What kind of parent are you?

(52 Posts)
mayoandchips Wed 10-Jul-13 22:49:04

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 smile

Mycatistoosexy Wed 10-Jul-13 22:52:47

I thought I'd be a lot more authoritarian. I'm not. I'm a proper hippy. My dad is appalled smile

I allow far more than I ever thought I would.

TheBookofRuth Wed 10-Jul-13 22:59:19

Heh, me too Mycat - my mum was the "strict-but-loving" type and I assumed I'd be the same. I'm as soft as clarts, it's dreadful, I make myself cringe half the time with my liberal, baby-led indulgent hippy ways!

I don't think you can really know what sort of parent you'll be till your baby's born, and then you may completely surprise yourself.

usualsuspect Wed 10-Jul-13 23:00:37

I just winged it mostly.

Myliferocks Wed 10-Jul-13 23:02:44

I have 5 DC and I've found over the years that my style of parenting has changed according to the ages and personalities of my DC.
Also changes have occurred as I've got older and discovered different ways of dealing with situations.

justaweeone Wed 10-Jul-13 23:05:40

I am one that gets by!
Did have some ideas before my daughter was born ie no choc ie milky bar when a toddler but did !My son fitted in as he was born when his sis was 5 so had to bung him in car for school run etc
They are great kids so glad made it up as I went along,winged it and did not give a .... to what other people say
Think the children are ok!

Tee2072 Wed 10-Jul-13 23:09:29

Had no idea. Still don't and he's 4.

blueshoes Wed 10-Jul-13 23:14:22

I thought I would be strict and no-nonsense but my children have different ideas.

AllegraLilac Wed 10-Jul-13 23:27:20

I think most people just cope. Those who do everything to the letter, with no flexibility, give their children weird issues imo. Everyone just does the best they can with the skills they have as parents - not a lot mostly.

hellymelly Wed 10-Jul-13 23:33:26

A very, very tired one.

purrpurr Wed 10-Jul-13 23:35:14

I have a 7 week old and I'm surprised by how I'm parenting her. I knew I'd be protective, but I had read about feeding routines and things when I was pregnant and was keen to put something in place to make life easier. So protective but organised. Or something. It turned out that I couldn't breast feed, so started bottle feeding. Every midwife and my health visitor then said she would need to be fed every 3-4 hours. Riiiiight. Actually my DD couldn't go that long without food and stil can't. And so what. Sod the routine!

Preciousbane Wed 10-Jul-13 23:41:25

I try to explain why they can't, can, shouldn't, should. Just saying no or because I said so isn't enough. If your unlucky you will get an answer for everything child looking at you DS

I expect manners and help with chores so I would say I'm a reasonable realist authoritarian type, if such a thing exists.

They are all lovely till they get to secondary school and make jokes about lap dancing cats at the dinner table, eyeballing DS again , no such nonsense from DD.

MeanAndMeaslyMiddleAges Thu 11-Jul-13 00:42:07

Not as perfect as I planned to be! Less authoritative, and for the first year I was very by the book, but I'm actually a lot more laid back than I thought, whilst still being a bit anxious over development, and not as firm as I should be. And I'm a bit pfb sometimes too!

I'm going to suffer, aren't I! grin

rootypig Thu 11-Jul-13 00:46:25

The opposite of my mum, who made me feel so endlessly, relentlessly criticised. I want my DD to feel unconditional love. So lots more positive reinforcement, a lot less criticism. I hope!

MirandaWest Thu 11-Jul-13 00:49:59

No idea. Wing it mostly and make a mess of it more often than not. No good with routines. I hope they feel loved

stowsettler Thu 11-Jul-13 07:29:32

DD is only 19 weeks old so I don't know really. I do know I am quite organised as a parent (which is hardly a surprise as I am MRS ANAL in all , other aspects of my life), I try to engage with her as much as possible, but recognise when she wants to be left alone - the signs are obvious, she just avoids my eye.

vladthedisorganised Thu 11-Jul-13 09:20:45

Authoritarian doesn't sit well with me - I think everyone's different and there's no reason to suppose all children or babies are the same either.
Very hot on manners, blase about routines, not even remotely organised, and try to explain rather than saying 'because I'm bigger/ I said so'.

It amuses me to look back at my pregnant self swearing I'd be 'dark green' - reuseable/no nappies, no toys, long walks in the forest, digging the garden for recreation, hand-made clothes.. Well, we do some gardening, I suppose!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 11-Jul-13 09:27:28

I'm with myliferocks. They need different things as they grow and as you discover just how many things there are for which you have no answer...

Roooneymara Thu 11-Jul-13 09:37:19

I never knew. I thought I'd hate children, the loss of control and so on...and I do hate that, but in terms of style, well, I'm very honest with them. Probably far TOO honest.

I think I overshare. Which I am working on. I also swear a lot, things are very much to the surface, I mean they know when I'm cross and they know when I am happy...we talk about EVERYthing.

So we wing it together really. We meet obstacles and we deal with them, not always in the best way, but we do try. I am always trying to be funny as well, which at present they find quite funny but I know that won't last.

Also I had very laid back parents who never shouted much, never told me what to do, there was some guidance but not enough and I really floundered about hopelessly with my social skills and everything else.

So I intend to give my children the benefit of the knowledge I have now - at nearly 40 - because I learned it the hard, and stupid, way. They deserve someone who will say 'No that is a fucking terrible idea' when they are 17 and want to buy a camper van and live in it.

not that I ever did that, oh no hmmm

Roooneymara Thu 11-Jul-13 09:40:48

Also I forgot to say. My parents never hugged me much. There was again a bit of physical affection but my mum said she couldn't feel any love for me till I was about 20. (she was nice but she didn't feel it iyswim)

So I hug mine a lot, not always at bedtime (too chaotic, there isn't always time before they have crashed out) and not always at other times either but when I want them to know I love them, I don't hold back.

I'm pretty rubbish really. But I'm good at the baby stage, that is VERY much baby led, never left to cry, co sleeping, BF till 4 etc etc. Babies need this stuff the most I think.

whototurnto Thu 11-Jul-13 09:58:57

With dd1 I read far too many books and listen too well to the people who didn't really know my baby, that went out of the window by 2 months because it just wasn't working... Surprisingly!! We eventually cobbled something of a routine together and although, I'm very strict on behaviour and showing her what I find acceptable and what I expect of her when she is at school/grans etc, the rest I'm pretty chilled with,

Dd2 has been a lesson well learnt. While dd1 never needed sleep training / night weaning / medical assistance with anything other than SALT when she was 3, dd2 has needed so much extra care! Hip problems, problems feeding, weight gain or rather, lack of, problems weaning.... Let's not even start on the sleep issues... It's been rough so I'm winging it, I have a rough routine that generally fits in with life.

I'm 25 wks pg with ds1 and I'm hoping and praying he is like dd1 and not like dd2! Although, considering I've already been in hospital 3 times with this pg, I am not counting my chickens just yet!

Kiwiinkits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:04:47

I thought I'd be a consistent, warm mum but actually I am better at it than I thought I would be. And I love them SOOOOO much more than I thought I would. Seeing them just melts me and they make both DH and I so happy.

I read all the routine books and I knew (personality wise) that a planned/routine approach would work best for me and DH. And luckily it did. DH and I talked about a lot of stuff up front and knew each other's ground-rules. For example, neither of us were keen on co-sleeping or having a baby in our room, and both of us were comfortable with supplementary formula feeds.

I do most things I thought I would (they had cloth nappies, were exposed to lots of books and music, I went back to work relatively quickly, we used homebased care rather than nursery).

One area of divergence from plan was that I didn't BF my babies as long as I had originally planned. But long enough (11 months).

Kiwiinkits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:07:41

My mum was a WONDERFUL mum but far more go with the flow than I'll ever be. And a key difference between my approach and my mothers is how much involvement my DH has with our kids (heaps) compared to my dad's (essentially zero, even at weekends).

Badvoc Thu 11-Jul-13 10:16:08

I try very hard to show my dc affection so lots of hugs, telling them I love them etc. as I never had that growing up.
I do feel that I have to be a parent rather than a friend...they have friends.
They need me to be someone who sets boundaries, reward good behaviour and help them understand that bad benhaviour is not acceptable.
I also try very hard To instill manners and self esteem.
So I would say I am a mixture of both...authoritarian and go with the flow.

Eyesunderarock Thu 11-Jul-13 10:19:08

Affectionate, rational.
Worked for us.

h26swal03 Thu 11-Jul-13 11:18:54

I am definitely a hippy mammy! Not so much so as my mam who LIVED by the "anything for an easy life" philosophy. After seeing the way my youngest brother (5) behaves I knew that I could never be like that. I am easy going with my daughter, but strict when it matters,ad she knows that when I say "no" it is serious, rather than me being petty. However, my friends and family keep joking that I spoil and it makes me so angry! She is well-behaved and polite and is so good when we go out.

Badvoc Thu 11-Jul-13 11:21:29

I try and live by the adage "say yes when you can but when you say no mean it"

OhTiger Thu 11-Jul-13 11:23:44

I didn't really think about them not being babies blush

I'm very easy going though, my mantra is "will this matter in 10 years time?" so, manners, respect, kindness, learning and wanting to learn,all important, but DD2 hating running and me letting her miss sports day today, won't really matter grin

But mostly what usual said. Winging it.

OhTiger Thu 11-Jul-13 11:25:00

I try and live by the adage "say yes when you can but when you say no mean it"

Also this! It's easy to get in the habit of saying no. I try and stop and think and say yes as much as possible.

JoandMax Thu 11-Jul-13 11:26:09

The opposite of my parents!! They had a lot of good points but were very conditional, limited praise and wanting us to 'keep up with the Jones's' type stuff rather than realising how we really were and what we really wanted/needed.

So I try my best to be unconditional, make sure they know I love them enormously and will always be proud whatever path they take. And that its ok to be different and they will always have their parents support. And that they make me happy! I hug and kiss them lots too.

I'm quite firm on some things - set bedtimes, good manners, meals at the table etc but quite laidback in other ways.

I think we're doing ok, we're all happy so it cant be too bad!!

Thingymajigs Thu 11-Jul-13 11:30:07

I find that I change to fit the children. Ds1 requires strict boundaries because he will push them at every opportunity. He florishes best when given clear, unchanging rules. Ds2 needs a softer approach and is more capable of sensible compromise.
I started off being very laid back but realised I had to change when behaviour became an issue. It's been a constant learning curve.

notso Thu 11-Jul-13 11:45:41

When I was younger I used to think I'd be the kind of Mum that let DC do anything, fast forward to having my a teenage DD and I am not that Mum!

I try and understand my children more than my parents did with me. My Mum was always saying I was too young to have a boyfriend/shave my legs/dye my hair.
I have tried to let DD 'know herself' if she feels ready to shave her legs then why should I say she can't.
I also keep my own mistakes to myself, my parents often said we smoked/took drugs/didn't study enough and regretted it so you shouldn't do it, however I took this as they did it and they are Ok so I'll be OK too. With DD I don't use myself as an example, I prefer to remain a paragon of virtue.
One of the best pieces of advice we were given was if you say it you have to follow it through.
If I say I'll read with DS1 in a minute I do,
If I say do that again and there's no TV for a week then that is what will happen.

Bonsoir Thu 11-Jul-13 11:47:01

I get more authoritative (not authoritarian) as the years pass. I started out being quite free range! Not so much these days.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Thu 11-Jul-13 16:11:30

I am a "path of least resistance" parent. I basically get dictated to by my 4 month old grin

neontetra Thu 11-Jul-13 16:35:39

I have been the opposite of how I expected to be so far. I thought I would be pro routine from day one - in fact I wasn't at all. I thought I would FF from day one - am still BF at 15 months. I thought I would make all the food from scratch - in fact I have used many a pouch or jar - why chop and blend when you could be cuddling?
The key thing is, I feared I wouldn't love my daughter, or would only love her if she had certain qualities - in fact I find I would lay down my life for her a thousand times. I couldn't give a shit what she ends up being good or bad at, as long as she is happy. And I am much more physically affectionate than I thought I would be.
Instincts played a big part in it all for me - rational thought sent out of the window!

wordfactory Thu 11-Jul-13 18:03:58

I don't have a consistent style at all.

I use whatever tool I have in my kit to get the job done. Sometimes I scream and shout, sometimes I give in, sometimes I cajole, sometimes I bargain, sometimes I bribe grin...

I think my style is flexible...

teacher123 Thu 11-Jul-13 18:39:08

I'm much more routine based than I thought I would ever be. I realised in the early days that going with the flow didn't suit me and DS at all. I need structure in my life, so consistent bedtimes/naptimes/mealtimes have been on the agenda since weaning. (I bf on demand for the first 6 months).

I am quite strict, but I am quite pfb and protective. I don't want him to have to toughen up too quickly. (14mo)

Bonsoir Thu 11-Jul-13 18:57:01

I do want free-thinking DC, however - independent experience (albeit in situations of mt choosing) is key to my parenting style.

Sunshine200 Thu 11-Jul-13 20:55:26

I thought that I'd just carry on my life as normal and my children would just fit it. Imagined taking a young baby camping, on bike rides, even along to parties and they would just sleep there (ha ha ha!).

I also thought I would be a lot stricter than I am I.e no chocolate until they were 4, always eat at nicely at the table etc (again ha ha ha!). I do think it depends on your child's personality though, some make it pretty hard to stick to your guns. My dd is very demanding and she gets away with too much. I do what I can to get by.

SilkySocksSinkShips Thu 11-Jul-13 21:13:29

Being a nursery nurse for 6 years before having DS and being so hot on health & safety, routine, child protection etc, I thought I would be a worrier parent - the type that buys stoppers so doors don't slam on fingers, socket protectors and so on. I'm actually more laid back, soon realised I wouldn't get sued if my child broke his arm falling off the sofa! grin

Seriously though, it definitely changes as they get older. I'm laid back about most things but I don't tolerate misbehaviour in public places. I always thought I'd follow the book but reality was definitely different!

Only thing about being a nursery nurse was the prohibited use of the word 'naughty'. I've never called a child naughty, ever, and this has become part of my parenting. At 2.4, DS has never been called naughty and doesn't even know what it means. I don't work in child care anymore either but the emphasis on naughty being a big no-no is still there.

stopgap Fri 12-Jul-13 02:41:27

My son is two. I'm very affectionate, silly, try to encourage creative play and a love of the outdoors, but I'm also strict about certain things (bedtime, being kind to our dogs, saying please and thank you as opposed to whining for something).

FadBook Fri 12-Jul-13 03:30:06

What's the deal with not saying 'naughty' silk? Is it because its a negative word or that the behaviour is 'naughty' (unacceptable) rather than the child?

I always get confused by this blush

matana Fri 12-Jul-13 12:31:06

The kind that never scrimps on love, cuddles and kisses as much and as often as I can. Because of this my 2.6yo ds knows that when I sound stern I mean it and he should listen! I'll be one of those embarrassing mothers who is still stealing public displays of affection - deliberately - when he's 16. The kind that gives him space and freedom to develop confidence and explore on his own without calling him back all the time, and encourage him to dust himself off when he falls. But when he's really hurt I'll sweep him up in my arms and kiss it better. He has truly made me a much better person than I ever thought possible. Not a perfect mum by any means, but a better human being.

SilkySocksSinkShips Fri 12-Jul-13 21:05:15

FadBook - it's because it's a negative label. And if you say a child is naughty, that's not really addressing the behaviour, just calling the child a name. It can affect their confidence , esteem etc. Same with the term stupid - say it often enough, a child will believe they're stupid.

Fuzzymum1 Sat 13-Jul-13 11:58:27

I like the 'strict but loving' description. I am very firm - the rules are there and I expect them to be stuck to but I go with the reminders of the rules rather than actual punishment other than timeout for the youngest who is six, and almost never ever deviate from them - if it's OK today why is it not OK tomorrow? All of my boys are expected to remember their manners etc. I am loving and have loads of fun with them but I am their parent first and their friend second.

cory Sat 13-Jul-13 18:27:58

Fairly laidback now they are older. I do insist on being spoken to respectfully, no swearing in my hearing, absolutely no derogative or sexist language, but am open to being told that I am talking through the back of my head. Tend to trust them rather than snoop.

Basically I am more relaxed now that I can see they've got the sense they were born with. Also they have got used to me and know where the boundaries are. Not very different from my own parents, except that I am more shock proof. Dd tells me things that I would have tried to protect my parents from because I always felt they were a bit innocent.

According to my mother I'm unbelievably strict with them confused

I think I may have said 'No more jellies' once in her presence and she's decided I'm unfairly tough on them.... she seems to have had selective amnesia about taking packets of buttons my granny gave me and doling them out 1 a day!

I'm pretty relaxed really, some things I won't tolerate and come down hard on, lots of stuff I let fly. I'm not too pushed about treats or tv within reason. I'm a bit shouty but tbh I'm under a lot of stress with a degree, work and 3 children (2 with SN) so my nerves are a bit frazzled. I insist on politeness but am failing miserably to instil table manners and don't really care. I buy them treats 'just because' if I can afford it, they know not to nag fro them if I say no.

I'm somewhere between 'dragging them up' and 'child-led' wink

exoticfruits Sat 13-Jul-13 18:44:29

Very like my parents, except that once my mother said 'no' she stuck to it, whereas I am inclined to rethink, if given a reasoned, sensible argument.
I think that you can over think it all and all you really need is - unconditional love, security, time, and a sense of humour.

ouryve Sat 13-Jul-13 18:45:01

I'm usually fairly laid back, but can be because I have tight boundaries to be laid back within. I set those boundaries taking the boys into account, though. Both have SN, which always ups the ante a little bit. I also build in wiggle room, because it's in DS1's nature to argue with everything, so I give him the opportunity to negotiate a reasonable compromise, in some situations and feel like he has complete control in others (usually, he doesn't really).

Carly3869 Sun 14-Jul-13 17:45:01

I started off thinking I'd be strict and that he'd fit in around our lives but it didn't happen! I'm ridiculously soft and gentle with him and everything revolves around him! I'm even a sahm now which I never imagined. One thing I've learnt is don't compare children of similar ages. They all reach their milestones at different ages sometimes months apart and it used to bother me. But then I realised all adults are different and therefore children are! Enjoy! Everyone said it goes so quick and I thought yeah right, but it really does, it's weird!

LadyLech Sun 14-Jul-13 21:01:38

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 grin

veryberrybug Mon 15-Jul-13 01:15:29

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. grin

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! wink 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! grin

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