Yes, parenting styles change depending on the situation. How do you know what method to use? It is a matter of staying present in the moment and not getting caught up in the past or future.
Being a good parent requires you to take care of yourself. It needs you to continue your path of self-discovery. It requires you to take full responsibility for your behaviour.
It is wise for you and your partner to explore family of origin expectations on parenting. There will be aspects of parenting you want to continue and some you will want to do differently. Most of all you and your partner need to learn to parent together. The kids will quickly pick up if you have different standards and then they will play you off on each other.
All that I mentioned above takes intentionality. It is work that needs to happen for the rest of your life. Staying attentive to your issues when you are a parent will save you a lot of grief and will be the greatest gift you can give your children.
Children are guaranteed to push all your buttons. So, staying emotionally healthy will help you to handle the challenges your kids give you.
When you are grounded, you will notice when your parenting style needs to change. When you have full access to your inner wisdom, you will know what to do.
Read More On Parenting Styles: Click Here
Here are some situations that require different parenting styles:
At Times of Loss:
Children at times of loss whether that be a pet, friend, or family member, need to be included in the grieving. As a parent, you need to give your child room to grieve in their ways.
A lot of it will be lived out through play. The worst thing you can do is not talk about death and not take them to the funeral.
The more you can take care of yourself in your grief the more you can be there for your children. Don’t’ pretend to yourself and your children that nothing has changed. It has changed.
Openly acknowledge death. Talk openly about the person who died. Share stories of how they have impacted your life. Encourage children to do so in their own way. They might like to draw some pictures to express what they are feeling.
Be real with your children. Don’t be afraid of tears. Don’t hide from your kids.
One way your children will show grief is by acting out. Give them a bit of latitude. Just reassure your children that they are not alone. Reassure them that death is not to be feared.
Separation and Divorce:
Going through separation and divorce is one of the most challenging things you will ever experience. First, you and your partner need to be respectful of each other. With respect, you will find a way to meet your children’s needs. With maturity, you and your children are more than likely to get through this without severe emotional damage.
You and your partner will need to find a way to share the parenting if that is possible. Despite you no longer being a couple, you are still parents together.
Never complain about your spouse to the children. When you are with the children, try to act as healthy as possible.
Your children will pick up on your emotional state. It essential that you take care of yourself. Don’t pretend to your children that everything is okay. They need to know that Mommy and Daddy are having some difficulties. They need to know that you and your ex’s love for them will never change.
Remember this is not only difficult for you, but it is also hard on the children. They may show their upset by acting out. Give them room to grieve. If your children are finding it hard, some professional counsellors and coaches can help you and your kids through this.
Here are some of the psychological, and emotional needs that require different parenting styles:
The personality of the child:
No child comes with instructions. Even if you have one child, the next child will be different. No matter what your child is like they need your attention and love.
One child might be timid, and you will need to encourage him or her to risk putting themselves out in the world. Another child might seem boisterous and loud, and they need to know you are there for them. They may be testing you to see if they can trust you to be there. A child with learning challenges will need your patience as you help them to gain confidence in their ability to learn and succeed.
A great resource is a book called The Enneagram of Parenting by Elizabeth Wagele. Wagele helps you to become aware of the personality of your child which will give you some essential clues on how to best parent them.
Read More on Parenting and the Enneagram: Click Here
Emotional State of the child:
When a child is feeling sad, they will need to experience your gentle side reassuring your child that you are here for them.
When a child is upset, try to find out what is bothering them. Yelling at them won’t get you further ahead. Sometimes for young children helping them to settle down through play will help you to understand better what is going on.
Don’t forget that children’s emotions change quickly. No matter how long or short, the intense feeling is, it gives you a clue to what is going on within them.
The more time you spend with your children, you will have a better understanding of their needs. Not only are you able to observe them more, but your children will also be more likely to come to you for your help, love and guidance.
A more mature child is going to need fewer interventions from you, but they will need just as much attention.
A mature child is still going to need reassurance. You need to remember she or he is still a child, and you need to treat them as such. They cannot be your friend.
The closer you can be to your child the better, as long as you don’t overdo it. It is important to let them know that it is always okay to talk with them even when they think they have done something wrong. If you keep an open line of communication, you will be able to deal with problems before they become serious.
A needier child is going to require more direct involvement. You are going to need to give them more direct guidance. You are going to need to encourage them. If there are behavioural issues, don’t be afraid to get help.
A needier child may develop at a slower rate. You need to give them more time to catch up with the rest of the kids. Please don’t give up on them.
Remember your child is a unique individual:
No matter how many challenges your child or children have, you still need to treat them as unique individuals. Each child has certain gifts that you are to encourage. Each child has challenges that you are there to help them.
Every one of us is different even when you have the same parents. If you pay attention, you will discover certain parenting styles work better for each kid.
Some children will need more encouragement than others. Some kids will need to learn to quiet down. All kids will need clear boundaries. Each kid needs a different response depending on the situation. Yelling is never an option unless you are trying to save their life.
If you are grounded/present, you will know what your child needs. Your children will show you what they need if you are paying attention. They may not be able to verbalize what they need, but through your interactions with them, you will be able to find a way to help them through whatever they are facing.
Raising your children is no science. There are hundreds of books out there on how to parent. Our friends and family are often full of advice for us. It doesn’t hurt to learn from each other.
In the end, we need to figure out what works best for ourselves and kids. Every family no matter how large or small has different needs.
No matter what you need to start with loving yourself before, you can fully enjoy your kids.
You need to take responsibility for your health and well-being.
Being parents is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs in the world. You not only need to support your children you need support from family and friends to help you be at your best.
You are human, and you will make mistakes, and thankfully children are resilient.
You will find the right balance of firmness and flexibility depending on the needs of each of your children.
If you listen to your kids with your body, heart and mind, you will discover what they need. You will start to get a clue about what each child needs. You will know how to tell them that they are unconditionally loved.
I am, Roland Legge a Life Coach here to help you become the best parent you can be. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and/or sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with me in my Acuity Scheduling Calendar.
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