Assessing Your Parenting Style
By Beverly Frank
Each person has a parenting style. While experts have categorized the
various types of parenting into three or four styles, the fact is that
each of us has our own parenting style that is unique to our particular
personality characteristics and philosophies on how children should be
raised. The way we were raised, our morals, values, and what we want for
our children often dictates how we parent them. Some parenting styles
are more effective than others.
In order to assess your parenting style, and whether or not it is
effective, you need to first understand how you view parenting. Most
people view their role as a parent from a looking glass created by the
way they were parented. For example, most people's parenting styles are
for the more part influenced by the things we experienced at the hands
of our own parents. We are likely to incorporate into our own style some
aspects of our parents' styles, such as their way of disciplining, their
favorite phrases, etc. They are familiar to use, and this is why we
often use them. However, in some cases, we develop a parenting style
that seems to be the opposite of those of our parents', especially if we
feel there was something objectionable or ineffective in their style.
The reason you want to assess your parenting style is that some styles
are more effective for helping your children be healthy, productive,
responsible, independent people as they grow up. For example, an
over-indulgent parenting style often leads to children thinking they are
entitled to things, rather than teaching them to appreciate what they
have and work for it. Children who are parenting by authoritarian
parents often are well behaved, but also have lower self esteem, and do
not socialize very well. Children raised by authoritarian parents are
often the most well rounded. They learn to follow rules and behave well,
but they also learn to be independent and think for themselves. Those
raised by permissive parents often do not learn responsibility because
they are usually rewarded or bribed to do as they should, rather than
just doing it because it is what is right, in addition, they often have
low self esteem because the parent is trying to be their friend rather
than their parent. As you can see, there are several different
approaches to parenting, and each have different results.
When assessing your parenting style ask yourself the following
Is your child well adjusted socially?
Is your child responsive to your requests?
Does your child follow rules?
How is your child's self esteem?
Does your child show independence?
As you ask yourself these questions, evaluate what changes you can make
in your parenting style to help your child be more of who you want them
to be as they grow.
The following are the type of characteristics you should display as a
parent in order to help your child develop into an upstanding citizen,
every child requires slight adjustments based on their personality, but
for the most part you want to be:
Demanding, yet responsive.
Assertive, but not intrusive.
Supportive, rather than punitive.
Set high expectations and rules, but allow for
communication and independence.
Basically your goal should be to set rules, and expect your child to
follow them, but not in a restricted way. Instead, you expect them to
participate in the rules, and exercise independence.
Beverly Frank is a stay-at-home mom and writer. For more parenting tips, visit