What is Your Parenting Style?

In parenting your children, how do you rate? Are you authoritative, permissive or somewhere in the middle?

When it comes to parenting, is there one style that is superior to others? Maybe so. According to Barbara Coloroso, parent educator and author of Kid’s Are Worth It, there are three types of families that reflect three ways of parenting children. One is what she likes to call t the “Jellyfish” family, where anything goes. The other is the “Brick Wall” family where there’s a rule for everything, and the third is the “Backbone” family.  The “Backbone” family works the best because it mixes flexibility with limit setting.

Coloroso explains “a Backbone family says to kids, mistakes are okay. Mistakes are for learning. A Backbone family also invites kids at a very young age to make responsible choices, and when they make unwise choices, they (the parents) stick with them and say, ‘kid you can fix this’. They say ‘kid you have a problem, I know you can handle it.’ And in the end the child knows how to think, not just what to think. And within himself, he’s developing a backbone for his own moral sense of what’s right, what’s wrong.”

If you find that you are unhappy with your own parenting style don’t be afraid to change. Coloroso says that when it comes to improving our parenting skills, you can always teach an old parent new tricks. “If you are still alive and kicking and your kid is still alive and kicking, it’s never too late to change what you’re doing in your parenting style.”

Fortunately there are many good books and courses available for parents, which is good because Coloroso says these are some of the best ways to discover new approaches to raising kids. “One of the beauties of taking the opportunity to either read, or to attend parenting sessions, or to talk to your neighbor, is to explore what you’ve done that you don’t feel good about and how you can do it differently. It’s more than just feeling bad about what you did, it’s asking what can I do differently next time?”


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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