Sunday, May 06, 2012

Parenting styles..

Before I began my writing on the above topic, here was how our gathering for today came about. Some weeks ago, I started a group chat with 3 other of my secondary school girl friends. I would say it was quite an interesting start as our first thought was to have a gathering of some sort for us since it had been eons since we had come together. There were 11 adults and 7 children in total in my humble flat today. Imagine the chaos. I was expecting worst but guess God had planned a smooth and wonderful gathering for us all. Here is the best picture taken from all (literally) of the children who were in at my flat earlier today.

Anyway back to the topic: what is your parenting style?

Today, so many of came together and our obvious parenting styles reveal all about us and our children. 

According to Wikipedia search, here are some of the common parenting styles that we adopt:
  • Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parents, also called 'assertive democratic' or 'balanced' parent, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectations of maturity. Authoritative parents can understand how their child are feeling and teach them how to regulate feelings. They often help their children to find appropriate outlets to solve problems. Authoritative parents encourage children tot be independent but still places controls and limits on their actions.
  • Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting, also called strict parenting, is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between parent and child. Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive parenting style in which parents make their children to follow their directions and to respect their work and effort. Authoritarian parents expect much of their child but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries.
  • Indulgent Parenting

Indulgent parenting, also called permissive, nondirective or lenient, is characterized as having few behavioral expectations for the child. "Indulgent parenting is a style of parenting in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them." Parents are nurturing and accepting, and are very responsive to the child's needs and wishes. Indulgent parents do not require children to regulate themselves or behave appropriately. This may result in creating spoiled brats or "spoiled sweet" children depending on the behavior of the children.
  • Neglectful Parenting

Neglectful parenting is also called uninvolved, detached, dismissive or hands-off. The parents are low in warmth and control, are generally not involved in their child's life, are disengaged, undemanding, low in responsiveness, and do not set limits. Neglectful parenting can also mean dismissing the children's emotions and opinions. Parents are emotionally unsupportive of their children, but will still provide their basic needs. Provide basic needs meaning: food, housing, and toiletries or money for the prementioned. Neglectful parenting can stem from a variety of reasons, this includes the parent's prioritizing themselves, lack of encouragement on the parent's parts, financial stresses, lack of support and addiction to harmful substances.

Being an Asian, I would boldly say that most of us belongs to the first two kinds. I am definitely trying and hoping to be an Authoritative style mom who will teach my children lifelong skills. Well but I guess at some occasions, we will still switch from one to another unknowingly.

Liked I mentioned case studies: I would name you some examples of my Authoritative parenting style. 

Case 1: Expecting guests at home

If you know me, I am a teacher of some sort thus I tend to speak alot (of my mind that is). Thus I would usually "prepare" Isa before some guests arrive at our place. So before the gathering today, I had already pre-empt my big boy about my friends and their children. He, as usual, will bombard me with questions: 

Isa: What are their names? And how old are they? 
Me: There are some boys and girls, (tell him their names) and one of them is K1, just like you! 
Isa: (sounded excited) Really? So where does he study? (and goes on and on till bedtime) 

Me: So how do you think you should behave when my friends are here? 
Isa: Be gentle and kind. 
Me: How do you show them that you are gentle and kind? 
Isa: No throwing of temper and call (meaning greet) them when they are here.. and.. share my toys! 
Me: (heaves a sign of relief) 

Case 2: Window grills

Many of my friends asked me this question today: Why didn't you install windows grills in your house? You know, Isa is quite tall and he might stand near the window and such.. 

And my answer was quite firm: Why should I? 
(Pardon me for my cocky candid character) 

Then more explanations were given. I told them that Isa was educated from young that it is "dangerous" to stand near the windows. But I further explained that, the word "dangerous" was often ambiguous to children. Thus I would adopted a positive reinforcement way of telling him that it is alright to stand near the windows to look at who / what was there at the roadside but it is not alright to tiptoe and look over the window. I have full glass panels for living room so I would usually tell Isa to "look through" the glass rather than "look over" the windows panels. Isa understood. 

Another reason that I gave my friends was that it was all about educating the child to be adaptive rather than we adjust the environment to suit the child. In this case, I gave them another example. I do not and will not place any items (such as stools or tables) near the windows cos I believe in this: If you do not invite trouble, trouble will stay away. We can always foolproof our home, but can we foolproof other homes or even public areas? I really don't think so. 

Anyway to summarize my post today, I hope to stay as Authoritative as often as I can. I know it is not easy to practise what I preach but I hope in the near future to come, Isa and Dora will understand the "hardship" I go through. :) 

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