My second-grader started school this week. I had been looking forward to walking him to school that first day, but as we were walking and were about a block from the school, he turned to me and said, “OK, you can go now.” Ouch.
At first I thought, where’s the love? Then I thought, well, he’s independent, and that’s a good thing. Then I thought, he thinks I’ll embarrass him. Do the other second-grade boys feel the same way?
What does this mean about me as a parent? I mean, in this day and age, you actually get questions like, “What’s your parenting style?” My style? I don’t think I fit one category. One day, my kid is playing quietly in his room, reading books to his little sister and mowing the lawn. The next, he’s playing FIFA soccer on the XBOX for two hours straight while eating carmel brownies for lunch.
I think it’s safe to say I don’t fit into the same “type” of parenting from one day to the next.
Is that even possible? And in case you didn’t know, there are three official types of parenting. Let’s review.
Authoritarian: Children raised with this parenting style are usually not allowed to think freely or make decisions on their own. They often grow up to have problems with thinking for themselves. Ouch. Trying to stay away from that one.
Permissive. There is often a lot of affection and warmth with this parenting style … the downside, though, is that children do not learn that rules are sometimes necessary. They learn that no matter what they do, they will not be punished. This can lead to a life-long rebellion against any type of rule or structure. Really? A whole life of rebellion? Sounds pretty dramatic.
Democratic. Democratic parenting is a style of parenting where everyone works together. Children will usually grow up to respect their parents and to be able to handle conflicts and problems in a reasonable manner. Now, give me break: Does that describe any household you know?
I don’t truly see myself in any of these. Do you? What type of parent are you?