Growing up, my parents were strict when it came to their parenting style, at least that is what I thought when I was little. I had to do a lot of things I did not want to do. I didn’t really have options, it was this way or no way. I did get a lot of things I wanted, which is why I suppose when something didn’t go my way, I thought they were being mean. I would usually say to myself that when I became a parent, I would let my kid do what they want, to an extent. Now that I am a parent, a single one at that, I find compared to others, my parenting style is very laid back. I do not let him do what he wants per se, but he voices his concern or opinion on things without the fear.
I always remember wishing I had options or was able to voice my opinion on what I wanted to do. Give me a choice to make my own decisions, if the decision I choose is not acceptable, offer me options. I do this with my son now, I ask him what he wants to do. Do you want to go outside and play or stay inside and just relax? Do you want to go out to dinner or would you rather stay home and eat. The majority of the time he gives me an answer, it is rare that I hear “I don’t know.” This seems to help him with his decision-making skills and makes him feel like he is a part of the decision making process.
During the quarantine and home learning, I found that he is at his best when I let him decide if he was ready to complete his work. My whole philosophy is, as long as you do it, you can do it when you want. He usually would get up, watch some TV, maybe play on his Xbox for a few hours and then ask me what he has to do for that day. I give him his laptop and the worksheets he needed to complete and he went on about his day. One evening, it was about 5:00 pm and he had not come to ask me what work needed to be done that day. As I was cooking dinner, I reminded him that he needed to do his work and all the assignments that were due that day. He said okay and went on playing Xbox. I did not push or take the Xbox away, he knows what needs to be done and if he does not turn in his assignments, then there will be consequences. I can already hear the groans, “take away his console till he is done his work” or “that isn’t laid back parenting, that is lazy parenting.” Well, maybe in your eyes, it is. Or maybe it is how we have learned to survive in this very different world we are forced to navigate through. Either way, he got his assignments done for the day and went back to playing with his friends, virtually.
What are your parenting skills like? Are you a tough-love parent? Are you laid back/easy going parent? Are you a strict parent? I do not think there is a right or wrong way to parent. I think what is best is what works for you and your family. While it is just me in the home, and I have never been a good disciplinarian, I do the best I can with what I got.