Feeling overwhelmed with your duties as a parent?
Having worked with many parents from the perspective of a 24-7 childcare provider (ie. Nanny… didn’t I make that sound fancy!?), teacher, coach and family therapist, I have found two very popular parenting styles be most prevalent: both forms stemming from fears and insecurities:
Type 1- My Child’s The Boss Fear-Based Parenting: Parenting children from a place of fear of conflict; afraid for their children to get upset, afraid of making parenting mistakes or afraid of being judged by others regarding their parenting.
Type 2- I Am The Boss: Parenting from a personal insecurity and, thus, constantly seeking and demanding control. This is the feeling of “I must do…” in order to be successful and shows up in the form of constant demands, micromanaging and over-scheduling the kiddos.
First of all, no, I am not here to berate parents on their parenting skills. Unless they received a Masters in Parenting My Children, I do not expect parents to have this down. There is no manual for raising children and just as soon as we feel we have something mastered, our child grows and changes. I just wanted to give some tips and tricks that have helped me and many parents across the US feel more confident about their parenting styles and skills.
1. You know what is best. No, really. Trust your gut. When it comes to your child, you know when they are at their best and you know when they are having a hard time. You also know, deep down, what you need to do in MOST circumstances, whether you want to take that action or not.
2. What is best is probably not easy. The Type 1 parent may try to avoid setting boundaries in fear of getting their child upset. The Type 2 parent will constantly set boundaries, discipline every unwanted behavior and attempt to prevent and intervene every conflict or imperfection. Both extremes are in attempt to make their, and their child’s, life easier. Surprise surprise, life actually gets HARDER for them all. Child 1 is a bull in a china shop with few manners. Child 2 lives in fear of being berated or controlled, and/or ends up becoming more passive aggressive, sneaking behind the parent’s backs to get away with things. So, I ask parents to be honest and ask themselves, “Am I making this parenting decision because I am just tired or want an easy fix, or because it is really what is best?”
3. Yes, others are looking! Type 1 parents is going to feel judged and, thus, will placate and give in to a misbehaving child. The Type 2 parent will fear judgement and will, thus, feel the need to do more or say more. But I promise you, the likely-hood that others could do a “better” job is slim to none. You are doing just fine. Keep telling yourself this.
For more information on parenting styles and skills contact Lindsay Burke, M.S., at [email protected]. You can also book a free consultation or a session through the website.