November 2019 Archives

What is your Parenting Style?

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So - the holidays are coming up, and you will have kids home from school for a good chunk of time. How about trying out some new parenting ideas?

Let's imagine there are two sets of descriptors for our style as a parent: high or low affection and high or low control. Let me explain:

AFFECTION: Warmth, appropriate praise when necessary (always true, specific, and helpful), physical contact, laughter, and shared joy...

CONTROL: Be the adult, set bedtimes, know where your kids are, limit screen times, have chores, expect respect for all, have consequences for wrong choice



High affection/low control: "My Johnny can do no wrong! You feel sad about that poor test grade? Here, have a cookie and a hug...I am going to bed but you can stay up with your video games..." Spoiled children abound these days: you are creating a recipe for future disaster!

Low affection/high control: "Do this because I say so?...Why are you so stupid?...Go to your room - I wish I never had kids..." Drill sergeant parenting can be joyless for all: you may get results but they are based upon fear and shame.

Low affection/low control: "I don't care where you go, just get out of here...I am going out - there $10 on the table for dinner....why can't I just have some peace? Get lost, will you?..." Parenting that is this self-centered is bound to fail and lead to recklessness for all. Kids need loving guidance - something to push against - if they are to understand boundaries, have respect for others, and develop a sense of responsibility to family, community, and the world at large.

High affection/high control: "Yes, I love you, but that behavior is will pay for the broken toy through chores around the house...I know you are sad about school today but you still have to stay in and study for that re-test..." You get the picture, yes?

Our children are not our friends: we need to be the adult in the room. Children are also not ready to be in charge of themselves without loving guidance. Think about your style within this framework: might you want to try some new ideas?

Blessings to all as this holiday season approaches. Please join me for a free parenting discussion at the City Island Community Center on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7:30 pm: DEALING WITH THE HOLIDAYS: Survival Skills for Parents.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2019 is the previous archive.

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