Parenting is full of challenges. It often seems as though what works one day no longer works the next. It is also possible for your personality or parenting style to completely clash with your child’s. When this happens, it is easy to get frustrated. After all, you are doing your best, yet your child does not seem to respond to your techniques.
Understand the Different Parenting Styles
There are three main types of parenting styles. Authoritarian parents tend to create strict rules that result in obedient children. However, is important to know that these children may be well behaved, but they are also likely to have lower self-esteem than kids raised under other parenting styles. Permissive parents let their kids make most of their own choices, which can sometimes lead to too much freedom. Authoritative parents take a middle ground approach by setting rules but allowing their kids to guide many of their own decisions. The Authoritative parenting style requires a delicate balance of being firm and understanding at the same time, but it also leads to the best outcome for families. Being able to recognize your parenting style helps you make adjustments that fit your child’s needs.
Avoid Generating Confusion Caused by Inconsistency
Sending mixed messages is a common reason why a specific parenting style may not work. For instance, constantly changing your child’s bedtime or curfew causes them to think that it is flexible. This in turn can eventually lead them to disobey your established rules. Make sure that your directions are consistent with the guidelines for behavior that you have already established, and strive to hand out consequences that make sense every time.
Prevent Insecurity by Establishing Clear Boundaries
Kids with permissive parents sometimes get into trouble because they have too much freedom. Some parents try to let their kids make their own decisions because they believe that it builds confidence. However, being allowed to do whatever they want can also create insecurities because your child does not know what is expected. Sit down with your child and go over your expectations. Then, let them know what the consequences are for failing to comply with the rules. This way, your child can feel comfortable making decisions since they know what you expect for their behavior.
Recognize Rebellion Caused by Too Many Restrictions
While being permissive leads to problems, it is also bad to generate so many rules that your kid becomes immune to them all. Unrealistic expectations are the problem here, and a kid who feels like they are doomed from the beginning is likely to rebel. Try to save your battles for big issues, such as staying out too late or getting in trouble at school. Learning to let your kid make a few decisions on their own allows them to grow and develop autonomy.
Identify True Behavioral Issues
It is possible that you are doing everything right, and there is a deeper issue at work. For instance, your kid may have ADHD or depression, and no parenting strategy is effective without professional help. When your child consistently misbehaves, it is worth having their behavior assessed to determine whether they may be dealing with an underlying disorder.
Continue Improving Your Parenting Skills
Assessing your parenting strategy is the right first step toward improving your family dynamics. As you work on improving your parenting skills, remember that they may need to be adjusted as your family changes. For example, blended families often find that they need to synchronize their parenting styles so that they provide consistent love and discipline to each child.
Whether you are dealing with defiant behavior or can’t seem to get your reserved child to come out of their shell, our relationship experts are an excellent resource for finding ways to adjust your parenting strategy. Often, it takes only one or two minor tweaks to turn your family dynamics back around to where you have full control so your child thrives under your guidance.