What kind of parent to be is an enduring issue for most of us — especially if you’ve experienced your child declaring, “You are not the boss of me!” or asking you to pour a glass of milk or make his bed when he is perfectly able to do so himself.
Being permissive and lenient can lead to children who don’t obey, and being too strict like tiger moms may have repercussions. A study reported in Journal of Adolescence, “Don’t trust anyone over 30: Parental legitimacy as a mediator between parenting style and changes in delinquent behavior over time,” suggests that controlling parents are more likely to raise delinquent kids.
Web MD defines the most common parenting styles: authoritative (showing discipline but also warmth), authoritarian (showing strong discipline but no warmth), or permissive parents (showing lots of warmth but no discipline.)
In her latest book, I Am So The Boss of You: An 8-Step Guide to Giving Your Family the “Business,” parenting author and humorist Kathy Buckworth focuses her attention on a systematic and bureaucratic approach: leading your family as if it were a corporation with mom in charge. Sound too rigid to you?
Buckworth feels parents today have a specific problem: mistakenly giving their children (of any age) more leeway and fewer rules in attempts to give them empowering choices. She claims that this method creates a generation of workers who have “traded in their overprotective mommies for frustrated supervisors.” Buckworth insists that raising competent adults requires being the children’s boss now.
Does this method fall into the category of “over-controlling parent?” Buckworth claims that an in-charge parent restores the pecking order and preps kids to become capable adults fit for the workplace. She clarifies her position, “Do I always treat my children like employees? Of course not — they’re children, and human as well. Do I expect things to run as smoothly as possible and to make my kids accountable, responsible and ultimately successful? I do.” I suspect Buckworth hovers on the line between being an authoritative and an authoritarian parent.
From Pushover Parent to Head of Household
So, how do you go from being a democratic parent, maybe an overly permissive parent, to being in charge? Act like the boss! Buckworth has eight steps to reposition parents as the undeniable leaders of capable kids without becoming helicopter parents. Here are her eight simple steps:
Does Buckworth’s style seem too harsh? Or, will you incorporate some of her strategies in your parenting?
Copyright @ 2013 by Susan Newman