Are your children happy? Are they capable, self-confident and successful? Did you know that your parenting style has a great effect on who they are, how they see themselves, what they have accomplished so far and what they will become in the future? Over parenting will cripple your children while too little will make them lose their way. That is why your type of parenting is very crucial in forming the personality of a child. According to preacher and best-selling author, Bo Sanchez; there is no one style of parenting. Instead, parenting style should evolve as the child grows up. Bo Sanchez said parenting is a journey in which the parents have to wear three kinds of hats. Parents should change hats as the child grows. He calls them the 3 hats of parenting.
There are many different styles of parenting. Parents normally employ one parenting style to all their children depending on the parents’ personalities. Sometimes, parents pattern their parenting style exactly as how they were brought up by their parents. However, did you know that parents should modify their parenting style as the child grows? Parenting roles should adapt to the changing needs of the child. One type of style may no longer be appropriate for the specific age of the child.
When your children are still small, you must wear the controller’s hat. The controller’s hat of parenting simply means that you should be able to teach children and give instructions while they are still young. Equally important is that you should have the ability to control the situation and make your children follow you. In other words, as parents, you should be able to manage and discipline your children.
Children are very creative when it comes to demanding what they want. They can throw tantrums, they can cry out loud, they can stomp their feet or sit down on the floor and cry their heart out. Instead of giving in to their demands, you should be able to regulate their emotions and behavior. You can’t just buy them a toy each time they throw a tantrum in the mall. You can’t just let them eat all the junk foods that they want. You can’t allow them to play with their gadgets all day otherwise they might end up being addicted to social media, gadgets or games.
There are so many things that you can teach your child. But the bottom line is you have to teach and make them do certain things. You need to make them study. You need to teach them how to tidy their room or keep their toys after playing. Making them follow a schedule or routine is advisable including setting a bedtime.
In other words, let them feel that you are in control and not the other way around. As a parent, you should make rules and enforce these rules. You need to be able to talk it out with your child. You don’t need to punish them harshly when they don’t follow. Instead, do things like praising good behavior or setting a good example.
When your child becomes a teenager, whether you like it or not, you need to change hats. You have to accept the fact that your child now has a mind of their own. Trying to control them will no longer work. Instead of being helpful, wearing a controller’s hat can backfire and your teenager might end up rebelling. The best way to deal with teenagers is through coaching.
By definition, a coach teaches, trains and assists. In sports for example, a coach just sits by the bench and sends the player to play alone. A coach just watches the player. A coach gives strategies but gives the player enough freedom to decide on the details of the strategy. He does not interfere in the game but he will always be there when he is needed by the player.
Just like a coach, parents of teenagers should teach, train and assist their children. Parents should be there when the child needs them. However, the child needs to be given the freedom to do his/her own thing. Parents should learn to let go and trust their teenagers. Avoid nitpicking on every little detail.
When your child becomes an autonomous adult, the parent should again change hats from coaching to that of a consultant. An autonomous adult means someone who is already working and maybe have a family of their own.
A consultant is someone who gives advice. It is different from a coaching hat because a coach can pull his player away from the game anytime. A consultant cannot do that. A consultant gives advice only when asked. In short at this point in time, the parent’s role is just to be there when their child needs them. Parents should not interfere with the child’s life especially if the child is already married and has a family of their own.
Changing hats is not an easy thing to do for parents but it is something that must be done if you want to have a harmonious and healthy relationship with your children. It is only by slowly letting go will your child be able to grow and mature through life.
Edited Version. First Published in Pinoy Smart Living on 21.08.2019.