We love when Guest Bloggers pop into the Dad-Cave for a visit! Today we have Jess from Parent.Guide. She has such a fresh and unique view on parenting. When I read her articles I feel like I’m sitting down for a cup of coffee with an old friend. So when you’re done here, head on over to her site and have a read. Before we get to her article, I thought I would let Jess introduce herself to all you Incredi-Readers out there.
“Since I was 17 I was a full time Nanny. I lived with various business parents who, sadly, were so focused on chasing money that they had no time to raise their children. That’s right, they had enough money to pay a full time live-in nanny and still wanted more. I do not begrudge them this. Being overly maternal, even from a young age, I landed my dream job. I played mother to children and got paid for it. This went on for a few different families before I met my husband, 14 years later. I now play mother to my own children and am looking forward to providing guidance across their whole lives, not just the early years with Parent.Guide. The pay is less and the hours are much worse, but I couldn’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be. After accumulating a wealth of knowledge from my many years of nannying I created this blog to share my expertise with other mothers. Love, Jess”
Thank you Jess. And now, on to our feature presentation;
Is There a “Right” Way to Discipline Your Child?
Becoming a parent is a life changing experience. After giving birth, a parent assumes the responsibility for all aspects of a child’s life. This includes where to live, the kind of schools the child will attend and the kind of expectations they place on their lives of their growing family members.
Parents must make many important decisions that directly affect the lives of their children. One of the most important is the question of discipline. For many parents, discipline is intended to offer a child a set of rules they can use as they grow up. Discipline can also correct children if they do not obey such rules.
In general, parents will approach the question of discipline differently depending on their point of view and understanding of the needs of the child. Many parents have differing parenting styles. The kind of way they choose to parent their children will generally inform the kind of disciplinary actions they may choose to dole out.
One common type of parent style is what is known as the authoritarian parenting style. Those who choose this kind of style typically have a set of rules the child must follow to the letter. Authoritarian parenting has some pluses and some minuses. It offer a firm set of rules that are obvious as the child grows up.
These are laid out in advance and clearly communicated to the child. Children who are given this type of style are given the structure they need. They know what is expected of them and why. They also know what will happen if they do not obey such rules. At the same time, those children who do fit in certain grooves may find this parenting style stifling. It can lead to massive conflicts between the child and the parent.
Those who are authoritarian must be careful to guard against any impulse to be too harsh and enforce rules for the sake of enforcing rules and little else. A parent may lash out at the child without regard for the child’s ability to understand the purpose of such discipline.
Permissive parents go the opposite route. A permissive parent may be reluctant to enforce any rules at all when it comes to their child’s behavior. This type of style can be of great help for children who are artistic and like to break boundaries. Some children respond well when only given minimal discipline as they are self driven.
In that case, knowing that a parent will forgive them time and again can be comforting, allowing them room for inner exploration and the development of their own gifts. At the same time, some children may struggle with this kind of parenting style.
Parents who refuse to set more than a handful of rules may lead to kids who do not feel anyone is charge to provide them with the guidance they need. They may refuse to do homework and engage in bad habits like overeating and not exercising.
Another type of parenting style is known as uninvolved parenting. A parent who is not involved may know little about a child’s life and habits. Sometimes parents are not involved because they have others to be involved on their behalf. A parent who frequently travels for business may leave the care of the child to nannies and other paid employees.
Or, the parent may have struggles of their own that make it hard for them to be a parent. A parent may have health issues that make it hard for them to be present for their children. There also may be other issues such as the use of drugs that can make it hard for the parent to be there for their children. In that case, a child may not receive any discipline at all.
Children who are largely left to raise themselves with no discipline at all may get into trouble. Lack of total discipline and parental supervision can make it hard for a child to make the transition to adult life.
Authoritative parents generally combine the best of all parenting styles as they raise their children. They generally put a lot of thought into the kind of rules they create for their kids. They also go out of their way to make sure the child understands the reasons for the rules they have in place.
A parent who is authoritative will punish the child for breaking the rules they set out. At the same time, they will take into account factors such as changing circumstances and the child’s intent. They offer structure that a child can depend on. They also indicate that failing to adhere to such rules can create problems that the child must take responsibility for as part of the disciplinary process.
They also tend to offer a lot praise to their children and celebrate them for following the rules successfully. In general, this is the kind of parenting style that all parents should strive to follow. It takes into account the needs of the child and the need to create solid, crystal-clear rules.