How Can Conscious Parents Create & Keep Life Balance with Children?

Family

You don’t need to be a super-hero or zone out in a lotus position all day to be a Balanced parent!

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.

The original research on types of parenting styles, done in 1967 by Dr. Diane Baumrind, only identified 3 parenting styles. In 1983, as children of the 1960’s stereotypical peacenik hippies came of age and the negative “outcomes” of their permissive parenting style became apparent, Maccoby and Martin expanded the Baumrind parenting styles into 4 parenting styles, by identifying two different types of permissive parents: indulgent and uninvolved or neglectful.

The indulgent permissive style results in spoiled brats. The uninvolved results in children who have too-little guidance or boundaries. Yes, some of those parents are just lazy or into their own comfort and convenience, but the results of this new style were quite similar!

Fast forward to 2016 and parenting styles research has now identified five different parenting styles and their correlated outcomes. These match what The Parent’s Toolshop® has called the “Balanced” parenting style for over 25 years: two are controlling, two are permissive, and the one that gets exclusively positive long-term results.

Human evolution has not changed much in those 50-plus years. 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.

And 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.

This article was originally published at The Parents Toolshop® blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.