When my husband and I had our first child, we had decided that our parenting style won’t be typical; we wanted it to be friendly. My husband wanted to be our son’s buddy who he could play with, go fishing with and talk about sports for hours. I, on the other hand, wanted to be his soundboard who he could tell anything without the fear of being judged! As he grew up, we realized that though being friends with him was important to establish a pleasant bond, it was equally important for us to be the quintessential “strict parents” when the situation demanded. We realized that striking the right balance in our parenting style is crucial to ensure that our kids grow up to be responsible, independent, and well-rounded adults.
Five ways to help you know if your parenting style strikes the right balance
- Are You Commanding Or Communicative With Your Parenting Style? – Throughout my life, I have come across many families where parents play the dominant role in deciding everything that their kids do or say. According to me, such an overly controlling nature can make children very shy and self-conscious. It can impact their core personalities and make them very closed and insecure individuals who end up doubting their capabilities. On the other hand, a communicative parenting style encourages kids to voice their opinions, be heard and makes them believe that their points of view matter. It also helps them understand their parents’ perspective better, without getting unhappy and dissatisfied.
- Are You Indulgent Or Practical? – We all have an endless list of wants, but not everything we want is what we can get. Kids need to be taught this by words or actions, as no child is born with the understanding of right or wrong. Being a mother of two, I understand that our kids’ happiness is of prime importance to us. What’s more important, however, is making them understand that everything can’t be done according to their whims and fancies. Setting boundaries about acceptable demands and behavior is crucial to make kids realize that you work hard to ensure a secure and happy livelihood for everyone in the family, and they should respect that. Being over indulgent with kids can make them experience a lot of trouble with their teachers and peers at school and with their colleagues at work in future.
- Are You Demanding Or Encouraging? – Every parent wants their child to be successful. We do all we can to ensure that we provide them with the right upbringing and education to see them grow up to succeed in all their endeavors. However, pressurizing a child to excel at school and criticizing him for his failures can pull down his morale and create a lot of self-doubt within him. Encouraging him and offering a ray of hope can, instead, do wonders to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
- Are You Over Protective Or Vigilant? – As parents, it is natural for us to be concerned about our kids’ safety. Nobody wants their kids to face the brunt of the misuse of modern technology, bullying or drug abuse. That said, caging up kids, escorting them everywhere and stifling their freedom can make them extremely resentful and edgy. Maintain an open communication system and ensure that your child keeps you informed about his actions, but avoid imposing excessive restrictions on him. Your over-controlling parenting style will only add fuel to your child’s rebellious attitude.
- Are You Rigid Or Accommodating? – Every child is special in his way. My son has great flair for sports, while my daughter, who’s very theatrical, loves to sing and dance. As parents, it is our duty to understand what sets our child apart and to encourage that spark! Sure all of us have dreams for our kids, but as kids grow, they also develop their share of dreams and aspirations for themselves. Instead of repressing your kids’ interests and imposing your ideologies on them, you should be considerate towards their hobbies and provide them with an outlet to further fuel their aptitude for it.
There is no rule book to define ideal parenting. You learn along its journey that promises a good mix of successes and failures. One thing, however, that’s important to understand is that a good balance in your parenting style is extremely crucial in ensuring a healthy relationship with your kids while helping shape a secure future for them. I truly believe that too much of anything is a bad thing, don’t you think so?