Archive | August, 2014

What is your Parenting Style?

24 Aug

If you haven’t taken our parenting quiz, back up! Print it out from the blog and circle the statements that reflect the way you might parent (or the way you were parented). Now it’s time to evaluate your style of parenting!

The following numbers represent the Authoritarian (or what I would call the tyrannical) style of parenting:

1, 2, 6, 8, 17, 18

Going from the Upper Left (Authoritarian) clockwise, the following numbers represent the Authoritative style:

4, 9, 11, 12, 15, 19, 20

Moving to the Lower Right, we have the Permissive style, evident in these statements:

3, 13, 16

Finally, moving to the Lower Left, we have the Neglectful style, represented by these numbers:

5, 7, 10, 14

You will note that the Authoritarian (think, tyrannical) style is high on discipline or guidance but low on support. This parent or supervisor barks commands, creates to-do lists (to which there are rarely an exception), and is not empathetic to persons in difficult or unusual situations. The Authoritarian parent does not gain the respect of his child(ren) because s/he cannot relate to them. With this top-down style of parenting, the child (or employee) is not respected for what s/he can offer the family or group, and feelings are an unknown entity!

The Permissive style is one that came into being in the last quarter of the 20th century and is still in vogue. In this style, parents treat their children, especially teens, as if they were friends. These parents are high in emotional support, but one wonders how much effort they are really willing to put into their parenting (or supervising). They don’t take time to set guidelines, to discuss the guidelines for behavior, and the consequences of not following the guidelines. Their children (or employees) founder, not knowing where they stand or what is expected of them. The permissive style really does not serve children well; in fact, it allows them to learn how to be manipulative AND fails to develop their potential by not demanding much if anything from them.

The Neglectful style of parenting is “the worst of the bunch.” We see and hear about so many deadbeat parents today: Those who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, work and are not even aware of what their children are doing, whether in fact they are attending school or not. The Neglectful style of parenting demonstrates no emotional support and no guidance as to what is acceptable or what is not permitted. Neglectful parents are just “not there,” and their children are basically orphans.

The Authoritative style of parenting is the only one to strive for! This style combines High Support with High Guidance. These parents (or supervisors) are there emotionally for their children. They are aware when something is wrong and discretely ask the right questions at the right times to discover and then problem-solve the situation with their child(ren). They also hold regular Family Meetings at which they discuss how household tasks can be more efficiently accomplished AND how the family can plan for fun occasions like outings and vacations together. They discuss responsibilities and what they hope for/expect from their children at school.

So how did you answer the questions on this quiz? If you have questions on any of the four styles of parenting or on how to implement the dimensions of support and discipline, please contact us! Our website is We’d love to hear from you!



Evaluate YOUR Parenting Style!

17 Aug

Here’s a short quiz you can take to evaluate your parenting style. Actually you can take it in two different ways! You can check off the statements YOU might likely make to your children, thus yielding your own parenting style. OR you can take the quiz in terms of how you were parented! Some folks find that their own parenting style is much like their parents’. Others find that they have created a parenting style that is much different from their parents’ — either by choice or in rebellion to a style of parenting which they didn’t like or didn’t do well with.

Instructions: Circle the statements that seem to sound like things you might say to your children when they disagree, disobey, ask Why, dawdle, make a mistake, and so on. Be honest!

  1. You need your sleep. To bed! No arguments!
  2. Rules are rules. You’re late to dinner. To bed without eating!
  3. You’re late to dinner, tiger. Sit down so we can all enjoy our meal.
  4. Well, you can stay up this time. I know you like this program. But next time, let’s plan it in advance.
  5. Work it out yourself. I’m busy.
  6. I won’t stand for your backtalk. Apologize or …
  7. You can’t get up because you kids wanted to stay out past 11 o’clock. That’s your problem. I need to get to work.
  8. Good grief! Can’t you be more careful?
  9. Hey, I wish I could let you stay up, but I don’t feel good about your missing sleep.
  10. Late again, huh? Pass the meat, please.
  11. When we both cool off, let’s schedule a time to talk about this.
  12. You’re tired, aren’t you? A paper route is a tough job. Sure, I’ll take you around.
  13. You didn’t get my call about being home right after school? Well, that’s all right. I know you were with friends.
  14. So you think I’m stupid, huh? That’s your problem. Beat it!
  15. You’re really stuck, aren’t you? Well, I’ll bail you out this time, and then let’s figure a better way for the future.
  16. Please don’t be angry with me; you’re making a scene.
  17. I don’t have to give you reasons. Just do as I say.
  18. No son of mine is going to goof off. You took the job. You get it done.
  19. You say all the other girls are going to the party? I’d like to have more information before I say Yes or No.
  20. Jimmy, please get your shoes on and your backpack ready. I will be late if we don’t leave soon..

I’ll post the answers next time, and you can let me know your thoughts as well! — JET

Parenting Insights, Part II

13 Aug

Our last post looked at the SUPPORT/GUIDANCE model of parenting. Remember that there were two dimensions, a horizontal one for SUPPORT and a vertical one for GUIDANCE (or discipline). We now have four quadrants, which I will describe in detail and name.

We’ll start with the quadrant in the lower right-hand side, which you will notice demonstrates high support but low guidance. Parents who fall into this category of parenting are supportive in listening to their children’s concerns and issues, but fail to set guidelines for their behavior. They reveal their lack of guidance by not letting their children know what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior, by not telling them what the consequences of their actions may be, and by not giving them a framework by which to learn self-discipline. This parenting style is called permissive.

Now we move to the lower left-hand quadrant, where you can see that there is both low support and low guidance. Parents who fall into this style of parenting are simply not there at all for their children. They may be abusing a substance, having an extramarital affair, or be workaholics. Whatever their particular case is, the children are growing up like orphans without any emotional support and without any input into what is acceptable behavior. This horrendous style of parenting is called neglectful, and unfortunately today all too many of our nation’s children find themselves rudderless on a wide sea.

Moving to the upper left-hand quadrant, we notice that this style of parenting is low in support but high in guidance. These parents easily bark out orders to their children. They may demand that middle school or teen students do most of the housework, without considering that this time in a young person’s life is the time that they need to be involved in lots of healthy extracurricular activities — sports, school clubs, 4H, Scouts, etc., etc. This is the time during which these young people also need to practice peer relationships, negotiating activities, with friends, and so forth. These parents who don’t have time to listen to their children’s needs and wishes, but instead set strict guidelines for their behavior, are practicing an authoritarian style of parenting. This style does not produce young adults who are confident in their own decision-making powers. Instead they may be rebellious or go to the other extreme of being anxious and frightened about changes that will naturally occur in their lives.

The fourth quadrant, the one to the upper right-hand section of the diagram, demonstrates high support AND high guidance. Not only are these parents THERE for their children to listen and to hear beyond the words, these parents also make their children feel secure by setting good guidelines, letting them know what is acceptable behavior, and both giving and demanding respect. This style of parenting — greatly superior to all the other styles — is called authoritative.

In our next post, we will allow you to evaluate your own parenting style. You can take the little quiz in two different ways: You can take it as the parent, BUT you can also take it to help you see how you were parented! Until next time, happy parenting!



Parenting Insights

12 Aug

Parenting Insights

One of the best models I use for helping folks with their parenting skills is the SUPPORT/GUIDANCE MODEL. If you can imagine a circle bisected both horizontally and vertically, you will note that there are now four quadrants within the circle. First, let’s look at the horizontal line. This line represents SUPPORT and goes from low support on the left to high support on the right. By support we mean being there emotionally for your child. So when your child comes home from school and seems down, you will want to make note of that and ask what might be bothering him/her.

If your child opens up — great! Now you can just LISTEN without offering advice. If you listen not only with your ears but with your whole being, your child will feel understood. Already he or she is on the way to dealing with the painful emotion(s) on her own. You can ratify the emotions or help your child to name them. This gives your young one a sense of empowerment over the feelings. Then they can probably discuss how they would like to handle the situation. Remember, though, that listening on your part is KEY!
Emotional support may mean ultimately agreeing with your child about the unfairness of a situation, for example. But it may also mean sharing a different perspective with him/her. This other perspective may sometimes be called “tough love.” Give your child a chance to “digest” what you have said. S/he may want to write or draw in a journal. You can bring up the subject at a later time when your child is ready to talk about it again.

Now let’s introduce the GUIDANCE part of the model. Guidance is the vertical dimension of our model, and it goes from low guidance (or discipline) on the bottom to high guidance (or discipline) on the top. Guidance (or discipline) is not to be confused with punishment. In parenting, as in other situations — for example, the supervisory role in the workplace — guidance means setting down the rules and procedures clearly. In this way, your children know what is expected of them, when they can expect praise or some sort of reward and when, conversely, they know they have done poorly, not met your expectations, and can expect a reprimand or other consequences. GUIDANCE makes children and teens feel safe. They may think they want complete freedom, but what they really need is parameters for their behavior. We will discuss each of the four quadrants, the style of parenting associated with each, and provide a parenting questionnaire for you to determine YOUR style of parenting.