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Assessing Parenting Styles - The Question I Ask Kids

parenting parenting styles Mar 10, 2023
assessing parenting styles, parenting styles, parent assessment pdf

Assessing Parenting and Parenting Styles From A Family Systems Perspective

I believe that assessing parenting styles is an important aspect of understanding the relationship between parents and their children and the structure of the family. Family systems theory believes that a healthy family structure produces happy healthy and successful young adults.

In this video, I will explain the #1 question I ask kids in a family therapy session to get SO much information about parenting styles. This one question informs me of the family structure and if the family dynamics are healthy or dysfunctional. 

Parenting Assessments and The Four Quadrants

First, let's define the four main parenting styles. These styles were first identified by psychologist Diana Baumrind in the 1960s, and they are still widely used today:

  1. Authoritarian parenting: This style is characterized by strict rules and high expectations. Children are expected to obey their parents without question, and punishment is often used to enforce these rules.

  2. Permissive parenting: This style is characterized by few rules and little structure. Parents tend to be very indulgent and allow their children to make their own decisions without much guidance.

  3. Authoritative parenting: This style is characterized by a balance between strict rules and flexibility. Parents set clear expectations for their children, but also allow them to make some decisions and learn from their mistakes.

  4. Uninvolved parenting: This style is characterized by a lack of interest or involvement in the child's life. Parents may provide for their basic needs, but do not offer emotional support or guidance.

The parenting questionnaire above gives four us four options for parenting styles and these correlate with the parenting quadrants you might be familiar with. This is based on the work of Diana Baumrind who proposed there were two scales of parenting composed of - Warmth and Demandingness. Any parent can be high or low in either Warmth of Demandingness giving four options and four quadrants.

Now, how do we assess which parenting style is being used in a particular situation? There are a few key things to look for:

  • Communication: How do the parents communicate with their child? Are they warm and supportive, or cold and distant? Do they listen to their child's thoughts and feelings, or do they dismiss them?

  • Discipline: How do the parents discipline their child? Do they use punishment or reward? Do they explain the reasons behind their rules, or simply expect their child to obey?

  • Control: How much control do the parents exert over their child? Do they give their child a sense of autonomy and independence, or do they try to micromanage every aspect of their life?

  • Responsiveness: How responsive are the parents to their child's needs? Do they provide emotional support and guidance, or do they ignore their child's emotional needs.

Parenting Style Quiz Printable PDF

Click on the link below to take one of our parenting style tests and we'll email you a printable parenting style quiz pdf so you can do a more complete parenting assessment. 

By looking at these factors, we can gain a better understanding of the parenting style being used in a particular situation. It's important to note that no one parenting style is perfect, and there are pros and cons to each approach. However, by assessing the parenting style being used, we can help parents identify areas where they can improve their relationship with their child and create a more positive, supportive environment for their family.

In conclusion, assessing parenting styles is an important tool for understanding the relationship between parents and their children. By looking at communication, discipline, control, and responsiveness, we can gain a better understanding of the parenting style being used in a particular situation and help parents create a more positive and supportive environment for their family

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