Parenting Styles – As Unique As Each Individual
Parenting styles -- the characteristics of parenting formed by personality, history, convictions, and goals -- vary so widely that there may not be two that are exactly alike. Some are similar and carry enough like traits that experts classify them into groups such as lenient or command parenting but, none-the-less, they are numerous and it may very well be impossible to distinguish them all. For every unique individual there is an equally unique parenting style.
This creates a challenge for all couples entering parenthood as they attempt to determine their particular parenting style. Figuring it out can be difficult because it requires an investigation into their past, present, and future by answering important questions about who they are and what they want their family to look like over time.
Questions such as:
- What were their parents like and what can they gain from their example?
- How do they as a couple function together?
- What is the ultimate goal in raising children together?
- What discipline tactics will be used?
- What sort of education will be sought after?
- What habits will be encouraged or discouraged?
Parenting Styles – Success: The Qualifying Goal
Parenting styles, no matter how unique from each other, all have one qualifying goal: that at the end of the process, success in its implementation is attained. Parents of all types, despite their ambitions, desire their children to grow into successful adults. Success drives a parent and when their children succeed as a result of their parenting style, most find themselves satisfied. Yet, to be successful, parents must walk through that integral investigation of their parenting influences. Parenting styles, as mentioned above, are influenced by personal composition as well as choices and learning habits. Despite past influences, parents can change or implement new concepts that can guide children toward successful pathways. For instance, some parents who choose to gear their parenting style towards biblical principles, may not have been influenced in a like manner. These choices help eliminate and replace unwanted influences with more desirable attributes. The ultimate goal is to raise children upon a healthy foundation.
Parenting Styles – A Healthy Foundation
Whether a parenting style is controlling, lenient, spiritually dead, or spiritually centered there is a foundation on which it was built and its affects will be passed on. Children are important and necessary and are as unique as the parenting styles used to raise them. Upon growing up, they will make and answer for their own choices, but their choices will ultimately be influenced by the foundation on which they were raised. They need parents, therefore, with strong foundations as the life built upon it will be tested through life’s trials. If the foundation was right, so will be the children. It is important, then, for parents to make the right choices early.
Couples must learn quickly to refine and combine the best of their histories, personalities, and training so as to create a mutual foundation on which to raise their children. This is a fundamental idea that Christian parents try to live by, following scriptural guides such as Malachi 2:15 (NIV) as it says, “Has not the LORD made them one? In Flesh and Spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking Godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Though this scripture speaks to couples, its truths are also in place for single parents. As couples support each other, single parents must utilize the community around them. Family, friends, churches, and parenting services can help establish strong foundations.
Whether single or as a couple, biblical principles are recommended for parents looking to build upon a successful parenting style foundation. For as 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NIV) says, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his word will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss…”
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