All parents believe that their kid is better than your kid; and they also believe whole heartedly that their parenting style is “the way to go” and rarely are able to find fault in it or be willing to change it. There are a massive amount of different ways to parent children; but largely they all fall into 4 groups or styles; the Alpha Male Parents, the Best Buddy Parents, the Push ‘em for Their Own Good Parents and the Who is the Parent Here parents. Yes, each parent uses varied techniques to actively parent however their inherent personality, spousal relationship and upbringing play a large role in how a parent parents! That is with “parents” actually being a verb instead of noun!
The Alpha Male Parenting Style is the do as I say, not as I do type of parent. They are decidedly the boss of everything and anything and they expect their children to respond to the letter of their law. There is no gray area for these parents. I imagine that many serial killers and delinquents result from this harsh, abrasive and intolerant type of parenting. The kids don’t ever really learn to listen or make decisions on their own because everything is being done for them; whether they like it or not. The Alpha Male parent is also not afraid to resort to humiliation in order to scare their child into submission. Many call this type of parenting highly disciplined or helping kids to learn respect. What it does is make children feel inferior (ok, sometimes they need that, but not often) and remove them from a position of having any power in their life. They turn inward and don’t feel at ease speaking their mind. It’s like the one do you have who has to wait and eat last every evening or risk having her ear bit off by the others. This is a difficult parenting style to break and usually comes from people who went through it themselves. They decide somewhere in adult hood that since they turned out so well; perhaps their own parents were pretty adept at parenting.
The best buddy parents are really easy to spot. They are the ones that overly indulge their children constantly. Sometimes these buddy moms may even try to squeeze their big butts into low cut jeans and graphic t-shirts just to look cool. Most of them are the ones that in high school end up hosting all the keg parties teenagers get invited to. Anything to make sure that their child likes them! Buy them toys, spend excessively on every whim no matter how much it costs and say yes when they really should say no. The product of this parenting style usually have a lot of friends because of their stuff or what they can get them in life; but rarely have respect for others. They are rude to teachers and other parents and don’t care too much about things in life unless it is fun to them. Why? Because not only do they not have to; but they think the world revolves around them and they have never had to deal with consequences. The Best Buddy Parents are often derived from adults who hated their own parents and swore they didn’t want their children to feel that way about them; or are recently divorced and feel guilty. Best Buddy Parents usually get no respect from their child until he or she is way grown and end up going to great colleges so they can party away tens of thousands of dollars each semester. Then they drop out; leaving mom, dad or both to foot the bill.
The Push ‘em for Their Own Good parents are those highly annoying, pushy moms and dads that sit on the sidelines yelling and screaming at their child. Usually their poor kid is out in the field trying to catch a simple glimpse of pride from mom or dad. Rarely do they get it, but they will get advice on how they can turn their one touchdown into two next time. This parent thinks that life is about achievement and more than likely didn’t experience much of their own. They push for school, friends, extracurricular activities, chores and other things to keep them scheduled. Most of the folks in this parenting style group truly believe that they are helping to make their child the best they can and think that fast routines, constant schedules and responsibilities are part of life so they might as well learn it young. These folks need to get a grip. Kids deserve to be able to just hang out and play or watch TV on Sunday if they want. So what if they want to talk to a friend on the phone rather than perfect their tennis serve. Kids should be allowed to be kids not all the time; but much of the time! These parents are also the ones that incorporate Alpha Male Syndrome into their parenting style and have huge issues with control. They have an immense fear of failure that they push off to their kids and set a bar so high that their children are never going to be able to be content.
The last most common parenting style is Who is the Parent Here parents. Hmmm, perhaps they can be summed up by saying they don’t parent. Lots of leftover hippies with memories of Woodstock. Liberal is one thing; but children don’t need so much freedom in their life that they end up parenting themselves. There are also lots of single parents who fall into this group who have children much smarter than they are. Then the children end up parenting the parent. They remind mom that she has already had 5 dates this week and hug her when she gets dumped for the third time in a month. They are responsible for a lot of the household duties and spend lots of time alone. Rarely are friends allowed at their house to spend the night and many other parents pitch in proving it takes a village to raise a child. These kids usually quickly and often get close to other older adults who have good sense trying to fill the parental void in their life. Some of these parents are also otherwise great adults; but just don’t feel that spending their time parenting is very beneficial. They are self absorbed and completely burned out from parenting altogether.
Uh oh; you saw yourself in one or two of those descriptions didn’t you? The whole world has caught on to all the pressure that parents put themselves under to do this parent thing well. Let’s face it; parents are moody children with wrinkles and bills and it is natural to mimic what we were taught in our youth and show our not so great side once in a while during parenting. Your parenting style really should be a low key combination of all of those parenting styles; respectful of the inherent personality of your child and respectful of understanding that there are certain vital (but not fun) things parents just have to do. Your parenting style does say a lot about you and can be key factor in how well (or not) you and your child communicate. The best part is that if your current parenting style is not working you have the right and option to change it at anytime. The fact that you have a style, care enough to read an article on parenting and try hard speaks volumes for your probability for successful parenting!