Is Your Parenting Style Responsive Or Reactive?


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The #1 Ultimate Empowerment Toolkit for Parents.

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Is Your Parenting Style Responsive Or Reactive?

  1. 1. ==== ====The #1 Ultimate Empowerment Toolkit for Parents ====Do you know your parenting style? Its important to think about because the way you raise yourchild can affect his entire life, including his ability to have relationships with others. Basically, thereare three schools of thought when it comes to raising children. In this article, I will explore all threeand propose a fourth.Your parenting style is usually determined by the way your parents raised you. Although this is ahard truth for some parents to swallow, if youve ever found yourself acting just like your parents,then you know that this is true. Unless youve taken the time to think about how you want to raiseyour kids and what you plan to do differently, then the method youll resort to is the one that wasused on you.Which parenting style best describes how you interact with your kids?AuthoritarianAre you a parent who demands obedience? Do you forbid your children to question you? If so, youare an authoritarian parent.With an authoritarian parenting style, there is no question about whos in charge. The parent is theboss and demands respect from the child who is expected to obey without question. A child whodisobeys is reprimanded, shamed or punished.Drawbacks of authoritarian parenting:The parents relationship with the child is like master and slave. The child may be respectful of theparent, but primarily because he is afraid of him. Such a child usually perceives the parent asbeing cold and distant.A child who is coerced into good behavior may only act appropriately when adults are watching.Punishment doesnt teach a child to be a moral human being--it teaches kids how to avoid gettingcaught.Parents who demand respect often do not treat their children respectfully. Such a child may growup feeling bad about himself. Because his parents were not responsive to his needs, he may notbe able to form healthy relationships with others.
  2. 2. A child who is raised to be compliant may act robotically and be unable to think for himself.PermissiveDo you let your kids run wild? Do you let your child make his own decisions and choose not tocorrect him when he is disrespectful or insensitive? If so, you are a permissive parent. This type ofparenting is often a reaction by those who were raised by authoritarian parents and want theirchildren to have a better childhood than they did. Unfortunately, like most knee-jerk reactions, thistype of parenting is extreme.Permissive parenting is a parenting style in which parents let their children do what they will. Apermissive parent acts more like a peer, than an authority figure. Little is done to teach appropriatebehaviors.Drawbacks of permissive parenting:Since this child may have been over-indulged, he may grow up to be self-entitled.The child may not be sensitive to others feelings and may have difficulty forming relationships.The child may have problems in school.A child who has been encouraged to make decisions for himself that he has not developed thematurity to make, may feel confused, overwhelmed or paralyzed at the thought of taking action inthe world.Like the child raised by an authoritarian parent, this child has not had a parent who acts in his bestinterest. As a result, he may feel that there is no one he can trust.AuthoritativeThe final is the authoritative parenting style. (Todays literature refers to this style as assertive-democratic.) This method recognizes that children need to learn to make their own decisions, butmust be taught how to do so over time. Such a parent responds to the childs needs but alsoteaches the child to be sensitive to the needs of others. Although authoritative parents havehousehold rules which they expect their children to follow, they encourage questions and arewilling to negotiate in some circumstances. This parenting style consistently produces childrenwho are self-starters, perform well in school and get along with others.
  3. 3. Rather than being at either end of the spectrum, this parenting style is somewhere in the middle.Rather than being a reaction, it is a response to what children really need from us. As we practicebeing authoritative parents, our ideas about parenting evolve. While children do need a guide toteach them integrity, how to get along with others and how the world works, they also need aloving, trustworthy guide. Parenting is about connection and engagement. When you understandthis, you can create a beautiful relationship with your child. I call this fourth and distinctly differentparent style, connection-engagement and explore it fully in my book, Keepers of the Children.Although during times of stress, we may unconsciously resort to the parenting style used by ourparents, it is possible to unlearn this programming and raise children in a way that is humane andrespectful--a way that resonates with your heartfelt vision for your child.About the author: Laura Ramirez is the author of the award-winning book, Keepers of the Children:Native American Wisdom and Parenting - Thisunique book combines ancient native ideas (like stewardship) with cutting-edge psychology toshow parents how to raise children to develop their natural strengths and grow up to leadpurposeful and fulfilling lives. It is a book about connection, caring and engagement.Laura is also the publisher of Family Matters Parenting Magazine which features insights into thecore issues todays parents face - http://www.parenting-child-development.comArticle Source: ====The #1 Ultimate Empowerment Toolkit for Parents ====