What kind of parent do you want to be?

So, what kind of parent do you want to be?  How you planned to parent may not have been something you gave particularly serious thought to before you become a parent.  Beyond, perhaps, vowing to do it differently to your own experiences, to keep that family tradition, or to avoid what you always hated growing up.

Once we have our own children however, we find ourselves needing to make important decisions every day.  Often very quickly, and potentially, when we are not in the best place to do so.  Tired, stressed, pushed for time or money, or simply the peace and quiet to stop and think, it can become all too easy to fall into some familiar patterns.

Raising a child is a daunting prospect, and it is only natural to look for support and insights wherever we can. 

But do try to remember that…

  • We can all act in the spur of the moment
  • We all do things that sometimes we wish we hadn’t
  • You don’t have to have all the answers
  • And you don’t have to do it exactly as your parents did.

Armed with a little knowledge, a measure of understanding and some trusted support you can fill this time with positive opportunities.  Enjoying the journey of parenting as you learn, grow and discover alongside your developing child.

When it comes to parenting, there are many styles and techniques, promising guaranteed success and easy outcomes.

Sometimes, something that seems like a good idea at the time, can be anything but – while others may sit uncomfortably from the start, despite everyone else seeming to swear by them.  So, what kind of parenting style, philosophy or approach should you follow? 

Parenting styles, effectively sit within four main camps of thought.  

  • Uninvolved
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive and
  • Authoritative parenting.

These differ in how strongly they look to impose limits and boundaries and how much love and warmth they openly demonstrate.  The uninvolved parent is neither warm, nor in control.  Appearing not overly interested in their child’s behaviours, they may offer threats, and bribes, but without any clear structure. 

The authoritarian parent is known for their strict approach.  Parenting with “Because I said so” control, that lacks much explanation or understanding. 

The permissive parent is very warm and not very controlling.  Rarely telling their child how to behave, they prefer their child to find their own way, learning from their mistakes.

The authoritative parent is both warm and in control, setting clear limits and enforcing them, often quite strictly.  Listening to their child, and remaining interested in their needs, control is balanced with warmth and communication.

The parenting style you use will inform the relationship you have with your child and the ways in which they behave and develop. 

It will have an impact on their state of mind, the morals they are forming, their ways of thinking and is deeply impactful on their emotional well-being. 

Children need structure and rules to feel safe and secure but avoid seeking to control your child through the structures you impose, and instead allow them to inspire you, as you reconnect with the beauty and simplicity of childhood.

This session is taken from our course: What Every Parent Should Know

Dr Kathryn Peckham is an Early Childhood Consultant, author and researcher and the founder of Nurturing Childhoods.  Providing all the knowledge, understanding and support you need to nurture your growing child.   www.nurturingchildhoods.co.uk


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