parent typesWow! There are so many different ways to parent these days that it makes your head spin! I’ve come up with a number of them and, in a very simple description they are:

  • helicopter parenting – parents are hovering over their child and are seen as overprotective
  • free-range parenting – parents allow their kids to have a lot of freedom, with training in independence
  • attachment parenting – parents are encouraged to develop a close bond with their baby, often keeping the baby close to their bodies in a sling, understanding their baby’s cries and sensitively responding to them
  • permissive parenting – parents don’t say “No” to their child, constantly wanting to please the child
  • gentle parenting – parents are sensitive to their child’s feelings, they do not use punishment or rewards to discipline, they offer choices within secure limits, they search out reasons for their child’s behavior and listen carefully to their child
  • authoritarian parenting – parents are in charge, exert control,make the rules and levy punishment for rules that are broken
  • authoritative parenting ( defined by Diana Baumrind) – strict, loving, teaching and guiding, consistent, with expectations adjusted to the needs of the child
  • democratic parenting – the approach I teach, as I know, from personal experience of raising four great kids, and observation of the hundreds of parents I helped, that this works! As well, it has been used for over fifty years in many parts of the world. It produces kids who become caring, understanding, self-reliant and independent adults. I’ll expand on this below.

girl helping grandmother

The “democratic” approach to parenting has nothing to do with politics. You’ll find many aspects of this approach in the “authoritative” and “gentle” methods, but it’s unique in the thought that children are our equals and must be treated with dignity and respect, helping them to feel valued and cherished members of the family.

Rather than “discipline”, which often is equated with “punishment”, and can involve put-downs, criticism, threats, bribery and humiliation, the democratic way is to guide and lead children to become positively contributing members of society. Democratic parents allow their kids to make mistakes and to experience the results of those mistakes, guiding them in an atmosphere of warmth and encouragement so that these experiences teach instead of punish.

By setting good examples, parents teach their kids to keep their word, be responsible and care for others. This is not being “permissive”, as parents set the basic limits of safety and health, providing children with a framework in which they can make choices and contribute to family life. As a result, kids feel valued and appreciated, with a heightened feeling of self-worth. They don’t have to misbehave to get their parents’ attention. If a child feels good about himself, he doesn’t need to pick on someone else in order to feel “big”. If parents treat their offspring as they treat their best friends – with respect, love, good manners and consideration, children will respond in kind, and the family atmosphere becomes positive and friendly.

dinnertimeWhat kind of family do you dream of? I’m here to help you achieve it with an approach that is fair, consistent, and above all, a template that gives you a pattern to follow. With my help, you’ll be learning a way to deal with your everyday challenges without yelling or punishing.

I want to help you be even more effective. I hope to hear from you!

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