Firstly, as a new parent you are bombarded with parenting styles, tips and advice from pregnancy. In the last few decades parenting styles and parenting tips have been studies, books, courses, coaching literature, documentaries, TV shows and movies that have been widely shared and marketed.
As subjective as parenting styles can be, what is clear is that it has been proven to have an impact on your child’s physical and emotional health.
Most importantly, your choice in parenting style should support healthy growth and development. How we interact with our child or children greatly influences them for the rest of their lives.
PARENTING STYLES EXPLAINED
Diana Baumrind in the 1960’s created the most referenced 3 categories of parenting styles called the Prototypical descriptions of 3 parenting styles.
- Authoritative parenting – A positive relationship with your child is important, you have rules and boundaries and there are consequences, but your child’s feelings are considered.
- Authoritarian parenting – Children should be seen and not heard, and this includes their feelings
- Permissive parenting – You have rules but rarely enforce them with little consequences and try not to interfere.
Lastly and more notable the uninvolved parenting style, this really requires no effort because you know and make no effort to know anything about your child.
As parents, we all don’t always fit into just one category.
PARENTING WITH A TRIBE
Growing up in an African community with a strong Ubuntu (community) values, parenting isn’t singular nor insular. It involves help. Help because the belief is that it takes a village to raise and love a child.
A study by Oxford University has shown that grandparents play a vital role in increasing children’s well being (emotional and behavioural).
Becoming a parent for the first time is life altering. Equally important to the addition of a growing family is a community. As well as a strong support of friends and family. In addition, self care and healthy parenting go hand in hand.
As an independent working adult, tackling parenting in the same way you would a new career or responsibility would be the pragmatic thing to do.
You need a team, resources and support.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially challenging, as a recent single working parent, more than ever it has become more apparent the value that village offers to help raise a child .
As a parent while you nurture, you need to be nurtured yourself. In order to stay #winning at your career and life. Parenting is not martyrdom.
I always took the many villages I grew up in for granted and didn’t fully appreciate the work that it indeed takes to create and sustain one.
In addition, the benefit of having Grand parents or siblings round the corner is invaluable. While they provide free childcare that most enjoy on a daily or weekly basis. The days out at cousins, family friend visiting days or even the neighbours. Then the Aunties or Uncles who popped round unannounced to visit that ate all the good food and drinks and refused to leave were lifelines.
Your favourite stories from Aunty or the way Uncle played hide and seek. These experiences create different bonds that form much needed healthy attachment for a young growing human.
As a protagonist, my style of parenting is to be expected. To be able to parent in a healthy way requires support. Along with a sharing of duties so you are able to give the best parts of yourself to your growing little human.
Ultimately, as parents, we all don’t always fit into just one category. Studies confirm that our parenting styles and their impact especially as an authoritative parent is best. A continuous improvement as our child / children grow and mature. Here are some tips and opportunities to become a more authoritative parent.
There is no optimal or perfect parent. Dedication and commitment to be your best is all that we can be. In order to maintain a relationship with your child while establishing your authority in a healthy manner.