The other day I was watching Slumdog Millionaire on television for the nth time, and it got me thinking. Here are two brothers – Jamal and Salim. Two brothers with similar genetics and experiences, and yet who are diametrically different in every possible way. Which evoked the whole nature vs. nurture theory debate in my head.
There is no doubt in my mind that we all our predisposed to be a certain type of individual, and that is what governs our personality. However the events we experience, the kind of exposure we get in life and our learning from those, also has a huge impact on shaping us. But which has a bigger role – our genetic make up or our life experiences?
Either ways there is no doubt each has a contribution to creating the individuals that we are. The more important point to remember is that we cannot control the genetic make up of our children, but what we can control is the environmental factors that might influence them. Have you ever thought about what is your parenting style and is it helping your child to get the right opportunities to be the best version of them?
Here is a quick quiz for you to help identify your parenting style. Don’t worry the responses and results are only for you to know.
Q1. Your son wants to start soccer classes, what do you do?
(a)You enroll him in a sports academy that has an alumnus of good performers, and make sure he does not miss out on any class.
(b)You ask him for further information and together go see a few places and then enroll.
(c)You buy him an entire soccer gear and enroll him in the best academy in town
(d)You enroll him in a class closest to home, so that he can manage the routine on his own.
Q2. You want to teach your child how to ride a bike. What do all do you get?
(a) A bike tow bar that connects his bike to your bike, so that you can monitor and train
(b) A bike with training wheels, and you could run along if required
(c) A balance bike and all the safety gear required, better safe than sorry
(d) Any kind of balance bike should do.
Q3. Your child got a 3rd rank in his class for overall performance, what do you do?
(a) Congratulate him and find out about the top two performers and discuss how to do better next time.
(b) Celebrate by acknowledging his effort and getting him a treat
(c) Buy him the latest toy and announce to all family and friends
(d) Congratulate him.
Q4. It is your daughter’s 10th birthday, what do you do?
(a) You know what your child likes, and have planned a party well in advance
(b) Your daughter shares her ideas with you, and you shop and organize a party keeping those things in mind together.
(c) You shower her with gifts in front of everyone at a large scale party organized by you for her
(d) You have had a busy week, so you buy her a gift and cake.
Q5. Your child is not feeling well and does not want go to school.
(a) You keep her home, and check with the teachers what she missed and make her catch up later at night
(b) You check for signs, and after observation keep her home and take her to the doctor if required.
(c) You keep her home and make her comfortable by indulging her with things she likes
(d) You give her medicine and send her to school. If she gets sicker the school will contact you.
Q6. Your teenager son wants a phone.
(a) Get him a phone as you can keep a tab on him now
(b) Agree but make him pitch in for monthly bills
(c) Buy the latest phone with all the accessories
(d) He has to wait till he reaches college
Q7. You go for a holiday with your family
(a) You have a pre-planned itinerary which involves activities for everyone that the family follows
(b) You have a list of must do’s, but take each day as it comes
(c) Others decide what to do, and you follow
(d) You spend the day at the beach while the rest can carry on with what they want to do.
Q8. What does your child wear when they go for playtime to the park?
(a) Completely covered from head to toe, so not to be bitten by mosquitoes or get scratched
(b) Comfortable clothes for easy movement with mosquito patches on them
(c) New outfits with a carry along bag with water and snacks
(d) Whatever your child feels like
Q9. If there is a complaint from school about your child’s misbehavior, what do you do?
(a) Reprimand your child in front of the teachers and later punish him or her
(b) Find out the details of the incident and address it privately with school and your child separately
(c) It’s obviously the other person’s fault; your child can do no harm.
(d) Things like this happen in childhood so ignore it.
Q10. What are your expectations from your child?
(a) To be successful
(b) To be compassionate
(c) To be happy
(d) To be independent
If you scored mostly A’s on your responses then it means you have an Authoritarian Style of Parenting. This is mostly seen in adults who like to be in charge and confident of themselves in making choices. They avoid situations, which are ambiguous and prefer clear straightforward things. Due to their confident personality they tend to instruct others, without providing any explanation. They also believe in hierarchy and hence do not like to be questioned. Hence this style of parenting is characterized by strictness and high expectations by the parents. Although the children might trust their parent’s choices, they feel a sense of lack of freedom to make their own choices. They might also become dependent on their parents instead of being self-reliant. The relationship between the child and parent can be described as controlling. Despite excelling maybe in academics or other activities, the effect on the child is that he or she grows up to be fearful, moody, and aggressive and having a low self esteem.
If you scored mostly B’s on your responses then it means you have an Authoritaritative Style of Parenting. This is mostly seen in adults who are open to other people views and thoughts. They have a global outlook to life, where everyone has a say. However they can be assertive when they feel something is not right. This style of parenting is characterized by affection with assertiveness. Although the parents help children become more self reliant, and make choices, they intervene and set boundaries when required. Hence, the children feel comfortable to make their own choices, with appropriate support and direction from their parents. The relationship between the child and parent can be described as reciprocal. The effect on the child is that he or she grows up to be happy, successful, mature and confident.
If you scored mostly C’s on your responses then it means you have a Permissive Style of Parenting. Adults who struggle with asserting themselves, and state their opinion are know to display this style of parenting. They tend to avoid confrontational situations, and please and appease people more to maintain peace. This style of parenting is characterized by a non-demanding lenient way of parenting. The children feel free to make their own choices with no restrictions. The relationship between the child and parent can be described as indulgent. The effect on the child is that he or she grows up to be insecure, demanding, self involved and aimless.
If you scored mostly D’s on your responses then it means you have an Uninvolved Style of Parenting. This style of parenting is characterized by an indifferent and detached attitude. Usually the adults with this style of parenting, tend to be more involved in their own life experiences and events. They usually struggle with attending to other people’s emotional needs. They find emotions complex to comprehend and understand. Children of such parents feel their choices have no impact. The relationship between the child and parent can be described as rejective or neglectful. The effect on the child is that he or she grows up to be rude, unpredictable, anxious and clingy.
Definitely parenting styles our linked to our personality traits. And these traits have been almost made permanent due to our past and present. But once we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we can use them to our advantage, and maybe mould some of these traits. So honestly answer this quiz to know your parenting style, and reflect on it. Do you want to tweak it? Then wait for our next blog on where we talk about how to be emotionally tuned into your children and creating an everlasting bond.