Saturday, March 7, 2009

Different Parenting Styles

Question:

Do you have any information that addresses the issue of differing parent styles in the home. ie one parent wants to use the positive parent style but the other wants to use rewards and punishments to control? What can the positive discipline parent do to when dealing with the issues that result from an "anti positive discipline" parenting style?


Thank you

Answer:

Since so many people ask this question, I wrote the following:

OPPOSITES ATTRACT: WHEN ONE PARENT IS KIND AND THE OTHER IS FIRM.

It is interesting to note that two people with these opposing philosophies often get married. One has a tendency to be just a little too lenient. The other has a tendency to be just a little too strict. Then the lenient parent thinks he or she needs to be just a little more lenient to make up for the mean old strict parent. The strict parent thinks he or she needs to be just a little more strict to make up for the wishy washy lenient parent—so they get further and further apart and fight about who is right and who is wrong. In truth they are both being ineffective.


One way to help children and parents learn effective communication is to have regular family meetings where they have an pportunity, on a weekly basis, to brainstorm for solutions to problems and to choose the solutions that are respectful to everyone. Focusing on solutions is one of the best ways for “opposites” to get closer together and be supportive of each other and their children, and is discussed in more detail in chapter six of Positive Discipline..

2 comments:

David said...

If you're interested in discovering your parenting style based on the latest research, please check out the Parenting Style Application by Signal Patterns on Parenting.com.

The underlying model developed by our team of psychologists reveals an underlying complexity far richer than just 'strict' or 'relaxed' classifications.

And what's particularly interesting is that you can take the test for a spouse and see where potential conflicts might lie and get advice on how to deal w/them. You can also compare results to your friends'.

Laura said...

I wanted to share a success story I just had with a family meeting. My three year old had developed a habit of whining that he wanted me to help him wash his hands before dinner. I didn't mind going into the bathroom with him, but I thought it was odd that he was regressing to having me wash his hands for him so I was encouraging him to do it himself. He became more recalcitrant and if I insisted on not helping him he often would get very upset - not good timing right before dinner. He claimed he was tired, which might be true, or perhaps he was just missing contact with me as I am at work all day.

After dinner we had a family meeting where I stated the problem and said that I wanted to hear everyone's idea for a solution. My son's idea was that if he got an ice cream cone he would wash his hands by himself. My husband's idea was, "when your Mom tells you to wash your hands you do it." I said, "I could do it for you, but I don't think that's a good solution."

My son repeated the ice cream idea, and suddenly I came up with an idea. I said that if he would wash his hands by himself for five days in a row we would all go get ice cream to celebrate. I realize now that that is a "rewards" style of discipline, so maybe that's not the best solution, but I do think we all felt good that we had sat down and talked about things together.

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