A Guest Post: Parenting Styles – What’s Yours?
This is a guest post from the ever lovely, insightful and gorgeous Nathalie Brown from Easy Peasy Kids. Nathalie is a Child Behaviour Consultant, Teen Mentor and Parent Counsellor. Having watched her son and my daughter play together, I can say that she walks the talk! He is a delightful, generous and fun little boy. I’m thrilled to have Nathalie on the blog today talking about parenting styles.
Being a parent changes your life in so many ways, that there really is no genuine preparation we can do. Yes, we can read all about it, there are certainly plenty of books, experts and opinions on parenting. But until you are living in the world of parenthood, nothing can really prepare you 100 % for the ups and the downs and the emotional ride we step on once we become a parent. As a parent we are also bombarded with what we should be doing, how we should be doing it and how often we should do it and what style of parenting is the best and right way.
These are just some parenting styles:
Through my behavioural studies, research and work on behaviour, I have to read what feels like every book out there on parenting and child behaviour, on this book shelf alone there are over fifty books on this topic, not counting the pile by my bed, the dining table and yes the bathroom too.
Yet, all these books and all my studying has taught me one thing and helped me to answer one question that I am asked daily by parents “What type of parenting style should I use?” My answer is simple “Each child is an individual, there is no fool proof parenting style”.
I am sure we all as parents know this, but we still search for the illusive answer that doesn’t really exist in just one simple style or technique.
Parenting is as individual as you are, and as unique as your child. There will be times when you feel that it is all too much, and this is totally normal. I can assure you that all other parents feel this too. Even the most perfect family imaginable feels this way at times. We all have moments which a great and not so great. We can have off days where everything is just too overwhelming, and so can our children.
Yes, you are the biggest influence in your child’s life, you are helping create who they will be as an adult. That alone is a lot of pressure! But, as long as there are more ups than downs, you are on the right path. Loving your child, with all your heart is what parenting is. Being prepared to bring up your child to the best of your ability that is what parenting is.
Parenting styles and child behaviour are interlinked in that again, there is no guaranteed formula that works. Parenting styles are not the latest fashion on the catwalk –‘this is the newest style of parenting.’ Parenting is a continuous learning curve, we learn from our children and they learn from us.
Parents with more than one child, will freely admit that what worked for one child, does not work for the other due to different personalities, likes and dislikes, it is human nature.
One child’s behaviour will thrive with a reward chart; another will not give two hoots about a reward chart.
One child will eat whatever is served in front of them; another will refuse everything bar milk, cheese and pasta.
This is not dependant on your parenting style, this is a child exerting their choice and of course playing games and causing havoc in their parents’ mind.
This is childhood; children want to be independent, they want to know what everything does, they want to touch everything, they want to see what happens if they pour paint on the cat, shove a button up their nose and laugh hilariously at the words poo and fart. This is what children do.
Parents are becoming inundated with styles and techniques, adding yet more pressures to parenting. Our parents and grandparents parented their way, whether it was the best way, I do not know the answer to that, but I know my parents did quite a good job, without any particular parenting style label or specific techniques.
As a child behaviour consultant, I am an avid observer of children and of course their parents. I have been observing and studying children for years, from their developmental stages through to their behaviour, which has enabled me to learn from them, how they see the world and why they behave like they do.
This is what I have learnt about parenting and children
• Parents, and I really mean Mothers, need to stop stressing, drop the guilt and anxiety; this has a detrimental affect on you and your child.
• Parents, don’t read too many parenting books; there is no parenting style that offers a guaranteed happy well – rounded child.
• Children need to understand what you are saying at a level they can comprehend. Do not expect young children to internalize everything you say.
• Children respond amazingly well to visual aids: books, posters, drawings, and puppets.
• Parenting does have so many fantastic moments; try not to miss them, worrying because you have not folded the laundry.
• Children rarely do anything with thought-out intention or malice.
• Parents are as unique as their children. There is no style involved in teaching life skills and values: respect, trust and honesty. Throw in kindness and manners and love them to bits.
• Do not let the bad days make you feel like it’s the end of the world – it’s day that will pass and your children love you, you are their world.
Parenting styles? I’m over them, to me parenting is being a parent. Doing the best you can, accepting the bad bits and moving on. Giving your child unconditional love with hugs and kisses and teaching them that life has lots of ups and some downs.
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