Is there a right method of parenting? No, there is not. Are there many methods of parenting? Too many, honestly. The number of parenting styles, methods, and ways are often overwhelming.
Seriously, there’s so much going on that it’s difficult to remember what you should do versus what you shouldn’t do, but I’m here to tell you that you’re the parent. You do what you feel is right and what works in your household.
It is my expert opinion. I should point out I’m not an expert – but who is? I have four kids and I’ve been doing this for 15 years now, so does that make me an expert? Some of the actual parenting experts of the world don’t even have kids. I like to think that being in the trenches of parenthood provides some expertise, no?
Inductive parenting is yet another bit of parenting jargon that has us all wondering what it means. What is it? Does it work? Is it real? How come the parenting experts all agree there are four main types of parenting, but then they keep throwing terms like inductive parenting at us?
It’s really simple, but it’s also really complicated. There are four main types of parenting, and then there are additional types of parenting. To keep it simple, we could refer to it as good parenting and bad parenting, but we like to complicate it, so inductive parenting it is.
Here is what we know about inductive parenting and the reasons you should use it in your home.
There are Four Main Types of Parenting Styles
And they are not all good. We’ve discussed them at length more than a few times around here, but we are all about a refresher course in parenting styles. Of the four main types of parenting styles, there are some that are far better than others, but that doesn’t make them bad per se.
Well, some of them are quite bad, but there are elements of the negative parenting styles that can be married into the more positive methods of parenting, and that can balance things out.
Of the four parenting styles we will discuss, it’s imperative to remember that just because one is recommended does not mean it’s the one that might work for your family. Every child is different, and every parent is different.
Your job is to focus on what is positive and good in the lives of your children, and work with that. Pick a parenting style. Adopt it into your life, and then focus on making things better by tweaking, borrowing traits from other parenting styles, or just creating your own.
Parenting Style One: Permissive Parenting
Permissive parenting is a child-led parenting method. Right off the bat, that sounds like an absolute hard no. We are not allowing our kids to lead our parenting, right? Right. Permissive parenting is often the type of parenting that involves not making rules, not enforcing the rules you may have made, and over-indulging your kids.
The good thing about permissive parenting, however, is that you are a very present, involved, and loving parent. You support your kids, show them affection, and prioritize them and their happiness. That’s not always a bad thing, but moderation is the key. It’s like a parenting diet – moderation.
Parenting Style Two: Neglectful/Uninvolved Parenting
If this one sounds awful immediately, it’s because it is awful. Neglect is far more complex than you imagine. In my mind, when I hear the term neglectful parenting, I imagine the news stories you see on occasion.
“Mom leaves toddler asleep in bedroom to go clubbing at 11 pm, thinks he will never know she’s gone,” or “Parents leave 7-year-old in charge for two weeks while they take an Alaskan cruise,” or whatever. Don’t get me wrong – those things are absolutely neglectful, but being a neglectful parent doesn’t involve such extremes (these parents are the worst, though).
Neglectful parents might actually look good on paper. Their kids have a home, clothes, shoes, food, they go to school, they participate in activities, and they have a social life.
The difference is that the parents aren’t doing anything other than providing the absolute bare necessities as required by law. Traditionally, a neglectful parent is uninvolved in the lives of their kids even if they are home and present in a physical sense. In fact, many neglectful parents are fine to allow their kids to do whatever they wish so long as it does not bother them and their lives.
Parenting Style Three: Authoritarian Parenting
The authoritarian parent is non-negotiable. This is a parent who makes rules and is strict about enforcing said rules. The problem with this type of parent is that they don’t care if their kids understand why these rules are in place.
The children of authoritarian parents are not permitted to question the rules. Their only role in life is to do exactly what they are told by their parents and not question, consider, or even think about thinking on their own.
Authoritarian parents are the end all, be all of parenting, and they don’t care about anything else. They are typically not supportive of their children’s emotional needs, and they are rarely considered affectionate.
Parenting Style Four: Authoritative Parenting
The authoritative parenting style is the most widely recommended. It’s a combination of authoritarian and permissive – a happy middle ground, if you will. Authoritative parents set rules and boundaries.
They focus on a healthy routine for the family, and they like to ensure that their kids follow the rules. However, rather than taking a dictatorship role in enforcing the rules, the authoritative parent wants their kids to understand the importance of following the rules.
They want their kids to know the rules are in place because they are designed to keep them safe, healthy, and happy, but kids are allowed to question their parents and have their own opinions. The authoritative parent listens, but they are firm. They meet their child’s social and emotional needs, and they are affectionate.
What is Inductive Parenting?
Inductive parenting is among a subgroup of parenting styles. These subgroups focus on control and effort. In addition to inductive parenting, there is also power assertion parenting and love withdrawal. Power assertion is the method of control often utilized by authoritarian parents. Many people who choose to use power assertion tend to spank, yell, and enforce harsh punishments as a way of showing who is in control.
Love withdrawal is the subgroup often used by neglectful parents. It is, in my parenting opinion, the worst of the methods of control. Withholding love is the way some parents show their kids that they are disappointed in their behavior. The parents might not show affection, love, or happiness for their kids unless their kids are doing exactly what they want them to do in that moment.
Withholding love, however, is dangerous, childish, and harmful to kids. You can still love your kids – and make sure they know you love them – even when you are furious with them. Love should never be withheld from a child because it’s the fastest way to send them spiraling, cause mental health issues, and cause self-esteem problems.
Induction parenting, also called inductive parenting, is the subgroup of control methods used most often by the authoritative parent. This parent is happy to listen to their kids. This parent is going to discipline their child for their misbehavior, but they’re going to talk about it to better understand why their child behaved the way that they behaved.
The inductive parent knows that kids who break the rules do it for a reason – it might not be a good reason, but it’s a reason that the kids might feel is a good one. this parent wants to help their children learn from their mistakes.
Should You Use Inductive Parenting in Your Household?
Absolutely. There is no reason you should not use this method of parenting. It’s among the best, and the benefits of induction parenting are numerous. Children who grow up with parents who use induction parenting tend to exhibit the following traits:
- They are well-behaved. Kids whose parents use inductive parenting tend to behave better because they understand why they are behaving, why the rules are important, and that every action is met with a consequence. People who know better, do better, and the same goes for kids.
- They self-regulate well. Because the inductive parent communicates so well with their kids, their kids are able to learn how to self-regulate when there is an issue. For example, kids learn how to understand what they are feeling and recognize their emotions, which makes them more likely to learn to control their emotions in a proper manner.
- They have more empathy. Kids with inductive parents learn empathy, which is a lovely trait. When kids learn to develop empathy, they also learn how to become social in a positive manner.
- They are good critical thinkers. Parents who use inductive parenting teach their kids to become critical thinkers. They learn to focus inward and ask why they feel this way, why they acted that way, what is happening that’s causing this behavior. This allows them to become good critical thinkers, which is a trait that benefits them for life.
- They have better values and morals. Kids who live with parents who use induction learn to develop proper moral and ethical beliefs. When kids know why their parents are doing things, they learn to focus on their values.
Is It Too Late to Incorporate Inductive Parenting Into My Kids’ Lives?
Never. It’s never too late to incorporate a more positive method of parenting at home. Though inductive parenting is more beneficial from an early age, there’s no reason you can’t start with older kids. Start by providing reasons for your actions.
We’ll use the example that your child sent a mean message to someone else on social media/text message and it’s borderline bullying. This does not mean your child is a bully or is going down that road, merely that they were angry with their friend. They sent their reaction in a moment of anger and spite, and it’s mean. You want your child to apologize and then they lose their phone.
Explain why you chose this punishment and why what they did was wrong. It’s wrong because sending someone hateful messages is mean, it can get your child into a lot of trouble at school, and because it’s permanent.
That message will never go away even when it’s deleted or gone. Additionally, it hurt someone’s feelings and it was inappropriate. Next, make sure that the discipline you’re using is a teaching tool and not just punishment. The punishment should, in essence, fit the crime. Your child used their phone inappropriately, so they lose their phone as a result.
Let your child ask you questions. There is a chance they might fully comprehend what they did was so wrong and why it was so wrong. Tell them. Let them ask questions, and answer them truthfully.
Let your child know that you love them, but that you are disappointed in that type of behavior. Your child should know that you love them, that you will never stop loving them, and that you use discipline as a way of teaching your child. It’s how they become better people and how they learn.
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