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The Most Effective Parenting Style

Raising a child is the most important thing that most of us will do in our lives, but oftentimes parents have little idea on what is the best way to raise a good kid. I have done a lot of research into parenting because I have a large family that I want to raise right, because I am an educator and often asked by parents for my advice, and because I am a Love and Logic facilitator.

There are really four different types of parents:

Authoritarian- This is a strict style of parenting with limited flexibility.

Permissive- This is the opposite of authoritarian where there are few rules or expectations.

Uninvolved- This style offers little discipline, low expectations, and little nurturing.

Authoritative- This style has clear rules, lots of nurturing, with high expectations.

There have been numerous studies over the years involving all countries around the globe to determine the best style of parenting. All of these studies point to authoritative parents as the most effective in raising children who are self-disciplined and have more success in school and beyond.

An authoritative parent combines nurturing and love and sets firm limits and boundaries. This type of parent expects rules to be followed and inspires cooperation by offering reasons for rules and lots of emotional support. Punishments are not arbitrary but are logical consequences that help kids become self-disciplined as they mature.

Have you thought about your parenting style? Is the way you parent too permissive or too controlling? Do your children rebel and argue or ignore your rules and expectations?

How can you be a more authoritative parent if you have been either too controlling or too permissive?

-Set clear expectations. Kids should have chores and responsibilities in your home and be expected to do them. Consequences involve not earning a privilege instead of gaining a punishment.

-Talk to your kids. Listen to your kids. Make your family one where discussion and respectful debate are honored. Let your kids voice an opinion and let them know the reasons for your rules.

-Help your kids to learn that we treat one another in our family with respect. We want them to learn that their actions affect others and that they have the power to make your family, their school, and their community better places by their actions.

-Have high standards. Kids are so much more capable than most adults give them credit for. We can expect more from them. Start out raising your child as though they can accomplish anything and then help them see how it is in their power to accomplish goals. Teach them to set goals and how to take the steps to meet them.

-Do not let bad behavior slide. If chores aren’t done, grades are lower than they should be, rules are disregarded then have a set consequence that you enforce.

I call this their commodity….every child has a commodity. This is the carrot, the thing that motivates them to behave and do what is expected of them. For my oldest son it was time outside with his friends when he was younger and in his teen years, it was his phone. For me it was the car keys, but I think most teens today would cite their phone as their commodity. Know your kids, know what they want most, and then tie their behavior to it.

“If you are giving your child a cell phone with zero expectations of behavior, grades or responsibility, then you are wasting their greatest commodity and have no leverage for your rules or your expectations.”

We have always raised our kids with very high expectations of achievement and being authoritative parents has helped us to raise kids who are self motivated, self-disciplined, and focused on achieving their goals to better themselves and their communities.

It is never too late to improve or change your parenting style. Make a parenting plan today and watch how your kids will rise up to meet your expectations of them.

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