In my most recent homeschool magazine, I read an article about Six Negative Parenting Styles. In reading about each, I saw that I was a piece of every one of those styles and thought it took a lot of nerve to cast stones when we’re all doing the best we can in our homeschooling. I will keep mag nameless, only to say that it’s not Homeschooling Today or Home Education Magazine or The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. The author of the article is a mother of 5 homeschool grads, so she does have some credit in the homeschool parenting circle, but the entire article was based around the fact that all kids are like hers and therefore it would behoove her readers to take heed of her negative advice. As I read the article I realized that she had a very narrow view of those who homeschooled and the freedom we have, otherwise she wouldn’t have slammed 6 types of parenting styles. Again, the points I make are encouragements for you to do what you need to do. This blog counteracts the negative spin that an article placed on each of these parenting styles.
1) Controlling parents. It’s okay to take control when you see your kid heading down the wrong path. I wouldn’t be alive today had my Mom not taken control when I was in the grips of a heroin addiction. I needed to be told to get up, go outside, and walk around the block when I was in recovery. I needed to be told to put one foot in front of the other. On a smaller scale, I am a helicopter parent at times. It’s the Christ in me. I am like a protective wing over my children. They are 8, 6 and 4. I am in control over how much time they spend away from me and how much time they spend in front of the tv. I am controlling when they are struggling and need to be told what to do. My oldest asked me the other day to stop treating him so much like and adult because sometimes he likes when I tell him just what to do. It’s okay to be a helicopter parent when they need that protection and direction. We are older and wiser (hopefully) and we know what’s best in many situations. Don’t ever be afraid to be “controlling” if it’s what’s best for your family. Controlling can be another word for protection, if done with that intention.
2) Permissive parents. Yup, letting your child learn to make choices at times instead of making the correct choices for them can be great. Giving them freedom to make wrong decisions while still at home is better than waiting until they get out into the world. Go ahead, be the permissive parent. I am finding great success with this mantra.
3) Disappointed parents. I am okay with my children being little nerds. I am not disappointed at the fact that they don’t play sports or play a musical instrument. I will never make them feel like I am disappointed at what they don’t accomplish. However, I am very disappointed when I see a mean spirit within them come sputtering out of their mouths. They can be downright nasty sometimes, like ALL children, and I am very disappointed when I see that. I am disappointed when they break or destroy things in the home. I respect my home and take care of our things because my husband works hard to make sure we have what we need. When the kids are destructive, I am disappointed. If you feel disappointed, you are not a bad parent.
4) Ideological parents. I have expectations for my kids and it’s not bad. I won’t be disappointed if my kids are not what I expect job-wise or faith-wise, but I still want the joyful life in Christ for them. Expect great things for your kids, and want the best for them. And if you feel a little disappointed if they choose drugs or a cult, it’s okay. You’re free to have these dreams and hopes for the little ones you’ve sacrificed so much for over the years.
5) Denial parents. Sometimes I have to turn on my denial switch. If I were to actually think about all the things that bother me I would lose my sh*t on those kids. I let them take care of their own room and in order to do that I must remain in denial and tell myself that its spotless. It helps my OCD calm down, while allowing them to learn about cleaning up their private space or living in their own filth. I am in denial about a few things and it’s best for my family all around. Denial isn’t that bad when used correctly.
6) Dependence parents. Raising my children to be dependent on me financially= not good. Raising my kids to call me when they need guidance, support, and encouragement=good. I want my children to know that they can depend on me and their Dad whenever they need to. If they ever go through a tough time, like a divorce one day, I would hope that they come to me and depend on me. I have a portion of Christ in me and they will be encouraged to depend on me because I can share Him openly with them. I have depended on others. I am totally co-dependant on my husband. I depend on Him for love, financially, help with the housework and kids, and for the Life he brings as the head of the house. Christ’s life flows through him and pours down into our family life. As a mother I have a nurturing portion of Christ. I would hope my family feels that they could always depend on that. Dependence is all around us and the world would stop spinning should be not be dependant on each other.
All of these traits could be good or bad. I read the bad in the article and wanted to shed light on the good. I want to leave you with this… a doctor uses a form of a knife, a scalpel, to perform surgeries and save lives. A murderer uses the knife to kill. The knife is not good or bad, it’s the people and the intentions that make us see the knife as a tool for good or bad. Anything can be done in Christ or with bad intentions. It’s good and bad to be all these things, but I believe it’s more helpful to write about the good. We heap enough guilt on ourselves as mothers so let’s look at the better parts of these 6 traits.
Have a wonderful week!