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Parenting Styles to Emulate and Avoid

After you recognize what your strengths are as a person, you can adapt them to your parenting and create a parenting style of your own. It will be yours, based on your individualism. It will be molded through time by your children's personality. What it won't be is something you've read out of a book. There are four different broad parenting styles, but only one that you should use as the foundation for your unique style.

Alert!

Most parents have a definition of what a "good" parent is and what a "bad" parent is. However, you should never be too quick to judge another family. Always remember that you haven't walked a mile in their shoes.

Parenting Styles Not to Emulate

The first parenting style you do not want to emulate is the indifferent style. The indifferent style is basically no parenting style at all. It is the uncaring parent who does nothing for his or her children. The parent lacks emotional involvement, and therefore the children tend to be unsupervised and unloved. You will need to be on the lookout for this type of parent. Your child's friends may be dealing with this style of parenting in their lives. While that is no reason not to allow a friendship, it is something you should keep watch on.

The second style is the authoritarian parenting style. The authoritarian parent believes in setting rules and limits; however, these limitations are more important than showing love or outward affection. They basically believe they are doing their job as parents if they are strict and unbending. They love their children by demanding obedience and respect. They have a hard time being empathetic and listening to their child's side of things. In this style, parents have all of the power and children have no say.

The third style is the permissive parenting style. The permissive parent is the polar opposite of the authoritarian parent. They are very good at being empathetic, but they have problems setting rules and limits. They parent by negotiation, and their children comply because of the relationship they have with their parents. In this style, children have all of the power and there is no respect for limits or rules.

The Parenting Style to Strive For

The fourth style is the balanced parenting style. This style of parent balances both the permissive and authoritarian styles. Parents are the leaders who enforce limits and rules with respect to each individual in the family. There is encouragement, cooperation, and love.

This style is obviously the one that parents should strive for. It is also imperative that you add your individualism to this style. There will be times when you feel the need to let your child take the lead and assert some of his own independence. When you do, you will be leaning toward a more permissive style, and that's okay! For instance, you are a thoughtful person who parents in the balanced style. Your teenage daughter's friend calls five minutes before bedtime because her dog has died and she needs someone to lean on. Your thoughtfulness (individual quality) is going to allow your child to stay up past her bedtime limit for that evening. That is a good thing, because life is never set in stone.

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From The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Successful Child Copyright © 2004, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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