Note: Some of the links in this post may be affiliates. This means I may earn a small commission if you purchase from a link I have provided (at no extra cost to you). Please don't buy any tools or products unless you feel and believe they will help you in reaching your parenting, play or homeschooling goals! Please see my disclosure for more info!! Thanks for always supporting Parenting Puh-lease!
How To Find Your Perfect Parenting Style
If someone were to ask you what your parenting style was, what would you say?? Did you know there are different parenting styles?? I learned all about it when I went to school. But I also learned a really valuable lesson that I wanted to share with you. Are you ready for it?? Good!! In order to find your perfect parenting style…
Don’t Be Like Me
Now you are probably thinking what?! Huh!? How does this even make sense but hear me out. I thought I had my parenting act all together. In school we were challenged in many classes to find our teaching style and I truly feel like our teaching styles and the way we discipline mirrors over into how we parent. So I had done the work and I had thought about the importance of parenting styles. I thought I identified with Backbone parenting and had even applied it properly.
But, lately I wondered the effectiveness of my parenting when I was yelling more and more and feeling more and more unhappy in my parenting journey. Yesterday I snapped. I had a good cry and then I decided to evaluate my parenting style when a certain little at my house was doing everything to push everyone’s buttons. She was laughing while everyone else was in tears or mad. Consequences were not working and I felt like my little home was totally out of control. I wondered how things were going to be a year, five years from now and I shuddered.
Every choice I made as a parent was challenged by my girls. Every consequence I gave out was met with defiance and negotiated. Go sit we don’t hit was met with no no no I’ll say sorry!! Go to your room since you won’t leave your sister alone was met with screams of indignation or running out a million times until I got really angry and yelled.
And this is when I stopped and thought!! What the heck am I doing wrong?? I needed to go back and re-evaluate my parenting style!! Was I actually doing the work needed to create a balanced home or had I somehow let my girls negotiate me to death into being a jellyfish parent??
Now you are probably thinking… what’s a Jellyfish Parent?? What’s a Backbone parent??
Well, much like teaching styles for teachers; there are parenting styles for parenting! Do you remember being in school and wanting a certain teacher because they had a reputation for being fun?? But, you got the teacher everyone coined as mean, only to realize she was strict but actually an amazing teacher?? The different ways teachers teach in the classroom is very similar to how parents parent at home. Everyone does things a bit different but your beliefs of where you fit actually should fit into one of three parenting styles.
So let’s dive on in to the parenting styles and discuss why we all want to be back bone parents!! I came to a huge aha! moment when I discovered there are three types of parenting (there are actually four for psychology but I am going to assume anyone reading my blog is not aiming to be a neglectful parent and that is why I skipped it!):
The permissive parent (jellyfish)- is usually kind and loving. But their main desire and goal is to be a child’s friend first. There are few rules or expectations in the home, which means that a child has a lot more leniency given in the behavior that is displayed. Sometimes this means that the child will be running the household because the parent’s desire is to always be a friend first.
Authoritarian parent (brick wall)- this is the type of parent who is very strict and will often say “because I said so!” There is an expectation that a child must listen and obey. There is no room for negotiation and the rules set in place can not be changed or broken.
Authoritative parent (backbone)- this type of parent sets clear guidelines but explains why there are certain rules and expectations in place. There is room for discussion and negotiation as to why the rules and expectations are there. The authoritative parent will still be firm and provide discipline when needed.
In order to become a more effective and successful parent, I thought it was important that I go back and review the parenting styles and decide which one I wanted to be.
Did I want my children to be my friends? Lets be chummy chummy pals?
Did I want them to do as I say because I said so because I was the authority?
Or did I want my girls to do as I asked because they wanted to choose the right and be intrinsically motivated to always be bettering themselves so that they would be productive members of society?
My Parenting Choice
So I sat down and thought. And thought. And thought. In the end, for myself, it came down to the decision that I wanted to have children who wanted to do the right because it made them feel happy and good. I wanted them to choose the right because they were intrinsically motivated to do so. With that being said I think a child needs to be shaped and molded in a positive gentle manner to have that intrinsic desire to be the best they can be. However, I feel it comes more readily when we ourselves as parents are willing to admit our mistakes and work together as a family towards the goal of all becoming better citizens, family members, and friends.
If you want to know your perfect parenting style… look out below!!
If you are interested in learning your parenting style you can check out the following links to know which parenting style you fit into!
Parenting Quiz #1 – This test is only fifteen questions long and you answer by either showing how much you agree or disagree. In the end, you have three places for results and they tell you examples of how you would parent.
Parenting Quiz #2– this test asks you questions both on what you believe and then has example questions of how you respond to your child! I loved it because I was thinking that maybe my truthfulness in my answers would sway the test than what I answered for beliefs but it has come out consistent towards the other tests I have taken
Parenting Quiz #3 this last test is based solely on examples and you pick which best fits with what you would do. I like that if you want a straight up this is your parenting style than I would choose this one. The other two options above provide a bit more explanation on what is what and can aid in helping you discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Now you know your parenting style, so a word of caution:
Life gets busy, and that seems to be when our parenting takes a hit. We spend more time finishing up work projects or running children to activities and burn ourselves out that we don’t leave time to recharge ourselves. This is where I had failed. I knew what I had to do but when I was exhausted and didn’t give myself the proper time needed to recharge I let the girls negotiate those non-negotiable times when consequences should have been followed through. I was so scared to let my babies cry that I sometimes missed the whole point of parenting and teaching those little valuable lessons that in the end the girls needed to be better. Actually, I just wrote a post about it here, if you wanted to check it out!!
So, lesson learned; when momma isn’t refreshed then our connections and play with our babies suffer. I find with parenting, especially intentional parenting or nurturing through play, that it is a conscious decision that you have to make every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. It is easy to slip into old habits of how we were raised but we need to break that mold and come back stronger for our babes.
We don’t want to be jellyfish parents because let’s face it we can be a friend after they are adults and we have helped shape and invite them to be good citizens of the world. We don’t want to be brick wall parents and stomp the light or spirit out of them because lets face it our children don’t need to be broken they need to be loved. Rather we want to encourage, invite and inspire our dear littles to follow us and in our footsteps so that they can be the best they can be. This is where the magic happens; when you consciously decide to be a backbone parent. We need to allow our children the opportunity to have a voice but follow through when limits are pushed.
Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!