Choosing A Style Discipline For Children

If you're like most modern parents, you've read books and articles about parenting, and maybe attended lectures as well. You did this in an attempt to be the best, up-to-date parents possible—parents with the right style—parents who think deeply before adopting a new parenting strategy. Yet, there is only so much that books and lectures can do to prepare you as parents. Despite all you've read and heard your best teacher is your own experience, both with your own parents as you were growing up and with your own children as you raise them.

Your Mom's Voice!

But you still worry and agonize over whether you've chosen the right approach. If your parents were strict, and you found yourself rebelling as a result of their heavy-handed manner, you may be alarmed to hear your mother's voice with her exact intonation issuing from your own mouth as you discipline your child. Be assured that hearing our parents in our own voices is a universal experience——but keep in mind that you can adapt your style of discipline so that it feels natural and fits your personal ethos, as well.

You can be a disciplinarian without being harsh, and you can be easygoing without getting stepped on. That means that if your own parents were harsh disciplinarians, it probably won't feel comfortable for you to be a laidback parent, but that doesn't mean you have to be abusive, either. If your parents were hippies who let you have a free reign of the household, you will probably feel better as an easygoing disciplinarian with your own children, but you don't have to allow them to become obnoxious and spoiled, either.

The authoritarian parent sticks out like a sore thumb in today's society which sees value in choice and creativity. Authoritarian parents see things in black and white. These are the parents who command obedience. They see parenting as an unbending duty in which children are trained in much the same way as a puppy is housebroken. Children learn by imitating their parents. Spanking occurs when children don't follow the model. This style doesn't suit today's society in which we are taught to value peaceful solutions to conflict.

Adapt The Style

If this sounds like the way you were raised, you weren't alone. This is the way most children have been raised, throughout Western history. The trick is to adapt the style to fit the parental voices that want to issue from your mouth but still allow for choice and creativity in your child. Spanking can become a time-out, and you can ask your child to think how his rudeness makes his hostess feel.

Permissive parenting came into popularity during the 1950's and 1960's in response to our horror at the repression of whole nations living under dictatorships. Children are not shown a model of behavior, and natural consequences act as the only control.

The problem with total permissiveness is that the children find it hard to fit in with the rest of their peers and later on, in the work-force. Without clear guidance, a person cannot learn which behaviors are acceptable to society at large. Without clear limits, children feel confused and insecure. Such children tend to make poor choices.

Find The Zone

It's natural for you to lean one way or the other as you parent your child, and your tendency is likely to mirror your own experience, but with a bit of thought, you can find the comfort zone that fits best with what is right for today's child.


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