“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”― Bette Davis
As a parent, I am well-used to being told how much I am hated by my children.
It started when they were young-very young- and it has continued, although thankfully, it occurs a lot less now that they are young adults. Now, it has turned into something much closer to frustration and resignation for the old guy they are stuck with who will never mend his ways.
I have mentioned to you in a previous blog about the complexity of parenting. It really does not matter whether you are a couple or a single parent on your own, it is a tough role to play. Temperament and parenting style are the two major components in the make-up of any parent, and it is vitally important that each parent understands his/her own makeup in order to help them be better in their roles.
It does not require a Ph.D. to understand that how we were parented plays a huge part in how we will parent when it becomes our turn. If our general experience with our parents was a positive one, we will adopt the same general approach to parenting ourselves. Similarly, we tend to copy any negative features of their style, at least initially, because it is what we know.
If we are lucky, we have a partner that will help balance us as a parenting team. A partner whose own childhood experiences will help us understand where our style is working and where it is not. However, building your parenting team does not happen overnight.
The Importance Of Trust And Openness
Patrick Lenconi wrote a book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team for the business world, but its premise applies equally well to our model for effective parenting. The author argues that the foundation of a team relationship is trust. For two people in a relationship, trust grows with time into something more formalized. It is only when two people trust each other should they even begin to consider parenthood. It is only when these two people trust each other that they can move to the next step involving free and open dialogue about their parenting styles.
Because our experiences and styles are different, parenting conflict is inevitable, but it is to be welcome if done in a respectful, loving way. Without conflict, parents cannot move to a place of mutual understanding about their joint parenting style. The third stage requires parents to commit to working as a team in the interest of the child, and in the fourth, to respectfully hold each other accountable to being a team player.
They must agree to buy into their joint decisions, into standing together in the face of their child’s wrath, work to understand the role of each and, most importantly, agree not to work to undermine each other and, thus, the family. Finally, with these foundations in place, the parents can move onto the final stage of intentionally focusing on their child to ensure future growth.
Like any other team, it takes time to build such a team. However, in the end, it is more important than the colors of the nursery walls or the name of the baby. Of course, single parents often don’t have a natural team player to rely on in raising their children.
Moreover, they may be faced with an opposing team with a different game plan. In this case, it is important for a parent to build her own team among trusted friends and relatives-Influencers who will support and be there for you, and individuals that your children will listen to when they refuse to listen to you.
Understanding Your Parenting Style
Whatever your parenting team looks like, it is vitally important to have one. Understanding your individual parenting style is the foundation to your raising your child successfully. At ConfidentialParenting coach.com, we identify ten different parenting styles ranging from those that enjoy a free-range style to the narcissistic parents that are destructive to their child’s wellbeing.
In between, there is a range of styles that we can identify as both negative and positive forces. Our library of screenings offers one that each parent may take in the comfort and privacy of their home. We will score it for you, and provide you with your parenting style type.