Parenting Styles in the World Today

DISCLAIMER: I haven’t written a piece before where I share my strong opinions on a topic quite as strongly as I do in this one. I want everyone to know, PRIOR to reading this, that while I do have my strong opinions, I am VERY open (and encourage) others opinions and respect the fact that my opinions are NOT right, they are simply opinions! I am writing this post in hopes to start an open and respectful dialogue amongst parents.
Will you join me?

Modern Day Parenting
Anyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE to discuss parenting. I love to hear others opinions about parenting, I love to have debates and I love to hear new tactics and techniques. I also LOVE to share tips and tricks with people who are struggling. SO, with this knowledge, please feel free to ask any parenting questions that you may have and I will start a discussion on social media where a group of us can discuss and gain new ideas from one another.
Motherhood Quote
In my opinion, there is no right and wrong in parenting. Why? The simple answer is because all children are different and all parents are different and a parenting style needs to be found where the parents are comfortable AND where the style works for their children. We all adapt our parenting styles without even realizing it as our children grow and develop, as well as each child.

We all have different parenting styles and that is ok!

 


My friend, Tiffany over at Naturally Cracked recently shared a parenting article called WHY MY KIDS ARE NOT THE CENTER OF MY WORLD with me. It is written by a mother who has some very specific views and opinions, of which she is definitely entitled to have! This article got me thinking about where my views stand on some of the topics that she raised.

I encourage you to go read that article and then come back to read my thoughts (and share yours!) on some of the topics that were raised!


On Bullying…

Likely, this is a topic for a separate post but…
My quick two cents is that bullying has always existed, but back when I was a kid, it just didn’t have a label. Kids teased others. Kids physically hurt others and kids threatened others. It happened. What has changed? I feel that we have put a label to the behaviour and it has become generalized, so instead of worrying so much about what the behaviour was, we are worrying perhaps too much that it was bullying behaviour. Kids were punished back in my day for all of those behaviours the same as kids are punished now. I think the difference might be in the threat part. Threats are taken more seriously now. Is this right? I don’t know. Sometimes yes, I think it is and in other cases, perhaps we have gone to an extreme.

Because kids are kids and their maturity is still in the developing phase, they don’t necessarily know how and when to appropriately use the word bullying. As a society, I believe that we need to focus on raising our children to know what is right from wrong. It is wrong to hit. It is wrong to tease. It is wrong to threat. It is wrong (or not nice) to name call.

It is right to treat everyone with respect.

When a child does something wrong, there needs to be a consequence. Does anyone disagree with that part? Likely not.


On Kids and Toy Guns…

Like bullying, this topic is one that I have very strong feelings on and perhaps one day, I will write a post dedicated to this topic alone. For now, I will say that I was raised in a family of teachers and teachers are notorious for being rule followers. I am also a sensitive individual, I always have been and I remember what it felt like to be brought into toy gun fights against my will (e.g. I was a bystander being shot at) and I really didn’t feel comfortable with that feeling of loss of control. Because of this, I never felt comfortable with gun play and when I became a teacher, no toy guns was a rule that we followed at school and logically became a rule in our house. I never have understood and likely never will understand why a toy gun is something fun to play with when real guns are objects that can hurt and kill people. While many girls enjoy to play with toy guns, it was never an issue with my daughter, but when I had a son, I knew that I was going to have to figure things out. To be honest, I haven’t ever said “no toy guns in our house” to my son, but I have always expressed my opinion about gun play and how important it is that people consent prior to playing this type of game.

I likely have also pointed out, on many occasions, how I dislike weapons of any kind and my son was always listening. It started with my husband’s Star Wars lego figures and my very young son (2 to 3 years old) wanting to play with them. I didn’t feel right letting him play with the weapons. Because being around children playing with toy weapons is inevitable, I have now tried to teach my son about consentual and respectful play in hopes that he can enjoy playing with others in a respectful environment. I would never want either one of my children to engage in play with a friend or friends where not all parties involved were comfortable. This is deeply rooted in my childhood and I am well aware of that, but I also feel that it is important for them to learn.


On Teaching About Different Opinions…

I have always taught my children that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that everyone is in charge of making their own choices. Children will sometimes bring up the “but my friend “so-and-so” is allowed to do that” card and I explain with this: “Yes, you are right they do and their Mommy and Daddy make their own choices for their family and we make decisions and choices that are best for ours. Sometimes those choices will be the same and sometimes they will be different and we need to respect that as long as no one is getting hurt in the process.” I often will go on to say that if someone is getting hurt by choices or decisions that someone else is making and you know that it isn’t right, that is when it is a good idea to get help from an adult that you trust.


On Children and Rejection…

IN GENERAL (read: this means not all, but many), children are being raised in a “must have” and “I want” society. As adults, many of us are fortunate enough to live in comfort and have the priviledge to have (or have access to) almost everything that we want in life. Many adults will use lines of credit or their credit cards to purchase items that are on their “want” or “must have” list instead of waiting until they have the money to pay up front for it. Because that is how many adults are living, children are quickly also learning that they too can “get what they want” easily and parents are listening and giving it to them instead of necessarily making them wait OR plainly saying “no”. I remember as a child desperately wanting certain toys or items of clothing and my parents simply saying “no” and that it didn’t matter that many other children had them. The bottom line was that I wasn’t going to get them, regardless.

For some reason, this happens less with our generation and I’m not sure why. This spills into the topic of children and rejection. Learning how to handle and deal with rejection is a crucial life skill that we need to teach our children. How do we teach it? By allowing the opportunities to occur where rejection is inevitable and let our children deal with it. We can be there for them to comfort and guide them, but we NEED to allow it to happen. If we don’t, I believe that we will be raising a generation of children who are entitled and expect the world and won’t know how to handle it when life doesn’t turn out this way.

This aspect of parenting is one that I definitely was not prepared for! When I dreamt of becoming a parent one day, I always thought of the loving and nurturing side of things. I never imagined that there would be times where I had to intentionally watch my child struggle in order to help them succeed. It is in our instinct to help our children survive, but in order for this to happen in the global sense, there are many challenges along the way.


On How You Know You’re Doing a Good Job Parenting Your Children

When you are “in the moment”, it is very hard to know whether or not you are doing a “good job” at parenting. What is a good job anyhow? I recently had a wonderful discussion with another good friend of mine from Did You Know Canada. She has twin 6 year old boys and we were talking about the fact that in our opinions, a specific type of parenting does not always determine the same outcome with children in the same family. Every child is different and therefore, not only do different children require slightly different parenting in order to thrive to their best, but they also will turn out differently and make different choices, etc. due to the nature of their own independence.

When I was teaching, I observed MANY families with multiple children who had extremes with academics, behaviour, personality etc. within all of their children.

It is very difficult to take a large step back from your family and look inside to see whether or not you are doing a good job. I feel that you will know you are doing a good job if:

  • You are a caring and loving parent.
  • You provide your child with a safe and caring home environment.
  • You meet your child’s basic needs.
  • You are constantly observing your child.
  • You try your absolute best!
  • Provide your child with the tools and assitance that they require in order to succeed.
  • When you look back, you feel you did your best.

Oh and……

  • You sometimes let them fail.

I also think it is equally important for parents to not beat themselves up over choices that their children make AFTER a parent has met all of the above criteria. At the end of the day, when your children go out on their own (to school, daycare or later in life), they will act and behave the way that they do and all you can do is remember (and feel good about that fact that) you have done your very best.


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on some of (or ALL) these topics! The more we discuss them, the more we can form our own opinions (as opinions can change over time) and become the absolute BEST parents that we can be!

Let’s HELP one another succeed at the most difficult job in the world: being a parent!

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47 Responses to Parenting Styles in the World Today

  1. Jeff Skidmore says:

    What a great article! Well written and lots of great discussion points for every parent to have with themselves and others!

  2. Randa says:

    Yes! Let them fail, everyone needs to fail – it’s how we learn. Great post, I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Christine says:

    This is such a great post. Yes, we all have different parenting styles and it’s so important to respect that. You’re right…everyone needs to fail sometimes. Like Randa said, that’s how we learn!

    • Thank you, Christine! It was definitely me “stepping out of the box” on my blog! I’ve been wanting to write this type of post for quite some time now. I have so many bottled up…I’m hoping this is the first of many.

      What has your little one failed at that was hard to watch?

  4. I love when people have round ups and introduces me to other bloggers and their amazing opinions. Always interested in seeing how people parent their kids. Thanks.

  5. pam says:

    What a thought provoking post, Amanda. I believe that children are our best assets and a blessing. Yet, we are not here to be there buddy. We are here to teach them and to love them unconditionally.

    • You are so right, Pam (at least I think you are!) – we aren’t here to be their friend and that is a hard line to not cross sometimes!! We are here as their teachers and to love and care for them – YES!

  6. MrDPrize says:

    i played with toy guns and came out just fine. it’s sad we can no longer buy water guns or such.

    • I know that MANY, MANY people have played with toy guns and are just fine and please don’t think that I am suggesting that kids who do play with weapons won’t turn out fine. I just personally don’t feel comfortable with them –>it is MY issue πŸ™‚

  7. Judy Cowan says:

    Great post. Just like everything in life we are all different and that is okay. Parenting is not an easy job but it is a rewarding one!

    • Judy, I always say that parenting is the most difficult and the most rewarding job there is! A true blessing πŸ™‚ I really just wish that more people accept that everyone is different with different opinions!

  8. kathy downey says:

    Loved this post,parenting is one of the hardest jobs we will ever do,but the rewards are amazing

  9. The Flying Couponer says:

    Really great post! Parenting is hard but so amazing!

  10. Kirsten G. says:

    Great post! Discussing parenting and different parenting is such a hot topic. Thank you for taking it on.
    I agree with you that we all have different parent styles and we need to respect that. I have 4 children and my parenting style changes depending on which child I am dealing with because they all have different needs and each child reacts to something differently. It’s not a huge difference but I’m learning to approach them in a cookie cutter fashion.
    Some days are harder than others. I need to work on not micromanaging everything. I’m learning more to just observe my children and not intervene so much.

    • It is hard, but I think that we need to let them figure things out on their own – I have a hard time not micromanaging too. I bite my tongue a lot! Thank you for your comment!

  11. Shari Goss says:

    I believe you probably know where I stand on all these issues. I know you know my boys have guns, but not sure you know how adamant I was against them when I started this parenting job. I really really really believed that under no circumstances would my boys have them. Then my son made friends with a little boy whose Dad hunted. From there every single thing turned into a gun. Fingers, bananas, blocks, apples…yes…apples. It was crazy. I gave up. And now I let them just play with them, but we don’t shoot at people. We include others in the play and if they don’t want to play that we respect that and play other things.

    Parenting is hard, and I never know if I am doing the right thing, but I surely am trying my best.

    • Shari, you are doing a wonderful job! I didn’t realize that you were against toy guns prior to becoming a parent. Just like many other things that I stood strong on prior to becoming a parent, circumstances often make me re-think my stance, so who knows where things will end with all of this!

      • Shari Goss says:

        Thanks. Yes, I was against toy guns, but yeah….seriously it was a battle it wasn’t worth fighting. It was happening anyways, and at least now I choose what they use as guns, and direct them in proper play and talk about guns and safety etc.

  12. Yuen Ch says:

    I totally agree that children are now in the β€œI want” society, its sad but true.

  13. Darlene Schuller says:

    Children go through the ‘iwant” .. just dont give in everytime. I think the diversity in parenting is a wonderful thing. I know I’ve learned quite a bit from parents who take a different direction then I do for specific situations. I think what it’s all about is doing the best you can & you have to adjust you parenting style according to your children as well.

  14. jen says:

    We arent in favour of gun play either, the boys still use their hands or hockey sticks and pretend but we try to discourage it, great post, you covered a lot of topics

    • Thank you, Jen! I feel like I could write at least one blog post for each of the topics I covered, but I just decided to write from my heart today and this is what flowed πŸ™‚

  15. Tiffany Steadman-Collins says:

    Parenting is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. That being said it is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had also. Each topic you touched on is near and dear to my heart. I struggle daily with decisions that I make hoping they are the right ones in the end. But deep down inside as long as I know I am parenting from my heart I know I am making the best choices I could and I can not expect anything else from myself.

    • Tiffany, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me to write this post. I think you and I could sit down for 24 hours straight (or more) and discuss all of these topics! I find that people who are educators LOVE to discuss parenting and the effects on children πŸ˜‰ I love the way you think – follow your heart and do the best that you can do – that makes you the best parent that you can be!

  16. Eldon L says:

    Very insightful post, parenting is not an easy task!

  17. Lisa Marie F says:

    This parenting gig is SO much more challenging than I expected! As a mom of 4 boys, I struggle with the weapon issue (as that is ALL they want to play, most of the time and are quite creative at coming up with interesting ways to get around the “no guns” policy lol). They love to role play adventures and often take things like hangers to use as bows and swords, etc. I like your suggestions about boundaries. It often makes me queasy to see them running around with even water guns “shooting” people – even if they are just imagining it to be lasers!
    And, my kids are often taught that if they can’t pay for it, they can’t get it. It’s a hard lesson (and often makes me sad that I can’t just get it for them), but it’s important because I want them to learn to live off their money and not credit. We have a deep discussion about the dangers of debt regularly – they get it.

    • Lisa – I have had those same feelings in the pit of my stomach too! This year is the first year I have “allowed” “super soakers” (read: water guns). Up until now, we had water toys that didn’t resemble guns at all.

      That is another GREAT parenting discussion to have regarding life skills and money! It sounds like your boys will be set for the real world πŸ™‚ Great job, Mama!

  18. Lisa says:

    I agree that the term “bullying” is used for almost every undesirable action against another child and I’ve tried to help my oldest (she’s 7) understand the difference between someone being rude or unkind to her, and bullying. That being said, I’d rather err on the side of being too aware because it’s serious stuff these days. I think part of it has to do with the sense of entitlement that many kids have. They aren’t afraid of punishment or consequences due to their negative actions, because often, there aren’t any. We aren’t empowered as a society to do much. It used to be that parents could reprimand other people’s kids – the epitome of “it takes a village” parenting – but we aren’t doing that anymore. It used to be that if the teacher sent home a note about bad behavior, the child would be spoken to and the issue addressed. Now, many parents take the child’s side, without question. What does a child learn from this? That they are not held responsible for their actions. If we don’t expect much of kids, they won’t strive for much, either.

    • Fab Frugal Mama Lisa says:

      Whoops…login didn’t work at first. ^ this is me!

    • I fully agree with what you are saying about erring on the side of caution these days. It is a hard call to make, that is for sure. Your comment of kids not being afraid of punishment and consequences because there often aren’t any is also often true! Consistency is key here, I believe.

      You’re right, we aren’t doing the “it takes a village” mentality anymore because people are just too afraid to over step others boundaries, but yet what happened to the idea of “for the common good” and taking care of one another!

      You’re raised some very important issues here. When we set expectations high, children are more apt to reach for the stars, right?! Thanks for your input, Lisa.

    • I fully agree with what you are saying about erring on the side of caution these days. It is a hard call to make, that is for sure. Your comment of kids not being afraid of punishment and consequences because there often aren’t any is also often true! Consistency is key here, I believe.

      You’re right, we aren’t doing the “it takes a village” mentality anymore because people are just too afraid to over step others boundaries, but yet what happened to the idea of “for the common good” and taking care of one another!

      You’re raised some very important issues here. When we set expectations high, children are more apt to reach for the stars, right?! Thanks for your input, Lisa.

    • I fully agree with what you are saying about erring on the side of caution these days. It is a hard call to make, that is for sure. Your comment of kids not being afraid of punishment and consequences because there often aren’t any is also often true! Consistency is key here, I believe.

      You’re right, we aren’t doing the “it takes a village” mentality anymore because people are just too afraid to over step others boundaries, but yet what happened to the idea of “for the common good” and taking care of one another!

      You’re raised some very important issues here. When we set expectations high, children are more apt to reach for the stars, right?! Thanks for your input, Lisa.

  19. Karen Evans says:

    I was a teenage mom, when my first daughter was born, I grew and she grew, learning from my mistakes. It was a long hard journey, but as I look as my daughter now, with 2 daughters of her own, I feel a sense of pride knowing I did a good job in raising her. Thank You! πŸ™‚

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  21. Ronald Gagnon says:

    Thank you for the wonderful reinforcement as well as advice…I am a bachelor who never had any children but who has tried to help raise my best friend’s daughter. She just turned 16 and I don’t know what to do.

    • Sixteen is a tough age! If you have specific questions, please feel free to send them to me and I can post them on my Facebook Page to get some suggestions and advice for you and your friend!

  22. Darlene W says:

    It is very important whatever your parenting style is an extra large serving of patience can turn an ugly situation into a beautiful one

  23. DARLENE W says:

    You try your best and meet each challenge with a positive attitude, but sometimes it is so hard to stay positive. that’s when you need to talk to someone who has been through the same thing

  24. jbmumofone says:

    Some great tips. Thanks so much for sharing with the #pinitparty

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