As im pregnant with my first child , I often wonder what kind of parenting style ill adopt.
I picture myself being authorative, but I hate the idea of being authoritarian, as in 'you cant have a biscuit because I SAID SO," and will try to reason and compromise the best I can. I believe in being consistent with discipline, and sticking to my word.
However I know this will probably be easier said than done, but this was the way I was brought up.
What kind of parent did you envision yourself being? Liberal? Authorative? Authoritarian? And did you stick to it? Do you bring your children up the same way as you were?
Please dont flame me for having an idea of how I think I would be as a parent- its all part of the fun for me and I appreciate that having children and thinking about being a parent are two different things. Just want to know what im in for
I have two DDs, (nearly 10 and nearly 7) and I am authoritative as I expected to be, but I think I give my children more freedom than I thought I would.
My parents were strict, and sometimes wouldn't allow me to do many things that my contemporaries did. I thought I would be the same. In reality, I am strict, but actually within my rules, my children have a lot of freedom (but if they break the rules, I come down on them like a ton of bricks). So I allowed my eldest to go to the park earlier than many of her friends, or to the cinema with friends (and no adults), walking to the shops alone, walking home from school alone etc. I was one of the last from my friends to do these things, but my daughter is amongst the first. However, my DD was recently described by a teacher at the school as "very sensible" (she is) and so she can be trusted to do these things. We also talk a lot about boundaries, and expectations so she is entirely clear about what she is and is not allowed to do
i think it's interesting how much we tend to parent our own childhood, rather than our children. i remember being 11 &, fed up with my mum's unreasonable response, thinking "i'll write a list of all the stuff my mum does that i hate & never do that to my own kids"... needless to say i got caught up in another pre-teen hormone rush & never did, as i was off dreaming/stropping about something else.
but needless to say, our kids are different to us & grow up in a different world than we did, so the playing terrain has totally changed. applying rules from nineteencanteen in a non-adaptive way just willny work!
i think the best balance that's worked for me is based on understanding rather than doing the same or opposite as how you were brung up. for me (whose mum went from over-empathic baby-led, to ran-out-of-sympathy wouldny listen to owt before barking "don't be ridiculous") i found a flexible routine for babies (so i knew how i could plan my day but could change to more frequent feeding during eg. growth spurt). then as toddlers make sure i followed through what i said (treat or sanction) & clear boundaries, then as they get older explain in more detail, talk about stuff. at all ages LISTEN because they deserve to have their say.
i always try to remember what it was like to be that age & have those feelings, and then decide how to react, & even if i have my reasons for saying "no you really can't", i can let them know that i see their side but still have to take the bossy responsible parent tack.
very important for me especially as i regularly cock up is to delay & allow thinking time before making decision, or be prepared to change that decision, & admitting if i've done wrong by shouting at them & calling them an arse & apologise as we all make mistakes! this may well be because my folks wouldny budge or discuss once the initial reaction had been issued as writ. i like to be more reasonable rather than authoritarian!
i thought i'd be the opposite to my mum, but in fact have seen some echoes (of good bits hehe) & some new bits i've learnt myself. it's good to think about how you're doing it so you can assess whether you need to sort bits. consider it a works in progress as both you & kids grow & needs change. core values will probably shine through, mines are good manners, caring & probably explaining too much!