As conscious parents, you have good intentions, but creating and keeping balance seems to take more effort and energy than you have and it feels like you are always one step behind. You wouldn’t trade your children or your life, but do feel guilty that you aren’t more calm, centered and present.
You don’t want to be one of those perfect super-hero parents, or let your kids run wild while you zone out in the lotus position! You just want to live a more balanced life with children.
Well you can, and the first step is to get into the “Balanced” zone with your parenting style. Parenting styles theory says your overall way of parenting is based on your belief system about what parents are “supposed” to do and be, which then drives your decisions, thoughts, words, and actions.
There are five parenting styles: two are overly-controlling, two are permissive, and one that gets exclusively positive long-term results, called Balanced*, which is what The Parents Toolshop® has been teaching for over 25 years.
Human evolution has not changed much in the 50-plus years since parenting styles research started. Children still go through the same developmental stages, in the same order, from simple to complex, in eight domains (i.e. cognitive, emotional, social, etc.) at their own rate and style. Still, the most important factor in their development is having involved, responsive parents.
Good parenting avoids being too hands-on, controlling and interfering and too hands-off, chanting, “All they need is love,” and leaving children to “figure things out for themselves,” with too little guidance, boundaries, or structure.
The Balanced parenting style is a holistic, integrated approach that uses common sense logic, emotional intelligence and intuition to parent. For example, Balanced parents:
- Provide love, guidance and support, without taking over or over-controlling.
- Respond to children’s needs without coddling, spoiling, or over-indulging.
- Build self-esteem, not egotism or people-pleasers, and engage cooperation, by fostering self-motivation, without bribes, stickers or threats.
- Offer choices to children within bottom-line limits, so they don’t become spoiled or demanding.
- Teach children skills and provide some freedom, within structure and routines, so children can practice the skills safely and feel secure having consistency.
- Acknowledge children’s feelings and ask open-ended questions, so children learn how to solve their own problems and make decisions responsibly.
- Understand the cause of misbehavior, show children how to meet their needs through positive behavior, and use conscious discipline techniques, not punishment.
- … And much more.
You can be a Balanced parent, in every sense of the word, by taking action on your intentions and learning the beliefs and skills that are part of that parenting style.
Although love may come naturally, these skills are learned and, unfortunately, most parents don’t learn them in their family of origin and most family professionals don’t even learn them in their traditional degree programs!
So learn more about the healthy parenting practices associated with being a conscious Balanced parent. Use these guidelines as you screen parenting tips and parenting advice from parenting articles on parenting websites, especially a conscious parenting blog.
If you want to be a conscious parent, with a Balanced positive parenting style, who chooses to learn a parenting plan that uses parenting skills that have been proven-effective with tens of thousands of parents for over 25 years worldwide, I’m here, in service, to support you with resources and training to learn them.
Check out these resources:
Watch a 30-minute video on the Parents Toolshop® YouTube channel about the history of parenting styles and how Parents Toolshop® identified and taught the 5 parenting styles almost 25 years before research discovered them!
Get a summary of parenting styles research with more details of the studies briefly mentioned above.
Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is president of Parent’s Toolshop® Consulting, where she oversees an international network of Toolshop® trainers. She has 30+ years experience as a top-rated speaker and parenting expert to the media worldwide, including serving as the Co-Producer and Parenting Expert for the Emmy-nominated Ident-a-Kid television series. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Parent’s Toolshop® and countless multimedia resources that support and educate parents from diverse backgrounds and needs, and other adults who live or work with children. You can find them at her award-winning website, www.ParentsToolshop.com.
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