We believe that being an effective parent is one of the most rewarding tasks in life. It is also one of the most challenging. We help parents develop specific positive parenting skills.
- Understand how children develop both emotionally and physically
- Learn effective, positive ways to deal with behaviors
- Understand how to encourage your child
- Discover ways to listen and talk openly
Some parents think children can be forced to obey. These parents think family life will improve if they “get tough” and make sure children follow their orders. Sometimes the parents yell or hit. This style of parenting is often called authoritarian. Parents who use this style tend to criticize their children. They may demand and threaten and use punishment or rewards to control. These parents remind and nag and may get too involved in homework. They may not trust or respect their child.
Some parents think it’s natural for children to rebel. They accept that children are hard to live with. These parents think the best approach is to stay out of a child’s way. They give in, letting their child do what they want.
Giving in is also called permissive parenting. Permissive parents avoid conflict at all costs. They feel powerless to deal with problems like drug abuse, teen sex and disrespect for authority. They decide that they have no way to keep these things from happening with their children.
Some parents feel guilty. They may work a lot and seldom see their children. They may be divorced, or in a new marriage. They may believe they have to make things up to their children, so they don’t deal with problems.
Giving in like this takes away respect from both parents and child. Children seem unable to control themselves, cooperate, or change. Parents seem helpless and unable to do their job as parents.
A democratic style balances rights and responsibilities. It aims to help children become responsible by showing respect and giving opportunities to make decisions. We all have different abilities, responsibilities and experiences, but we are still equally worthwhile as humans.
Does this mean that your child has the same privileges as you do? No. It means that you recognize the importance of your child’s wishes. It also means that you involve your child in decision making when appropriate. Democratic parents give a child choices that fit the child’s age and development.