Okay, how many of you out there have actually researched parenting styles? That many huh, has anyone out there actually taken a parenting quiz to determine your parenting style? I had not either until a few weeks ago. I still have not taken the quiz, I probably should. Anyway, I did find a few interesting things out during my search. So I thought I would share a few of them with you. Don’t worry; I am not going to go into detail on all the different theories. I would have to start an entirely new blog for that and I don’t have time for anything else. Some information might very well be helpful though.
The first thing I found is that there is actually a set of four parenting styles that seem to be agreed with across the board. They are very general but seem to accurately divide the parenting pie into four slices. Here is a very short summary of each:
- Authoritative: Focused on control and warmth – These parents are flexible while maintaining control. They use reason and verbal give-and-take to express clear expectations to the child. They are demanding but also very responsive to the child. They pay attention to behavior and discipline consistently. (Ward & June Cleaver)
- Authoritarian: Focused only on control – As the name implies these parents have no room for debate or discussion. They are very demanding but not responsive to the child. Maintaining order is the priority. To this end, they monitor behavior closely for compliance with their dictated expectations. (The Helicopter Parent)
- Permissive: Focused only on warmth – Here the child is king. Very little discipline is used with the assumption that the child can regulate himself. There are usually no expectations or poorly communicated ones. Parents tend to be very responsive to the child and have little or no demands. (The Kids-Will-Be-Kids Parent)
- Rejecting: No Focus – This is also considered neglecting. There is no structure, discipline, or even supervision. The children are left to raise them self at best. There are no demands, but there is also no response. (The Should Not Be Parents)
Okay, the helicopter parent reference above might be a little stretch. Regardless, we all fit into one of those groups with short day trips every now and then into the others (hopefully we skip being rejecting altogether). This brings me to the second find. Apparently the right of passage for every child psychologist is to publish a new parenting theory. Seriously, there are a few thousand out there. Most recently, Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting was the new gold standard. I found out through Rebel Dad that I have missed the boat on attachment parenting and we are moving on to Activation. Really now, how is a busy father to keep up.
Well, with all these theories running around I though I would add to the mix. No, I am not a child psychologist, although I do have a minor in the subject. I just want to add to the confusion. Okay, okay, how about clearing things up just a tad. You will quickly realize that the theory below is not actually my original work. It has been around in its current written from for nearly 2000 years and I am sure that even that wasn’t original. So, what is it…. Lets call it the theory of Love. The entire theory can be summed up in 1 Corinthians 10:4-7:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
There you have it. Regardless of what other theories you subscribe to, regardless of the latest cultural fad, regardless of your own energy level for that matter, does your parenting style look like Love? More importantly, are you working to make it look more like Love. Believe me when I say no one has it down pat! If you need some help, and we all do, ask God. He has it perfected; after all, He is Love!
Do you have a theory of your own or commentary on those above? Let us know in the comments!