This post will be centered on a quote from the book Successful Marriages and Families Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives (BYU Studies Copyright 2012) This quote comes from Chapter 10 Parenting with Love, Limits, and Latitude…
"The authoritative parenting style. The optimal parenting style is the authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parenting fosters a positive emotional connection with children, provides for regulation that places fair and consistent limits on child behavior and allows for reasonable child autonomy in decision making. This style creates a positive emotional climate that helps children be more open to parental input and direction, and allows for parents to individualize child rearing as encouraged by Brigham Young when he enjoined parents to "study their [children’s dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly” (Widstoe, 1978, p. 207). Some children, for example, may require more limits, while others respond better to more latitude, depending on their dispositions.”
First of all this is coming from the perspective of a woman who had not had a child yet. I have baby sat for years, worked in pre-schools, day-cares, elementary schools and summer programs. I have held responsibilities for children ranging from 3 months to 18 years. However the majority of my experience has been with toddlers to middle childhood aged children. So no I do not have first hand experience being a mother, but I have had much interaction with children and parents.
Let’s get started with that fact that we all are aware of, that a baby doesn't come with a manual. So where does that leave us to know how to parent? Well, all of us have grown up in some sort of family setting whether it was our biological family, adopted, foster, or other arrangement there were people who were there to be our guardian(s). Most of what each of us knows about parenting comes from what we learned as we grew up in our family.
This quote has a clear statement of opinion as to what style of parenting is best for rearing children. Another huge aspect that plays into parenting style are the cultures the parents were raised in and the culture they are currently raising their children in.
What style of parenting were you raised in?
What kind of parenting have you seen done well?
What kind of parenting have you seen done in a way that could have been executed a little (or a lot) better?
My opinion comes from my studies and observation from years of babysitting and observing the way my friends families as they operated. I have come to find that there needs to be a fine balance of clear rules and allowance for children to make their own decisions based off of what they have been taught. Children need to learn how to be self-sufficient while not being left to do it all on their own either. Each child has their own set of needs and temperament.
The chapter this quote comes from discusses the needs children have, they need rules, love, and the ability to have some freedoms. Children who are always told what to do tend to grow up and are unable to function in college or the work world because they are so accustomed to being micromanaged. To be able to function successfully people need to know how to take instructions and do it on their own without needing to ask if every last thing they are doing is right. Conversely children indulged and given little to no instruction cannot function in most jobs because they are not used to being told no or having so many rules and boundaries. Another piece of this conversation needs to be that there are no parents that are perfect. Some parents may have not graduated High School while some may have their Doctorate. Some may have the best of motives while others unfortunately see themselves as stuck being a parent. There is such a huge variety of parental ability and circumstances. Talking about parenting is a very broad subject, however most of us will become parents or already are. Weather you just found out that you are expecting or your youngest is a senior in High School, there is always new information to glean and thoughts that you can share with upcoming parents.
My hope is that if you have questions you will leave them here and if you have thoughts or answers to questions I or other pose that you will feel inclined to respond.
The quote from Brigham Young reflects the fact that each child will need specialized and specific parenting tactics to best fit their needs. Children are individuals and as we have more than one child we need to ever remember to parent and treat them as an individual not a part of a herd.
What are your thoughts about parenting style?
Why does it matter if you have one style or another?
What advice do you have if you are a parent?
Thank you for your time and thoughts!