As my toddler fell over in the garden and cried for the nineteenth time in an hour and I called to him, ‘Oh dear, are you OK?’ in an unconvincingly concerned voice without actually checking to see if he was OK, I started to wonder if there are actual ‘types’ of parenting other than just ‘crap.’ Turns out there are. Four, to be exact.Â (With a fifth at a push that I’ll talk about later.)
1) Type 1 is the ‘authoritarian’ parent.Â This type of parent has strict rules andÂ follows the adage of ‘my house, my rules.’Â They believe in punishment without reasoning with their children and often find themselves saying, ‘Because I said so.’Â What kind of parent says that?!
Er, me, actually.Â I always vowed I wouldn’t but repeating the phrases that drove you CRAZY when your parents said them toÂ you is just part of evolution, isn’t it? In my defence, I don’t say it to be all, ‘I’m the boss and that’s final’Â kind of way.Â It’s more in a, ‘I’m too knackered to argue any more and if you ask me one more time my ears will bleed’ kind of way.
I’ll issue orders but do I ‘expect’ them to be obeyed?Â ‘Hope’ might be a better verb to use and I’m not too surprised when they’re not, to be honest, especially by a toddler going through ‘terrible twos’ whose favourite word is ‘no’.
In conclusionÂ IÂ fear it’s more my children who are the authoritarian figures;Â they punish me in various new andÂ inventiveÂ ways every day without reason and have ‘high demands’, like,Â ALL the time.
2) An ‘authoritative’ parent is apparently the ideal; this parent is allÂ ‘responsive and willing to listen’ or some crap like that, I wasn’t really paying attention.Â Do I REALLY have to listen to EVERY story about poo and willies?Â Really?
Before I became a parent I always thought I’d always listen and never just say ‘mmm’ to placate my offspring.Â How adorably naÃ¯ve of me.Â There are only so many times you can get excited about Toodle’s ‘tool’ on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.Â And if they’re sat in a psychologist’s chair in twenty years’ time blaming all their shortcomings on me, at least I’ll know they’re earning enough to afford therapy. Silver linings and all that.
The authoritative approach is apparently THE parenting style to follow if you want happy, secure, successfulÂ children.Â Meh, I personally think that kind of stuff is over-rated 😉
3) The ‘Permissive’ parent is indulgent.Â Well IÂ cook their meals and do their washing, which for a self-proclaimed crap housewife is extremely indulgent.Â The permissive parent has ‘low expectations of maturity and self-control.’Â Well I don’t particularly have high expectations of those things for myself and even lower ones for my husband, so I’d be a hypocrite to expect it of my children.
TheÂ permissive parent is also a friend rather than a parent.Â Which one will leave me more timeÂ to blog and drink wine?Â Being a friend?Â OK, I’m one of those parents, then.Â Oh shit, this category involves being ‘nurturing and communicative’ as well.Â I’m stuffed.
4)Â The fourth type of parent isÂ ‘uninvolved’ or ‘passive’.Â I don’t think I’m uninvolved or passive, just tired.Â I’ve alsoÂ developedÂ the ability to zone outÂ my children for the sake of my sanity.Â Generous-hearted people often mistake this for ‘patience.’Â Bless.
The uninvolved parent makes few demands of their children and demonstrates low responsiveness and little communication.Â I ask them to clean their teeth, share their toys and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.Â Hardly excessive, is it?Â Although my communication is ‘limited’ rather than ‘little’.Â ‘WILL you stop falling out?’Â ‘JUST EAT YOUR BREAKFAST/DINNER/TEA!’ and ‘Will you put some pants on!’ being the three phrases on a continuous loop with little or no variation.
This type of parent ‘fulfils basic needs’.Â Yep, I do that.Â Most of the time.Â When I remember.Â They nearly always have clean clothes to wear (or ones that have been baby wiped at least) and I feed them.Â They just sometimes need to remind me.
TheÂ final category is ‘helicopter’ parenting, a specific approach where parents ‘hover like a helicopter’, reluctant to let their children be independent beyond the ‘normal’ realms of ensuring health and safety.
Bugger that for a game of soldiers.Â Not because it can be cloying for the children and hinder them developmentally or any of that baloney but because they CARRY ON INTO ADULT LIFE wanting money, time and advice.Â I think we can all agree I’ll have been punished enough by then.
What sort of parent are you?Â Do you fit easily into one of these four types of parenting?Tags: authoritarian, authoritative, helicopter parenting, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, permissive, styles of parenting, types of parenting, uninvolved