My parents would not have put up with the crap my kids pull.
Question of the Day:
“My parents never would let me get away with the crap my kids pull on me. With one look I would have been silenced into obedience. What’s wrong with me that I have no control over my kids? How can I get my kids to respect and obey me the way I did my folks?”
Parent Educator Answer: Parenting Styles
- Strict and stern with lots of rules.
- “Children should be seen and not heard” (no emotions allowed)
- Demand blind obedience and mature, responsible behavior
- Consistent parenting with firm consequences when rules are broken.
- Prioritize children’s physical, emotional and social safety. Risk taking is discouraged.
Pro – This parenting style produces very well behaved children who (after a few years of teenage rebellion and some years in therapy) turn into productive members of society. These kids know what the rules are, and the consequences are predictable. Kids raised in the authoritarian parenting style learn to abide by social structures.
Con – Parents with the authoritarian style often use shame and threats to mold behavior. Kids learn that their natural tendencies (to express anger, exhuberance, or follow their inner compass) are inherently flawed. The feeling of worthlessness is common as is a difficulty feeling and expressing emotions. Eventually, these rule-following adults will find themselves unhappy and struggle to know what changes to make because they never learned how to trust their inner guidance.
- Very loving and affectionate, emotionally responsive.
- Few rules and guidelines, no demands on the child.
- Parents ignore a child’s misbehavior/Reject the notion of controlling children
- Expect kids to regulate themselves.
- Include children on big decisions.
- Give in to child’s demands
- Aren’t worried about safety, allow for natural consequences.
Pro – Permissive parenting can create a loving parent/child bond. These kids can become resourceful and confident enough to try new things. Have full access to their creativity and inner compass.
Con – Children raised without rules, struggle in our rule based society. They struggle with self discipline, respecting authority, happiness, financial responsibility, and social acceptance. Because permissive parents don’t regulate their child’s eating, these kids are more likely to be overweight. Children of permissive parents may approach new situations without caution, leading them to be more likely to experience substance abuse.
There are other parenting styles: free-range, helicopter, uninvolved. But the one I like to help moms strive for is the calm, assertive parenting style.
Parenting Style: The calm assertive parent
- Emotionally attuned to her child.
- Reciprocal, responsive relationship that adapts to the needs of the child.
- Mom sees herself as the authority and believes in her ability to make her children obey, but doesn’t abuse this power.
- Respectful of her kids temperaments, preferences and moods, but is also respectful of her own temperament, preferences and moods.
- Expects maturity and cooperation.
- Allows for natural consequences but also creates clear and predictable rules for behavior.
- Creates a home environment with love, respect, guidelines, predictability and warmth.
- No shaming, threatening or emotional manipulation.
- Kids are free to express all their emotions, exuberance, and creativity, with boundaries and responsibilities.
Pro – Kids raised by calm, assertive parents are more likely to become independent, self reliant, socially accepted, academically successful and well behaved. They are less likely to report depression or anxiety and engage in anti social behavior like delinquency and drug use.
Moms who discover their calm-assertive leadership energy are more likely to feel confident while parenting their kids. They are less likely to feel overwhelmed by everyday life, more likely to take frequent breaks. These moms can take a getaway or “momcation” and trust their family to manage fine without them.
My hunch is that the reason you don’t have as much control over your kids as your parents had over you, is that you don’t want to be an authoritarian parent. You want to have a good relationship with your kids. You are also living in a culture that does not support authoritarian parenting. In the “olden days”, to have control over your children’s behavior was widely accepted as the best way to parent. Teachers, neighbors, relatives, everyone agreed on how well behaved children should act.
Life Coaching answer:
What gets in our way from calm, assertive leadership parenting? Take a look in the rear view mirror.
Our parents give us our “default” setting. If you ask your kid to clean up his stuff, and he ignores you, take a look at your gut response and see if it’s similar to your parents.
If you attribute your success in life to your strict upbringing, chances are you will copy the same parenting style your parents modeled.
If you were raised by very authoritarian parents, and you resented their rigidity, went to therapy and became aware of how it damaged your self esteem, you might declare “I am never going to be so rigid and insensitive”. Then, anything that looked like rules, discipline, and structure might make you recoil. You can end up doing even more damage to your kids with a permissive parenting style because of your resistance to owning your power.
It is worth it to take the time to decide the kind of parent you want to be. Think about the outcomes you want to have and parent in a way that is aligned with your highest self.
Let’s put this front and center in our minds. Join me for a 5-day Confident Kid Challenge.
We all want our kids to feel confident, but we forget that confidence comes from competence. Let’s build our children’s competency by requiring more of them. Whether you want them to take on more responsibility for online learning, keep their room clean, or start cooking meals, we’ll do it together inside the “Confident Kid Challenge”.
Sign up by going to www.lifecoachingforparents.com/confident
Supermom Kryptonite – Either/Or thinking
If you think disciplining children and setting boundaries is “mean”, and you want to be nice, this will drain your energy and keep you stuck. If you think, “My children should obey me no matter what”, and never allow for negotiations, maintaining this level of control will exhaust you. You don’t have to think in terms of “either/or” when it comes to disciplining kids. You can be both, loving AND disciplined. You can show your kids that it’s ok to exuberant AND obedient, by giving them a wide berth, but holding very firm boundaries.
As moms, It’s important to remember that we can be both: scared and grateful, joyful and outraged, firm and nurturing. Let’s practice being fun and serious, reverent AND irreverent. We can crave alone time, and be lonely. It’s a weird world at a weird time. Let’s be all we can be and experience every last drop of life.
Supermom Power Boost – Board Games
One of the best ways to prepare kids to value following rules, is by playing board games. They won’t know they are learning but having to wait their turn, follow the instructions and learn how to win and lose gracefully is a great preparation for life. (Not to mention the fabulous math and reading skills they will gain without even realizing it.)
When the family comes together to play board games, kids enjoy the communal aspect of it. When they experience someone cheating, or bending the rules to suit themselves, it instills in the child a sense of justice. Kids learn that cheating is wrong and unfair. When you uphold the rules of the game, even when your kid complains, cries or throws a fit, it teaches them to respect that life has rules we all must live by in order to maintain peace.
Go to the Supermom is Getting Tired Facebook Group and share your favorite family board games!
Quote of the Day:
“Having kids — the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings — is the biggest job anyone can embark on. As with any risk, you have to take a leap of faith and ask lots of wonderful people for their help and guidance. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to parent.” ― Maria Shriver