Monday, 18 August 2014

What is your Parenting Style

Rescue, Encourage, Demand

We watched children securely tethered to a buggy cord, jumping high into the air off trampolines and the mall rang with screams of joys, laughter and the quiet sobs of children.
All of the children were enthusiastic waiting for their turn ~ expecting fun at the end of the tether.

It was in the short walk from the gate to the trampolines the point at which parents and children became separated.  The children entered the play area and parents stood on the opposite side of a barrier only four feet from their child’s trampoline.

Most children left their parents and experienced the expected thrilled of jumping high into the air and bouncing back up again from the trampoline.

A few children hesitated at the side of the trampoline looked anxiously at their parents and ran to the barrier arms raised in expectation of rescue.  

For a few of these children the expected rescue came without anger, shame or reproach being offered by parents, who turned and walked away.

For others the child was raised into the air comforted and encouraged to try again being offered affirmations of safety, comfort, support and back to the ride they went.

And for three children the rescuing arms did not arrive.  Instead the child was found parental anger.  While the words were different the intention behind the message was the same.  “I paid for you take the ride and you are going to take the ride” Each of the children turned back to the trampoline and made minimal attempts to jump and silently cried in fear, disappointment, shame.

Three types of parenting response:
  1. rescue 
  2. encourage
  3. demanding

There is a place for both the first and second style of parenting in every child’s life and parents should never add to their child’s fear,  use shame as a way to override their child’s fear and withhold support.

What motivates a (grand)parent to act in a way that increases their child fear in the absence of support and positive parental encouragement?

How would you have reacted?

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls
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