the implied identification that there is one singular pattern of behavior a parent displays in the parenting of their children, regardless of the behavior of the child. Similar to the generality of numerology life path numbers and zodiac signs, the peculiar notion specifies that a parent dominantly reacts and interacts in such a comprehensively consistent way that is quantifiable to psychologists. It is particularly a haphazard, hasty sort of standardization when we think about how many hats a parent must wear at a given moment and how often those hats must change when our children become manic.
However, it is correct to say that I have considered if I have a parenting style and if that style can shine some reflection on the mirrors that are my little ones. What do I call my “style,” and how specifically accurate is my perception?
Western society has a justified obsession with attempts at cause and effect, which is reflected in our understanding of just what a parenting style is and how it can affect how we raise our children, consequently impacting the adults our children become.
Kendra Cherry of VeryWell explained, “During the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool age children. Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews, and other research methods, she identified some important dimensions of parenting. These dimensions include disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturing, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control. Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. Further research by Maccoby and Martin also suggested adding a fourth parenting style to these original three.” (Cherry, 2017)
The four aggregate parenting styles are often referenced as “authoritarian,” “authoritative,” “permissive,” and “uninvolved/neglectful/hands-off.” Another parenting website, Positive-Parenting-Alley.com, presents additional styles to examine: positive, attachment, unconditional, spiritual, slow, narcissistic, helicopter, and toxic (“12 Different Types of Parenting Styles and Child Discipline Strategies”)
Emphasis on each of the four leading styles can be found here, but it is heavily suggested that the authoritative parenting style is far most preferable for the broadest successful rearing of children. While this psychology regarding the authoritative parenting style compared to the alternate three is evidenced, the other styles clearly have “Yes, but…” explications: “These can work, but…no.”
I can be a lot of authoritative, but also a lot of unconditionally-permissively-spiritually-positive-with-a-side-of-attached-neglectful-authoritarian.
On a Tuesday.
That’s a mouthful.
But that must be my “parenting style.” Paired with my husband teammate, however, we are much more.
My husband and I greatly value our family and invest in a variety of resources and assets to ensure that our children are granted meaningful growth experiences. We practice the law of accountability and the likelihood of the “end game” as models for our kids: what’s the big picture goal to achieve in this particular process? Education has always been a paramount priority, especially for me as a former English professor and having derived from a line of teachers. Each day is a teaching tool empire of academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual lessons. Each day, we expect and enforce learning, but we play, too. We lead by example; the hubs and I understand that Jrue and Jai will be just as excellent human beings if we show them what that excellence looks like. Decency, goodness, respect, work ethic, ambition, brilliance, communication, and charm are all in our parenting style cocktail.
Today, Jrue declared his first and last name and age in complete sentences, which is what we have been working on this week. He waves hello politely without prompt and excitedly addresses family members by title and name. Jai comprehends authority and knows that “no” usually means “unsafe.” She is easy to relocate for re-focus if touching something that does not belong to her. They are happy, curious, comical children who love exploring the world around them through activity. They have so much logical sense and so much a solid sense of self so young.
If this means that our parenting style is “working,” whichever name it falls under, we’ll take it and keep going. We have a long way to travel, and one can never be too sure that their path is the absolute most prized.
Cherry, Kendra. “Parenting Styles: What They Are and Why They Matter. ” VeryWell, Apr. 13, 2017, https://www.verywell.com/parenting-styles-2795072. Accessed Jul. 14, 2017.
Morin, Amy. “4 Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Kids.” VeryWell, May 15, 2017, https://www.verywell.com/types-of-parenting-styles-1095045. Accessed Jul. 14, 2017.
“12 Different Types of Parenting Styles and Child Discipline Strategies.” Positive-Parenting-Alley.com, n.d., http://www.positive-parenting-ally.com/types-of-parenting-styles.html. Accessed Jul. 14, 2017.