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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Assessing Your Parenting Style

By Beverly Frank

Each person has a parenting style. While experts have categorized the various types of parenting into three or four styles, the fact is that each of us has our own parenting style that is unique to our particular personality characteristics and philosophies on how children should be raised. The way we were raised, our morals, values, and what we want for our children often dictates how we parent them. Some parenting styles are more effective than others.

In order to assess your parenting style, and whether or not it is effective, you need to first understand how you view parenting. Most people view their role as a parent from a looking glass created by the way they were parented. For example, most people's parenting styles are for the more part influenced by the things we experienced at the hands of our own parents. We are likely to incorporate into our own style some aspects of our parents' styles, such as their way of disciplining, their favorite phrases, etc. They are familiar to use, and this is why we often use them. However, in some cases, we develop a parenting style that seems to be the opposite of those of our parents', especially if we feel there was something objectionable or ineffective in their style.

The reason you want to assess your parenting style is that some styles are more effective for helping your children be healthy, productive, responsible, independent people as they grow up. For example, an over-indulgent parenting style often leads to children thinking they are entitled to things, rather than teaching them to appreciate what they have and work for it. Children who are parenting by authoritarian parents often are well behaved, but also have lower self esteem, and do not socialize very well. Children raised by authoritarian parents are often the most well rounded. They learn to follow rules and behave well, but they also learn to be independent and think for themselves. Those raised by permissive parents often do not learn responsibility because they are usually rewarded or bribed to do as they should, rather than just doing it because it is what is right, in addition, they often have low self esteem because the parent is trying to be their friend rather than their parent. As you can see, there are several different approaches to parenting, and each have different results.

When assessing your parenting style ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your child well adjusted socially?

  • Is your child responsive to your requests?

  • Does your child follow rules?

  • How is your child's self esteem?

  • Does your child show independence?

As you ask yourself these questions, evaluate what changes you can make in your parenting style to help your child be more of who you want them to be as they grow.

The following are the type of characteristics you should display as a parent in order to help your child develop into an upstanding citizen, every child requires slight adjustments based on their personality, but for the most part you want to be:

  • Demanding, yet responsive.

  • Assertive, but not intrusive.

  • Supportive, rather than punitive.

  • Set high expectations and rules, but allow for communication and independence.

Basically your goal should be to set rules, and expect your child to follow them, but not in a restricted way. Instead, you expect them to participate in the rules, and exercise independence.


Beverly Frank is a stay-at-home mom and writer. For more parenting tips, visit

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