Have you ever wondered to yourself: What kind of parent am I?
Perhaps when you first heard about the news that you will soon become a mom or a dad, you thought about it – you thought about what kind of parent you want to be for your child; you thought about the mistakes that perhaps your own parents made growing up and how you will never make the same mistakes; or maybe how you will only give your child the best even if it means giving up on your dreams for that more practical jobs that paid better. Fast forward ten years down the road, perhaps it’s time pause to check and wonder, what kind of parent have you become?
Here are 3 common types of parents that we meet all the time:
1. Mr. and Mrs. Right
There is only one simple, straight forward rule in this household – mom and dad is always RIGHT! They have firm principles, a strong sense of right from wrong, and almost never ever considered other alternatives even if it may sound logical or can potentially be more effective. Mom and dad believe that they know best, so their decision is what’s best for this family and must never be challenged and corrected. When a mistake is made or something ever goes wrong, they will not be afraid to tell that person off. And when they do, they go straight to the point and can sometimes be considered too franks with their remarks and comments.
At home, they make all the decisions and everyone else merely follows and takes instructions. People in that household usually lacks initiative and drive as opportunities to think for themselves are severely limited.
2. Mr. and Mrs. Anything
The main goal here is to be popular. It is every child’s hope and dream to have parents like these. Mom and dad are softhearted and too often give in easily. They know that some decisions may not be right, but they are more concerned about making everyone happy. They are overly concerned about how everyone sees them and how the decisions they make will affect how others see them.
When things do not go well, they would rather have others tell the relevant parties than do it personally. Even when being put in a position to reprimand something, they will often take the soft approach, beating around the bush and losing thrust of the main message midway. Being so eager to please, such parents are easy push overs and are usually highly ineffective.
3. Mr. and Mrs. ‘Diplomatic’
Everyone gets a say and the final verdict will only be passed when everyone has finished sharing their side of the story. Unlike Mr. & Mrs. Right, mom and dad rarely make false accusations because they focus on the matter at hand and not the people involved. They do not show favoritism like Mr. & Mrs. Anything, because they are aware that doing so will cloud their judgement. They focus on empowering everyone at home and believe that only be doing so, can they bring out the best in them.
Should anything go wrong, mom and dad will make it their business to get to know what happened thoroughly before drawing a conclusion – and even the conclusion is done in a manner that everyone understands their rights and comes into a compromise. They are careful not to misinterpret any information and always clarify any doubts along the way. Even if the have to make an unpopular decision, they are often still respected at home because everyone knows deep-down that they are making that decision for the benefit of all. Most importantly, mom and dad pride themselves as being fair and firm at home.
Which of these sets of parents do you belong to? Based on what is described above, you will probably think that Mr. & Mrs. Diplomatic is the most suitable persona for you to emulate.
Over the last 17 years, we have had the honor and opportunity to work with hundreds of thousands of parents across South East Asia who sent their children through our I Am Gifted! school holiday programme. One of the key learning outcomes we hope to share with parents whenever they come for our programmes is their rule as the ‘bosses’ of their children.
Most, if not all parents, we meet will agree that as parents, they have the power to nurture their children in a more productive manner; to share with them how they can take control of their own lives and take ownership of their choices and daily decisions. As the ‘boss’ to their children’s lives, they are responsible for their child’s personal growth and their basic needs. And how parents can motivate and drive their children to produce results highly depends on their skills as a ‘manager’. Much like how you need to upgrade your skills and knowledge at work to keep up with trends, technology and other constant changes, parenting is no different. What have you done or what will you do to upgrade your skills as a parent this year?