Why You Should Be a Consultant Parent

Why You Should Be a Consultant Parent

parenting-teensBy: Kristen Jan Cannon

Do you ever think about how your parents raised you? What do you appreciate about them? What would you absolutely do differently?

How much has your life course been influenced due to your parents’ parenting style?

And how are you going to parent your children?

Because surprisingly enough, becoming a parent doesn’t automatically make you an expert at raising children. No offense to all you parents out there who are doing your best in this extremely difficult feat! But good intentions aside, one of the most common things parents lack overall is an education in parenting and child guidance.

So let’s talk about effective parenting, and more importantly, why it is effective parenting.

Jim Fay, author of “Love and Logic”, has defined three different parenting styles: consultant parenting, helicopter parenting, and drill sergeant parenting.

While each style has its’ strengths and weaknesses, one of these approaches is much more effective than the others.

Fay’s term “consultant” is also interchangeable with another popular parenting term in the realm of social science known as “authoritative.” According to Fay, as well as countless experts, being a consultant parent is the most effective approach to child rearing.

But why?

In the consultant, or authoritative version of parenting, parents allow children to make choices within reasonable limits. This approach allows children to seek counsel and guidance from their parents, while still maintaining accountability for their own actions.

This not only produces happier children, but more capable children. Consultant parenting creates an atmosphere that encourages natural consequences, personal achievement, and a healthy self-esteem.

Parents who tend to use a drill sergeant or helicopter approach are not facilitating a path that allows their children to develop autonomy, independence, and responsibility. In fact, both of these methods produce a low sense of self worth in children and diminish overall success in all aspects of development.

So maybe before you continue with habits that you use “because your parents used them”, realize the impact that you have on your children’s growth and development.

Parenting is kind of a big deal. So get informed.

Here are three, highly recommended parenting philosophies to check out:

Love and Logic by: Jim Fay

Unconditional Parenting by: Alfie Kohn

Emotion Coaching by: John Gottmann

Happy parenting!

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