What is My Parenting Style?
As parents, we carry the future with us from the first day we bring our children home. That’s a responsibility we shouldn’t take lightly. And that’s also why parenting decisions can feel tough and never-ending. Making these difficult choices all the time is (almost) as exhausting as those first few weeks with a newborn. We’ve all had those thoughts. Am I doing a good job? Are my children happy? Do I really have any idea what I’m doing? But the beauty of parenthood is that we all do it a little differently. There’s no right or wrong way to parent. Understanding your own parenting style can give you more confidence in your decisions and create stronger bonds between you and your mini-mes, so they grow to thrive and flourish, wherever in the world they end up. Read on to see if you find yourself within these modern approaches to parenting.
If your mantra is “kids will be kids” and believe independence is an essential part of childhood, your parenting style might be the Free Spirit. Free-spirited parents are all about giving their children the freedom to explore, make their own decisions, and learn from their mistakes. They believe that the best way for kids to learn and grow is through trial and error and experiencing whatever they’re drawn to. Now, that doesn’t mean letting them run wild with no rules whatsoever. Instead, it’s all about creating safe spaces that allow for exploration and adventure. The goal is to raise children who are creative, self-sufficient, and unafraid of failure.
For older kids, this may mean permission to ride their bike around the neighborhood alone. For toddlers, it may look like a “Yes Zone,” a space that’s safe for unsupervised play.
When it comes to your children, you’re always ready to come to their defense. Your main goal is to ensure your littles are protected and on the path to success. If that sounds like you, your parenting style most resembles The Mama Bear. A full schedule is the Mama Bear’s secret weapon – setting their littles up for success and keeping them from getting into trouble. These parents believe in firm rules and high standards to help their children reach their highest potential. They’re behind their children every step of the way, whether for academic success, showing up for basketball practice, or making sure they’re leading a well-rounded life. The goal of this parenting style is to instill a respect for the rules and discourage quitting.
For older children, this can mean signing up for a desired extracurricular activity they have to stick with for a determined period of time. For younger kiddos, this can mean following a regular activity schedule every day.
If your perspective on parenting is about striking the right balance, meet your parenting village with the Balanced parents. The central tenet of the Balanced parenting style is to find the happy medium to be both firm and supportive. Rules and structure are necessary for the day-to-day, but they aren’t there to be followed without reason. Balanced parents also believe that the best way to teach their children is through example and experience – being the role model for the behavior they want their children to emulate.
For younger children, this might look like a set feeding and sleep schedule that moves up or down based on the child’s needs. For elementary-aged children and older, this might look like explaining the logic behind the rules when your child breaks them (why we can’t throw toys at people or why we have to go to bed at a certain time).
If you don’t feel like any of these parenting styles resonate with you, don’t fret. You’re not alone! As long as you focus on doing what’s best for your family, you’ll be able to enjoy the adventure, instead of worrying about whether or not you’re doing it “right.”
You’ll likely end up parenting your own way, mixing and matching different types of parenting styles as your child develops. The result will be a parenting style that’s uniquely you and perfectly tailored to your children. You’re doing a great job. And the future is bright!