Yes, I Googled “Parenting Styles”

7 Oct

One of the questions on our home study form asked us to describe our parenting style. This was awkward for us because, uhm, we’re not parents. We have theoretical ideas of how we want to be as parents and how we want to raise our child, but we’re smart enough to know that actually becoming parents is what’s going to help us define our style.

Also, I had more of a philosophy or statement in mind and I wasn’t sure how to turn it into a style. Here’s where I started:

Your child is a small human being that will grow into a large human being and the things they learn when they are small will stay with them when they are large. Don’t raise good children, raise good grown-ups.

In other words, teach your kids to be adults you would respect.

But I had a hard time defining that as a style. So, I turned to Google. Of course.

And, not surprisingly, there were plenty of resources including this quiz from

Don and I both took the quiz, the results of which are explained in three categories: Shaping Character, Making Rules and Enforcing Discipline. We had the same results in Shaping Character (Involved, but Flexible), and Enforcing Discipline (Lenient). We differed in Making Rules (Susan is Authoritative, Don was the next step down but I can no longer remembered how it was titled). The only real surprise is that we’re both described as lenient in enforcing behaviors since I don’t tend to think of either of us in that way. However when I read the description, it made more sense.   It’s more about tolerance and letting children learn for themselves, even make their own mistakes from time to time. I’m okay with that description, but since we both trend in that direction, we’ll just need to be mindful that we’re not being too lenient.

We jotted down key points about each of the areas and developed this as our parenting style:

Set expectations, but don’t be too rigid. Encourage open discussion while still asserting authority on important matters. Display tolerance. Serve as good role models. Take a democratic approach, but understand that sometimes parents know best. Encourage creativity and thoughtful pursuit of interests.

What do you think – is this a reasonable answer to for wanna-be parents to describe how they hope to be as parents? What’s your parenting style? Did you take the quiz? What surprised you?

2 Responses to “Yes, I Googled “Parenting Styles””

  1. Chris VR November 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    I took the quiz and it came out the same as Susan. The first 2 were spot on, but I don’t consider mysel to be a lenient parent. I absolutely punish inappropriate behavior with consequences, and get upset with them for not following directions. Now, I do think that kids should be allowed to do what they like but that’s in order to allow them to learn to make the right choices. If what they like to do is the wrong thing, then they’re going to quickly find that it’s not going to work out so well for them, and they ought to change their likes. I think there’s something in the way this quiz is phrased that skews this question incorrectly towards leniency.

    • susan November 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      That’s good to hear, Chris. We were a little worried about those results, but we think you’re a great mom so now I feel a lot better.

Leave a Reply