When I talk to teens, I hear this time and time again. Teens want to be heard, but they feel like their parents are not listening. Parents tell me that their teen doesn’t talk to them. Your teen has few true choices at this point in their life. You are choosing where they live and where they go to school. Their choices in food and clothes are likely limited by budget or other restrictions. They are desperately trying to mature from a child into an adult, but they are not going to navigate that path perfectly. Some of the tension comes because you as the parent need to work on creating your unique parenting style and figuring out how that fits with your unique child.
There are a lot of parenting styles out there. You can do a quick search online and find the big ones named and defined. I also talk about this in Parenting Beyond The Rules. Here are a few styles that you’ll likely come across:
Do you fall into any of these parenting styles? How is that working in your family?
The Goal of Your Parenting Style
Relationship with your child should be the goal of your parenting style. If you feel like there’s something missing in your relationship with one or more of your kids, it might be your parenting style. You have to be in tune with each kid. What you say or how you say something to one child could crush another child. It’s all about speaking in a way that the child can hear you.
Can I Change My Parenting Style?
Yes! Your parenting style needs to change as your child grows and matures and as they learn to show respect and honor. When you pivot and make changes to your parenting style, it shows your child that you’re working together with them. Now, about half of you are likely thinking that this is no big deal. You’re the go-with-the-flow type and making these changes may come more naturally for you. The other half of you are freaking out right now because you don’t like change. But, relationships change over time and so must your parenting style.
How Do I Change My Parenting Style?
I’m here to tell you that changing your parenting style is simple. Ok, maybe not as simple in the sense that I can lay out all of the steps for you like an instruction manual, but I can confidently tell you the starting steps.
Step One: Pray
The first step is to pray. Your child, each of your children, is a masterpiece fashioned by a master creator and architect. I purposely used this imagery of paint and paintbrushes on the front cover of Parenting Beyond the Rules.
This isn’t a paint-by-number craft project. In contrast, God created your child with unique strengths, gifts, and talents. It’s your job to help your child figure out where to put the colors and shapes onto the blank canvas of their lives. When you pray, you’re talking to the master architect! Consult him about how to teach and train your child.
Step Two: See Through the Lens of Your Child
You need to work towards seeing the world the way your child does. You have to talk to them in a way that they can hear and understand you. Your strong-willed child may not flinch when you reprimand with a harsh tone, but your sensitive child could be devasted by the same words and tone. Figure out who they are and treat them like the unique masterpiece that God is creating them to be. They need to know that you’re going to be there for them, no matter what happens. This is about having mutual respect and honor. To listen to each other. It’s not about winning a battle or even today’s argument. The goal is relationship and that means being the best parent you can be… for each of your children.
Creating Your Unique Parenting Style
Your unique parenting style is going to change over and over again through the years and for each child. It’s ok to change. It is necessary to change. You will have to keep creating your unique parenting style and keep adjusting your parenting style to meet the needs of your family and each of your children. Your kids are counting on you!
References and Links
The following may contain affiliate links.
- Buy a copy of Parenting Beyond the Rules
- Parenting Strong-Minded Children (Part 1) – ETB #10
- Parenting Passive Children – ETB #12
- Wisely Choose Who You Listen To – ETB #32
- Foster Respect Between You and Your Teen – ETB #49
- Knowing Your Strengths Part 1 – ETB #71
- How to Successfully Raise a Strong-Willed Child – ETB #82
- How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs – ETB #94
- Building a Family Name – ETB #96
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