Let’s have a little chat: just you and me…..one on one. Do you ever get the feeling that you might end up messing up your kid? It’s ok, it turns out it’s a common feeling. Here’s the bad part. If you are parenting in the ways we are going to discuss today, there is a decent likelihood that you will mess them up. So you might want to stay tuned.
Today we are talking about parenting styles that kids hate. You may be asking yourself, why do I care what style my child likes? Well it’s actually important because you want them to respond well to you. Now you might be thinking that having a parenting style that let’s your child do anything and has no rules is something they would love, but it turns out they don’t.
We covered the 4 major parenting styles in Episode 7. Kids like and thrive on structure, mutual respect, communication, and cooperation. In this video, we are going over some other styles that I’m suggesting you try to avoid:
#1 – Tiger Parenting – This was coined by Amy Chua in her 2011 memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. To be fair, I didn’t read the book but my understanding is that the parenting style puts their children’s academics and careers before anything else. Sure we want our children to do well but you can also push them too hard. Think of a stage mother in Hollywood. As fathers, in addition to academics we may be pushing them in other ways too. Sports, music, or anything else where we think success is the only option. They must advanced more. They must be the best. But driving your child too hard has consequences:
- Can lead to depression
- Cause them anxiety
- Leave them with poor social skills
- Makes them focus on the negative
In many instances, the child is performing for their parent. Whether it’s to obtain the affection of the parent or thinking they need to accomplish something in order for their parent to be proud. You know I asked my 10 year son the other day: Do you think I’m proud of you? He answered “absolutely, of course”. Well guess what: the words “I am proud of you” have never come out of my mouth. Ever. Being proud is unconditional. That is not something they have to earn by achieving. I hope that my kids never have to do something and say “I want to make my dad proud”. I’m proud of them no matter what they accomplish or how they do it.
#2 – Helicopter Parenting – This is the granddaddy of bad parenting styles. The term was actually first used back in 1969 in the book Parents & Teenagers. It basically said that these kind of parents would hover over their teens like a helicopter. This style is hyper focused on their kids safety as well as attempting to guide them through life to feed your own ego. It’s really overparenting.
- You don’t let your child climb on the rocks
- You used your connections to ensure your child was coached by that specific person
- Your child didn’t make the school play so you talk to the head person to re-consider.
- You are 1 step behind your toddler all over the playground, making sure they don’t get hurt.
As your child gets older and you continue to helicopter, it can really have an impact on them. Being faced with challenges and failing is necessary for growing and building resiliency. Sure we don’t like to see our kids struggle but we have to prepare them for the real world. Here are some consequences of helicopter parenting:
Low self esteem – Everything is handled for them so they don’t believe they can do anything themselves
Anxiety – mental control is not developed as well as their ability to self-regulate
They feel entitled – They think they are the center of the universe because you have made them that way
Coping skills are not developed – They don’t know how to handle situations because it was handled for them
#3 – Lawnmower Parenting – Lawnmower parenting is when parents mow down obstacles in front of their kids so the child doesn’t have to face failure, adversity, or struggles. It is worse than helicopter. While the intent of a lawnmower parent is good, the result is not. How is your child going to overcome struggles in their life if you are always solving them?
- Are you helping your 6 year old get dressed?
- Have you ever talked to your child’s coach because you felt they weren’t getting enough playing time?
- Have you ever worked on your child’s school projects?
- Are you making lunch for your 10 year old?
- Are you waking up your highschooler in the morning?
I understand, you want to help your child, but you really aren’t helping them. Sometimes lawnmower parents do what they do because of their own issues they have experienced. You may have really struggled when you were young and you don’t want see your child struggle. Or you felt abandoned by your parents at a time when you really needed them and swore you would never do that to your child. Unfortunately you end up over doing it.
Here are some of the consequences of lawnmover parenting:
The child doesn’t know how to handle conflict – They haven’t experienced it so that muscle to solve problems wasn’t developed
They blame other people – It couldn’t be their fault, nothing ever is. They don’t take responsibility for their own issues because they don’t have to.
They give up on things easily – It’s too hard, so it’s just better not to do it.
They call on others (like you their parent) to help them. Someone else will handle it so I don’t need to.
Stress and failure are really strong cryptonite to people who have been parented this way. You don’t want them finding other ways of dealing with these kind of problems through substances and addiction. This lawnmower parenting style can also Bulldoze parenting, or if you live where it’s cold, maybe Snowplough Parenting. Basically anything that can push the obstacles out of the child’s way.
We have some others that are worth mentioning:
Underparenting – These are slackers or and basically let their kids be free range, because they just too lazy to do anything
Narcissistic Parenting – These guys are just feeding their own ego and driven by their own needs
Outsourcer Parenting– This is when parents get other people to parent their kids full time with caretakers and nannys. They really just don’t have much involvement.
As you have heard, there are many bad parenting styles. If you want to raise a self-sufficient, emotionally stable person, it’s not a guarantee but try to avoid all of these parenting styles.