Sunday, January 17, 2016

Navigating Parental Wars

All of us as parents will eventually develop our own parenting style. We might borrow parenting
techniques from our own parents, learn from more experienced friends, or from parenting experts. And we will all at one point or another come across someone who will not like our parenting philosophy, sometimes to our face.

In my nearly 15 years of parenting, I have been called "authoritarian" by mostly permissive parents and "permissive" by authoritarian parents.

I was given a warm "advice" from a friend who did not have yet children of her own based on her very limited, casual observation that I should not be friends with my children because they need a mother, not a friend. Now that she has her own child, I hope that her "advisers" will be way more gracious with her than she was with me.

It is important though that we do not get discouraged when this happens. People are entitled to their opinions and they don't really know you or your children.

There is really no one correct parenting style, but some are more effective with some children than other ones. I would best describe the parenting style that I developed with my children as authoritative, which means that while I clearly establish my parental authority and set clear boundaries for my children, I still  view them as human beings who have their own personality, will, and emotions to which they are fully entitled and I respect that. I see myself both as a parent and one of the best friends of my children.

From the time they were little, we had lots of fun together and we talked a lot. This open line of communication rather than handing them down my commands or barking orders had helped us a lot to overcome various problems that would inevitably come up.

They always had to face consequences for bad choices they have made and they were and are expected to show respect to me and my husband even if they don't agree with us at the moment. And they do even though they are teenagers, so you see it is possible to have a respectful and fun teenager around. There is hope.

Find out what your own parenting style is and what works best for you and your children, and everything will be all right at the end.

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