How you parent reflects your unique personality. Your parenting style is formed by many factors and is based on an overall pattern of your actions, reactions and interactions between you and your child. Diana Baumrind and her fellow researchers have outlined various parenting styles based on the characteristics that particular style fosters in a child. A parenting style may encourage openness, self-sufficiency, self-discipline, achievement, friendliness or maturity.
Your parenting style will be characterized by four dimensions: communication styles, nurture and warmth, discipline style and expectations of maturity and control. Based on these, how you parent will predominantly fall under one of the four:
– Authoritarian. “Because I said so” is the theme of this style. Under this parenting style, a parent provides the rules and expects the child to follow without question; otherwise, a child can face punishment. Discussions and feedback on rules are frowned upon. The parent is not responsive to questions about the rules. According to Utah therapists, an authoritarian parenting style can produce rebellious and resentful children.
– Authoritative Parenting. This style is similar to the first, with high standards set, but the child is motivated towards self-discipline and maturity through love and warmth, rather than by punishment. The child is allowed to reason and the parent may consider the child’s point of view but standards are still expected to be followed. This style of parenting is a mix of firmness with nurture and care. When the child also fails to follow the rules, the parent tends to be more lenient and forgiving rather than punishing. The disciplinary methods firm yet gentle guidance for the child, with an encouragement to be self-reliant and responsible for his decisions. With an authoritative parent, there are limits and expectations while the children are able to learn about the natural consequences of any mistakes they make.
– Permissive Parenting. “Do what you want.” This style of parenting allows the child the run on things. Parents don’t demand much from the child with regards to self-discipline and maturity and make no efforts towards confronting the wrong things a child does. Parents are more friends rather than disciplinarian. This style of parenting exhibits warmth and acceptance, but very little control. Children are allowed more freedom to decide what they want to do and what rules they want to follow.
– Uninvolved parenting. “I’m busy, don’t bother me.” This is marked by low communication, low responsiveness and low demands from the parent to the child. The parent is too busy with other things that he is not involved with the child’s life.
It is important to note that as parenting styles differ according to your personality, how your child reacts to your parenting style will also be based on his own personality.
It is obvious from the descriptions of the different parenting style that the authoritative style of parenting provides the healthiest balance between expectations and nurture, self-control and warmth. With an authoritative parenting style, there is a balance between developing a sense of responsibility and with respecting a child’s rights and privileges.
Where an authoritarian parenting style breeds resentment, dependence on a higher authority and a lack of spontaneity in the child, an authoritative parenting style encourages a child to still retain his sense of independence. On the other hand, where a permissive parenting style breeds children that have self-control and immaturity issues, an authoritative parenting style provides structure by which a child can develop self-discipline and a desire to work towards meeting expectations.
Authoritative parenting also allows for open dialogue about expectations and rules. This fosters independence in the child while providing controls and limitations on how he acts and interacts with others.
Getting Help as a Parent
Even knowing that an authoritative parenting style works the best, we may still find it difficult to develop that parenting style. Parents will do well to find outside help, such as family counseling in Utah. Some tips you can keep in mind to help you develop an authoritative parenting style includes:
– Knowing your child and his temperament. This understanding will help you attune your parenting with his unique personality.
– Set clear expectations and limits.
– Communicate with your child. Take time to listen to what he thinks about issues, especially when it comes to rules covering his behavior. Be sure to explain the importance and impact of the rules and system of consequences you want established in your home. Provo therapists can help you develop your communication skills.
– In the face of resistance, be sure to let your child know that you respect their opinions. However, you will need to be consistent and firm in your decisions and expectations.
– Get help. Maybe existing issues in your family will need to be dealt with. It is best to consider going for family counseling in Provo.
With some effort and Utah counseling, you can work towards being a loving, yet firm parent and help your child grow and thrive as responsible adults who make a positive contribution to society and the world in general.
They say that when a guy asks his wife the question, “What is wrong?” and the wife answers, “Nothing.”, it means that the guy is in big trouble. What’s worse is if the wife does not say anything at all. Instead, he gets the cold shoulder. The other partner acts as if he doesn’t exist.
The Silent Treatment
The silent treatment is one of the weapons in the passive-aggressive arsenal. It is letting the other party know that you are angry or that something is wrong, without telling you why. The silent treatment can be seen as some form of emotional abuse. The person giving the silent treatment withholds something very basic – human interaction.
It is usually used for the following purpose:
– To get attention. “You messed up, and I’m letting you know.”
– To punish. “I’m not talking to you because you’re late for our date.”
– To get one’s way. “I will pretend you’re not in the room for as long as you don’t agree with what I say.”
– To teach a lesson. “I’m giving you the silent treatment so that next time, you will behave as you should.”
The problem with the silent treatment is that no communication is made, thus, the issues that caused the fight in the first place is not resolved properly. Stonewalling communication creates a situation where the spouses withdraw and distance themselves from each other. It results in feelings of anger, resentment and frustration – in a time when both spouses are most in need of each other’s support and love.
More than words. The silent treatment is more often than not, not too silent. It is often accompanied by negative body language – glares, some rolling of the eyes, and crying.
The silent treatment vs. the time out. Please don’t confuse the two – they are very much different. You can take a “time out” to cool down when an argument or a fight gets too heated. You can get out of an argument when you know that the anger will make the conversation degenerate into exchanging of insults that will be hard to take back after the fight. Taking a time out will give both you and your partner time to calm down so that you can communicate more effectively and resolve the issues involved. This is not the same thing with the silent treatment. The effort is not towards effective communication.
Breaking the habit
If you’re the one giving the silent treatment, it is high time to consider breaking this bad habit. Ask yourself, “Is it really working?” Try to delve deeply into the way you feel and make the effort to communicate this with your partner. You may need the help of Provo marriage counseling to enable you to be more forthcoming and expressive about the way you feel.
Responding to the “Cold War”
– Respond with maturity. If your spouse is giving you the silent treatment, resist the temptation to do the same. Attempt to talk it out with your spouse by letting him or her know that you’re ready and willing to listen and know what is wrong. During this time, continue to provide acts of love and affection, but make it clear that you will not accept this attitude.
– Seek to understand. The doling out of the silent treatment stems from feelings of anger, fear or resentment. Try to reach out to your partner and come to an understanding of the reason for their behavior.
– Ask if he or she needs a time out period. If your spouse is still unwilling to break the silent treatment, ask if he or she needs more time. Again, assure him or her that you’re there to listen when he or she is ready to talk.
– Get help. While things have not yet flared up, it is good to discuss the possibility of getting Utah marriage counseling. This can help you identify negative behaviors that hinder instead of promote communication and understanding between you and your spouse. An effective Provo counseling session can help equip you and your spouse with effective tools for communicating without having to resort to the silent treatment.
When the silent treatment is a pervasive behavior and if your spouse is unwilling to go for Utah counseling, , you can still go for counseling to help you cope with the tension and stress your situation may bring to you. Counseling will be good for your own mental health.
A good and experienced Utah marriage counselor will be able to provide a “safe place” for you to process your feelings and to help prevent your partner from inflicting more emotional injury to you. Going for counseling will also send a message that you are serious about the situation and the need for it to change for the better.
Do you have a happy marriage? Or is your marriage on shaky ground? Sometimes we go on in life and are not even aware that our relationship with our spouse has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps you and your spouse have busied yourself with life (and all its little details and demands) – getting the children to school every day, going to the office and facing the stresses and challenges there, working to save for a dream vacation or to pay off the mortgage and so many other things. Life may have taken over and before you know it, you and your spouse have drifted apart.
In some cases, there are red flags that indicate an unhappy marriage. In cases where it’s clearly evident that a marriage is in trouble, it’s important to get some help as soon as possible. Marriage counseling can offer a great deal of help to couples who may be struggling to make it. If you think your marriage may be in trouble, seek help! It is normally worth it to work through your difficulties and come out on the other side as a stronger family unit.
Here are some signs to watch out for if you believe your marriage is in trouble:
– Your relationship has lost that “spark”. This may be marked by a lack of enthusiasm to see your spouse at the end of a long working day. This loss of affection may leave you or your spouse vulnerable to an extra-marital affair. When you feel that the joy and delight of being together is replaced by dullness and the feeling of being stuck in a rut, treat it as a red flag that your relationship could be headed in a negative direction.
– Disagreements that are getting more and more frequent. It may seem that you and your spouse can’t agree on anything. You either argue about the issue or try to sweep it under the rug and not deal with it. There may be a failure to reach an agreement or compromise about a certain issue.
– A feeling of being disconnected from the other spouse, either emotionally or physically. You feel as if you can’t connect with your spouse and share in his or her joys, disappointments or hurts.
– Sexual tension and lack of passion in the bedroom. If your spouse would rather sleep than make love (even though it’s been quite a while since you made love), then that can be a huge red flag that your relationship is in trouble. Your spouse may create daily routines that prevent him or her from sleeping in the same bed with you. For instance, he or she may choose to work late or watch late-night television and only come to bed when you’re already asleep.
– Lack of real communication. When there haven’t been any heartfelt conversations with your spouse lately, that can be a sign of a marriage problem. You or your partner may try to avoid having honest-to-goodness discussions for fear that it could turn into an argument. At times, it can even come to a point where you feel that you don’t really know your spouse anymore.
– Lack of mutual respect. This is when petty arguments start getting ugly and hurtful. When one spouse is trying to undermine the other, these can be signs of severe damage in a marriage. There may be bouts of trying to humiliate a spouse in front of others, of talking about his or her shortcomings with relatives and friends. In deciding important matters in the home, you feel as if you’re trying to negotiate with an enemy instead of with a partner.
– Lack of trust. This is when one spouse does not give the other the benefit of the doubt and would rather assume the worst.
– Your spouse is getting secretive about e-mails, phone calls and text messages. If your spouse is jumping up and closing the door just to answer a phone call, it may be a sign that something’s up. Be observant but don’t overreact or rush to conclusions.
Stop for a while and think about these red flags. Are you seeing them in your marriage? Remember that if you let these signs go unchecked and unresolved, it can destroy your marriage. It’s important to work quickly in dealing with serious issues in your marriage. Act quickly before it’s too late.
If you think your marriage may be in trouble, it can be helpful to consider couples counseling. Don’t make the mistake of hoping that it is just a phase and will soon go away. That may not be the case. While there is still time and your marriage has not yet sustained serious damage, marriage and family therapy can help both of you deal with the issues that are at the root of these problems.
Whatever the two of you are dealing with, it is very beneficial to see a marriage counselor to help you gain a better understanding of your situation and focus on how you, as a couple, can communicate and resolve problems.
Marriage therapists in Provo, Utah
If you are residing in Provo, Utah, feel free to contact Triston Morgan to set up an appointment. Triston is licensed to practice marriage and family counseling in the state of Utah and has years of experience dealing with couples through professional marriage counseling. With a great deal of experience in marriage and family counseling tucked under his belt, Triston Morgan can provide you with a non-confrontational environment where you can discuss the red flags you see in your relationship and discover how the two of you can effectively and constructively work through them.