Did you get a parenting manual when your child was handed to you? Sometimes it feels like it would have been easier if we had been given a guide or some 3-step formula when they were born. Instead, you’re searching the internet for quick tips and hacks to get you through the current parenting struggle. Sometimes the picture gets blurry… but God is not done with the story!
Maybe you’re currently looking at a picture of life and of your child that isn’t quite what you thought it would look like back when they were little. Maybe your teen is rebellious. Maybe you have a child who is simply ignoring you. Maybe you’ve thrown up your hands and declared, “It is what it is!” That may be true, but only for this moment. God created that masterpiece in the making and He is not done yet!
What can you do in the meantime?
Different Parenting Styles
As you child grows and changes, you also have to grow and change. I mention these five major parenting styles in the Parenting by the Rules. Consider where you fit and how you can change to meet the needs of each of your children.
Authortative – This type of parent is typically seen as the most effective and helpful to a child. They are flexible and fair. They try to listen and communication without overreacting. This type of parenting tends to be more predictable and is full of grace, understanding, forgiveness, kindness, and unconditional love. They teach their kids that they can accomplish great things if they are willing to work hard and put their mind to it.
Permissive – This parent is easy going. Kids might call them pushovers. There are fewer rules. They focus on peace and harmony to avoid conflict. These parents believe their kids will figure things out, but this hands-off approach can make kids feel less loved because the parent is too disengaged.
Helicopter – This style of parenting is a blend between authoritative and permissive. They see the need for boundaries and rules to keep chaos at bay, but try to give more freedom. Unfortunately, fear and anxiety often define these parents. While well-intentioned with the requirements of constant check-ins, these parents must remember teach the why along the way.
Hovering – These parents are more intrusive than the helicopter parent. At the first sign of trouble, they sweep in for the rescue. There’s a fine line between rescuing and letting your kids figure things out. It’s important for these parents to ask God for wisdom and discernment.
Lawnmower – This mom or dad is going to make sure their child has every opportunity on a paved path. They don’t believe that anyone else has their child’s best interest in mind. They are well-meaning, but they are likely to quickly step in to talk to teachers or coaches to argue on their child’s behalf.
Every parenting style has its strengths and weaknesses. We as the parents have to adjust to the child we have, not the child we’re trying to make them into. If the picture gets blurry, maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at how you’re parenting a particular child and adjust. Only God knows your child’s heart, so you have to focus on building a strong relationship with them. Give them a strong foundation by modeling Biblical principles that govern your decision-making.
Ask yourself and the Lord these questions:
- What do I need to change?
- When do I need to change?
- When do I need to hold firm?
- When do I need to press pause?
- When do I need to let my responsible child have more freedom?
Always remember that your child has a calling on their life; a plan and a purpose from God. It’s up to you to help them discover that!
References and Links
The following may contain affiliate links.
- Learn more about Parenting Beyond the Rules
- How to Set Curfews for Children – ETB #7
- Parenting Strong-Minded Children (Part 1) – ETB #10
- Parenting Passive Children – ETB #12
- 7 Tips to Improve Listening to Your Teen – ETB #16
- Raising Kids Amid Cultural Chaos – ETB #36
- A Conversation about Love-Centered Parenting with Crystal Paine – ETB #54
- Living with a Rebellious Child – ETB #87
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