One study shows that an important strength to being a very happy couple is the ability to come together around matters of parenting. These happy couples have discussed and come to an agreement on how to raise their children. Couples who find unity regarding discipline grow closer together and are much better equipped to manage the various things that come up during parenting.
There are 5 basic types of parenting styles. I want you to identify which one you think you are and which one your spouse operates in. Go through them with an attitude of wanting to know the truth about your style because if you are not willing to take an honest look at yourself, you won’t change, IF that is needed. And remember, you can’t change your spouse, (BUMMER!), only they can CHOOSE to change for themselves.
1) Authoritarian Style Parents have more rigid rules and expectations and they strictly enforce them. They expect and demand obedience from their children. They may show a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others and can be very domineering, almost dictatorial. The more extreme this type of parenting is, the more difficulty is seen in the children, especially teens, which tend to rebel against it. Kids of Authoritarian parents are often conflicted, irritable, moody and unhappy and more vulnerable to stress. Now, if there are problems in first marriages with this type of style, you can imagine the level of difficulty is only magnified in a stepfamily. No one is saying you shouldn’t have rules and expectations for your children, you certainly should. But if they are too rigid, unbending and demanding, the child will not be free to develop with emotional well-being. Now on the other end of the spectrum is the
2) Permissive Style These parents let the child’s preferences take priority over the parent’s ideals. They usually do not make the child conform to reasonable behavior standards. Expectations and rules are chaotic, not consistent and are easily manipulated by the child to get what they want. A loving friendship with the child is what the parent is after but it results in the child learning impulsive-aggressive behavior. The children often become rebellious, domineering and low-achievers.
3) Rejecting Parents do just that; they do not pay much attention to their child’s needs but have high expectations on how the child should behave. These families have little emotional connection; children aren’t even sure they are loved. An environment with high expectations with little emotional support causes the child to feel they aren’t good enough so they could have very low self-esteem and a variety of psychological problems.
4) Uninvolved Parents are neglectful parents. They often ignore the child and let the child do what they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with the parent’s activities. Just like the Rejecting Style of Parenting, these parents are emotionally uninvolved, but the difference is this style does not have many rules or expectations. Instead, they leave the child alone without consistent boundaries. Children of Uninvolved parents are usually withdrawn loners and under achievers.
5) Authoritative, not to be confused with authoritarian, style parents establish clear rules, expectations and limits. They are consistent and the child knows what to expect. They acknowledge the child’s opinion but they use both reason and power to enforce their standards. They are close to their children and flexible. Parent and child enjoy a loving relationship and the child finds it easy to respect and love their parent. The child benefits tremendously from this type of style, they have a safe environment with unconditional support, encouragement and affection. They know they are loved even if they don’t agree with all of the rules. Research on parenting has shown Authoritative Style to produce children who are emotionally healthier and happy, they are more successful in life and school and have greater values to live by. Obviously, this is the type of parenting we should strive for.
So which style are you? Do you need to make some changes? Does your spouse? ARE YOU BY ANY CHANCE THE SAME STYLE? My grandpa was a strict authoritarian, he was a colonel in the army and the same rules that applied in the military, applied with his family. He was so strict that none of us could be ourselves around him. We were all afraid of him because it seemed everything we did, was wrong. So we all tried to avoid him. How sad! My grandpa is gone now and I know he loved us all, but he could never develop the relationship with us that we all would have liked because he was so rigid in his rules and expectations. My grandma on the other hand, was close to everyone in the family. She was certainly authoritative, we knew the rules and obeyed them because we loved and respected her. None of us tried to avoid her, we loved being with her. And when needed, she disciplined us but we always knew we were loved and important to her.
Prov 22: 6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Train them, love them and be consistent.
(info taken from The Remarriage Checkup).