Parenting styles – growing as a parent

Understanding the different styles and adopting the right one helps us navigate the ups and downs of family life, but is also key in respect of how we encourage our children on a journey of faith.

One mum shared with us how learning about the parenting styles has already helped in her own journey as a parent.  

As a mother of a toddler I have been looking at the natural way I have begun to parent. My personality is one where boxes get ticked, everything is done in a very specific order and if that order is disturbed I can very quickly find myself in a meltdown. I watch how I respond to my daughter when a firm ‘no’ is not listened too, when little hands continually try to get into the cat litter box or when food is spat out when it’s not a biscuit.

Naturally I think I sway towards the authoritarian parent – rules are rules and that is that! Whilst this may suit my personality and help me to feel fully in control, I don’t want the way I might naturally parent to make my little girl feel hemmed in or become resentful. Even at her young age I love watching her discover new things and I want her to live in awe and wonder at the world.

I know that some parents don’t set firm boundaries. They want to give their children free rein to discover. They love to see their child make their own choices, to just have fun and to be their best friend. For me, I think the permissive parenting style would fill my organised world with chaos and anxiety.

The assertive parent is one that sticks out to me as attainable – ‘firm but fair’. I want to set boundaries that protect my child, but be willing to have conversations as she gets older and questions them. “The reason you can’t put your hands in the cat litter box is because it’s dirty, and you could get ill.”

I know that I’m not always going to get it right, some days I’m going to be tired and react in the wrong way. Maybe the words “because I said so” will leave my mouth and I won’t feel like explaining my thought process. I am human! My children will certainly know that. But I think that at least aiming for the assertive style more often than not, rather than complete control all of the time, might just be a good way forward for me.

You can find out more about the parenting styles in our book Raising Faith – available to purchase here.

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