What Kind of Parent Are You?
Do you struggle to find a balance between drill sergeant mom and best friend mom? I do. As a teacher, I see a lot of kids whose parents put tremendous pressure on them to achieve and excel. I see just as many kids whose parents are more concerned about their kids liking them than seeing them as authority figures. Too much pressure can cause anxiety and self-esteem issues. Too little can result in kids who give up easily and don’t develop a good work ethic.
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The Three Parenting Styles
Anyone who ever took Psychology 101 knows developmental psychologist Diane Baumrind’s three types of parenting styles: authoritarian (strict, rigid, and demanding obedience); authoritative (has standards and boundaries, but with a caring tone and flexibility); permissive (no rules, man – don’t upset the cherubs). Okay, there is also a fourth style, neglectful, but we won’t go into that one today. The recommended style of parenting, and management in the workplace, incidentally, is authoritative. Most people strive for this, but it plays out a little differently from person to person. Did you see a leaning one way or the other in your parents? Lots of times one parent is more permissive and one is more authoritarian, even though both are striving to be authoritative. You can take this free parenting style quiz from Psychology Today if you’re not sure what your style is.
I’m Not a Cool Mom . . . I’m a Regular Mom.
I’d love to say that I’m totally authoritative. But if I’m being honest, I have leanings in the “authoritarian” direction. Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher and I’ve seen kids be disrespectful to each other and to adults one too many times. Maybe it’s because my parents leaned in that direction. Either way, I sometimes find myself being a little too rigid. Once you cross over that line, it’s hard to scramble back to the right side of it.
Do Your Best. It’s Enough.
Having raised 2 out of my 3 boys to adulthood and seeing at least a couple thousand students move through my classes over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to mess up. Just acknowledge it, apologize, and move on. Love them with all your heart and do your best to be fair and firm, but gentle when that’s what the situation calls for. Listen to them, see them, and be a coach and guide, not a drill sergeant or a best buddy. Every kid is different: love them, enjoy the people they are, and coach them to be kind, empathetic, diligent, persistent, responsible adults. Act the way you want them to act. Treat them the way you want them to treat others. Will everything go perfectly? Heck no. Will anything go perfectly? Don’t get your hopes up. But perfect is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? You will worry and fret over them and about whether you’re handling things the right way, but in the end, what you have to give really, truly is enough. It’s okay, mom, because you’re trying.
“Because I Said So.” – Mom
Local Jeffrey Alans Boutiques
If you’re local, you really need to check the Jeffrey Alans boutique out. Jeffrey Alans (and its sister store, Prairie Gardens in Champaign, IL) is mainly a home decor and garden store with locations in Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and Springfield, IL. But what you may not know is that each of these stores has a surprisingly large and completely amazing fashion boutique inside! It’s a mix of trendy and classic pieces, plus tons of accessories; and friends, it’s TEACHER budget friendly (YESSSSSS!). I recently visited the Peoria Jeffrey Alan’s (check out the “Collabs” highlight on my Instagram profile to see the boutique on my first visit!). I would like to thank Jeffrey Alans for partnering with me on this post.
My Jeffrey Alans Picks
In addition to the Ruby’s Rubbish “Because I Said So” mom tee I’m wearing, I also found this cute summer-weight striped cardigan and gray fleece (like soft, comfy “sweatshirt” material) skirt at Jeffrey Alans. And you should know that this skirt has pockets — always an asset. All three of these cute, easy pieces are perfect for summer mommin’.
You’ve Got This, Mama
So do your best, but don’t stress. Celebrate the good stuff, learn from the not-so-good stuff, and above all, love the kids you have. Challenge them to do their best, but try to keep things realistic. And if all else fails (which it may at times, but don’t worry because it’ll swing back again!), one thing that has helped us through many types of parenting situations is a really good sense of humor.