Parenting Styles: Balanced Parenting

According to Prepare-Enrich, “a balanced style of parenting tends to be the most healthy because it balances age-appropriate child autonomy and parental control. Independence is encouraged and discipline is consistent and fair. Parenting is warm and nurturing without being overindulgent. According to research, a balanced parenting style is related to the best outcomes for children and teens. Balanced parenting is achieved by balancing closeness and flexibility Take a look at the below suggestions and find out what works for you and your family.

Suggestions for Increasing Parent/Child Closeness include:

  • Set aside quality time to be available and present with your child.
  • Share a special activity, such as Friday night movie night, breakfast on the weekend.
  • Help children with homework.
  • Prepare and/or eat meals together.
  • Have “dates” with each of your children/teens.
  • Say no to outside activities that take too much time and energy from your family.
  • Volunteer as a family in your community.
  • Create family photo albums together or review existing photos.
  • Tell your child/children why you are grateful having them in your life.

Book Resource: Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids by David Walsh

Suggestions for Increasing Child Autonomy and Reducing Parent/Child Closeness include:

  • Allow children to have different opinions and interests; value their individuality.
  • Respect one another’s space.
  • Create an area in the home where there is room for only one.
  • Encourage family members to spend time with friends and/or activities outside of the home.
  • Could “over-nurturing” be harming your child/teen?

Book Resource: How Much is Enough? by Jean Illsley Clark, Connie Dawson, and David Bredehoft

Balanced parenting style is achieved by balancing closeness and flexibility. Below are ideas for increasing or decreasing flexibility.

Suggestions for Increasing Parent/Child Flexibility include:

  • Try sharing leadership and roles to break-up normal routine.
  • Exchange household chores for a week.
  • Set limits for teens, but allow room for them to grow and think for themselves.
  • Allow children to negotiate and be part of the decision-making as age appropriate (e.g.: allow a young child to pick out an outfit, a pre-teen to select a restaurant for a family outing.)
  • Consider your child/teen’s perspective.

Book Resource: Life Teachings: Raising a Child by Jeanie David Pullen

Suggestions for Decreasing Flexibility and adding structure include:

  • Add ritual and routine to family life.
  • Set limits and standards for children/teens and enforce them.
  • Assign chores to children/teens that are age appropriate.

Book Resource: Take Back Your Kids by William Doherty

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