Motherhood is unquestionably a wonderful thing; it is truly a joy to have children, nurture them, teach them, and watch them grow. How you raise your children will have a huge impact on the adults they end up becoming, so in many ways the “pressure is on” in being a parent.
When thinking about parenting styles and different “types” of moms, a few prime examples quickly come to mind. These include the “strict disciplinarian”, the “friend”, and the “laissez-faire/democratic” style of mom. There are, of course, many other styles – a different style for every different mom, really. Some moms employ different elements from various styles, as well, as best suits them and their ideals.
In raising my own two children, I have encountered many of these different “types” of moms. Below is my perspective on a few of them.
This is, to me, one of the most alarming and inappropriate styles of mothering. These moms are not comfortable with exerting any kind of authority; in fact, these moms generally don’t even want to be adults. They would rather join in on the fun with their own children. Some prime examples are moms who join in on playground gossip with their school age children (i.e. discussing Caitlin’s hideous clothes or how cute that one boy is) or moms who try to emulate how their young daughters dress and speak. Talk about disturbing! And it is quite detrimental to her children, as kids notoriously seek boundaries and actually want and desire a parent who sets limits.
The Strict Disciplinarian
This mom’s style has much to recommend to it. Because this mom is very rule-oriented, you can feel secure in sending your own child over to their house to play. You won’t have to worry the whole time about your child getting into any major trouble, as The Strict Disciplinarian will keep a close, hawk-like eye on all of the proceedings. The downfall to this style of mothering, though, is that it can go too far and inhibit or discourage the children from growing and learning from their own mistakes. This mom is so quick with the punishments and prohibitions that often, once the kids are out from under her thumb, they tend to go a little “hog wild” out in the real world.
The Laissez-Faire Democrat
One could argue that this type of mom melds the best of both worlds between The Friend and The Strict Disciplinarian. She allows her children plenty of freedom to make their own mistakes and explore the world. She understands that it is vitally important for a child to learn how to pick him- or herself up and dust themselves off when things go awry. She’s the kind of mom who a child will feel comfortable confiding in, but she doesn’t cross that line into being her children’s friend.
As I mentioned before, though, every mom is different. And it can be argued that each child needs its own unique mothering style as well. But elements of each of the above three can be found in virtually every mom.