All of us have different parenting styles and it is really not fair to judge someone’s style good as or worse than ours. However, it is also important to understand various parenting styles so that you can imbibe best practices and more importantly, appreciate all parents. Here you will get a better idea about the democratic parenting style.
One mistake most of us parents do is not consider parenting as an important skill. For learning any other skill, we get proper training. But when it comes to parenting, most of us go by intuition and do not think of the bigger picture.
Reading about a particular parenting style and deciding on what type of parent you want to be is an important step. Unless you are consistent, your child will not benefit from what you do for him.
Before understanding what a democratic parenting style is, it is important to understand the opposite of democratic parenting, namely authoritative parenting. This will help to understand the importance of democratic parenting.
This is a parenting style in which parents “rule” and children “obey”. Most of us in our generation were raised in this parenting style. The father was the most important person and decision-maker in the house.
Mom was in “second” place. And the kids were at the bottom of the pyramid. This hierarchy was apparent across society – be it in school or in the workplace. There was a boss and there were subordinates.
But society has not changed. Even in the workplace, it is more about collaboration and teaming and less about the boss giving orders and employees following meekly. These societal changes have driven a new more positive parenting style, called democratic parenting.
Much like in a democracy, children are treated as “equals” in a democratic home. It is based on a ‘give and take’ policy. Here the children are given choices and they have the liberty to make decisions.
However, in exchange, they also need to face the consequences of their decisions, however unpleasant. This helps them make “responsible choices” and not go by whims and fancies.
That said, it is the duty of the parents to ensure that the consequences do not inflict physical harm or pain. The theory of democratic parenting style depends on:
Following are three examples of democratic parenting:
Democratic parenting: You calmly tell them that you just want to know what happened. Listen to their side of the story without judging or interrupting.
When they’ve finished, give your input on the situation in a way that is not condescending, and explain to them what they did wrong and how they can do better in the future.
Democratic parenting: Ask them why they do not want to do it. Get their side of things. There may very well be a reason why they cannot do the chore.
Be understanding, explain to them why the chore is important, and if they cannot do it, allow them to do it at another time or give an alternative. If they do not know how to, take the time to teach them.
Democratic parenting: You do not yell at them or punish them in anger. Say “you are not being kind to me. Are you upset with me?” If they are, try to resolve the conflict in a peaceful, mature way.
Emphasize the importance of communication. If they are upset for some other reason, explain to them that it is not fair to take their frustrations out on other people. Then, you can work together to solve whatever issue they are facing.
This is an easily misunderstood parenting style. Remember that democratic parenting does not mean that:
In fact, democratic parenting style is about respecting your children and treating them with dignity. The parents explain the choices, along with appropriate consequences to the children. And children make an informed decision, knowing well that they have to face the consequences of their decision does not go well.
Let us now see some of the key features of democratic parenting.
Following are some top advantages of democratic parenting:
Following are a few disadvantages of democratic parenting:
Once you decide to practice democratic parenting style, remember the following tips:
Do you follow a democratic parenting style in your house? Let us know your story in the comments section below.
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