Usually when we think of parenting skills, we focus on the children: are they stubborn or placid? Are they energetic or do they like to take it easy?
Next we focus on the values and rules we use to discipline our children: are we permissive or strict? Do we want kids who are team players or kids who are independent thinkers?
However, one of the most important factors that parents often forget to take into account is the type of parent we actually are. Knowing what type of parent you are is crucial to understanding how you will relate to your children, both positively and negatively.
You’ll be able to tailor-make any parenting method so that it is the best fit for you and your family.
1. The Rule Maker
If you are this type of parent, you tend to place great value on following the rules. You focus not on having fun, but in making sure your children do what is right. You place great importance on order and structure and you are careful to train your children to be obedient from an early age.
In the ideal form, you are able to motivate your children by your strong conviction in doing what is right. You are able to accept the fact that children make mistakes, and to take into account the individual differences of children that make a difference in how they behave.
On the other hand, if you are on the unhealthy end of the spectrum, you can be perfectionist, controlling, and impersonal. You have a difficult time tolerating others’ weaknesses or mistakes, and so are often extremely critical of others.
Sometimes you also tend to project your own forbidden thoughts and desires on others. You see everyone else as “bad,” because you are unable to admit to the shame and self-hatred you feel about their own perceived failures.
2. Altruistic Giver
If you are an altruistic giver, your focus is on feelings. Ideally, you desire to love and protect others. You need to be important and appreciated by others, and you crave physical closeness. You are known as someone who can be counted on to help others, no matter what.
You have a tremendous ability to give to others, and so it is natural for you to help your family, neighbors, and even strangers, far beyond what most would be willing to do. You are also able to love your children unconditionally, and unselfishly; you give because you enjoy doing so, not in order to get something back.
If you are on the unhealthy spectrum, you still enjoy giving to your children, but you feel dependent on their approval. It’s sometimes hard for you to discipline your children firmly and consistently, because you are so concerned about them loving you.
Because you have a need to feel loved- but never really feel loved at any given point in time-you are very caught up in trying to gain approval. You may spread yourself so thin helping everyone else out that there is very little time left over for your own family. On the other hand, you can be very overprotective, in an attempt to control your children and ensure that they need you.
3. Self-Assured Motivator
If you are this personality type, you are driven to succeed to the fullest. You are a drawn to beauty, and you and your children are always dressed to the tee. You project an aura of elegance and refinement, even under the worst circumstances.
On the unhealthy end, you may be more concerned with flaunting your beauty and superiority. You are competitive, and look down on the less fortunate. For you love and success depend on recognition by others of your superior ability. You often push your children too far, demanding that they perform according to your desires and expectations-no matter what their talents, aspirations, or skills.
4. Spiritual Alchemist
As a spiritual alchemist, you experience feelings deeply. You have a need to create; that is your form of self-actualization. You can be very dramatic at times, but you are also spontaneous, empathetic, and genuinely share others’ pain.
As a parent you love making life a joyous experience for your children. You use all of your creative talents to help them experience the world in a positive manner. You are also very sensitive to how your children feel, catching their moods at an instant.
Your main difficulty as a parent is your conflict between your desire to develop your own creative potential, and the daily tasks that make-up motherhood. You also tend towards self-involvement and negativity, ignoring the good that others’ possess. This can lead you to depressive episodes which prevent you from relating or caring for your children.
5. Insightful Observer
You love to learn; your goal is to learn as much as you can about everything. You possess a brilliant mind, love learning for its own sake.
You enjoy sharing your knowledge with your children, and know exactly how to explain difficult concepts so they can understand. Sometimes you tend to get over-involved in your knowledge quests, and you may survive on very little food, sleep, or other material comforts.
You may feel bored an intellectually unstimulated around small children, finding it difficult to relate to their antics. You may also turn away from the typical parents’ gatherings at parks and other public places.
If you are on the unhealthy end, you tend to withdraw from those around you. You may ignore children who you feel cannot share your knowledge, and you feel only intellect has value. You look scornfully upon arts or other creative endeavors. You also worry constantly about having enough money, time, energy, and knowledge.
6. Devoted Loyalist
If you are in this category, you are highly-devoted to your family and friends. You are hard-working, playful, and like to spend your time helping to create and support community institutions, like your church or synagogue, school, or other groups that support social causes.
You identify strongly with the underdog, and may encourage your children to help the child who is left out at school, even going so far as to invite them over in an attempt to help them out.
On the unhealthy side, you may be controlling, demanding that your children show complete loyalty to you. You may become aggressive in an attempt to establish control of your household, or you may engage in passive-aggressive behavior in order to force your children to prove their loyalty.
7. Accomplished Adventurer
For you, life is an adventure. You love doing things just for the fun of it. You are energetic, and love doing all kinds of wild crazy things with your children that most other parents would consider too adventurous or too much trouble. However, you can still help your children find joy in the little things, like a walk in the woods, or an interesting stone.
However, you can get bored with day-to-day routines, often looking for a way to “spice things up a little,” or ignoring the task altogether. You may feel a constant need to be on the go, which means you often “run away” from your children. You may neglect your children in favor of social or business obligations, which appear more “fun” to you.
8. Magnanimous Leader
You have a very powerful personality if you belong in to this group. You are assertive and know how to take charge: you are a natural leader. As a parent you are decisive, authoritative, and determined to teach your children the skills they need to survive in a tough world.
Unfortunately, you can tend to be quite aggressive and controlling, even using violence if you feel it’s necessary. You may react violently to your children’s misbehavior, feeling it was done purposely. You may also tend towards emotional aloofness, and have trouble relating to the day-to-day foibles of your children.
9. Tranquil Peacemaker
The last group of parents is especially peaceful and easygoing. You are deeply trusting of others, are supportive, and are content with your life as it is.
You remain calm even during the most trying times, so your children find it easy to turn to you when they need help. You are able to mediate between siblings, providing a tranquil island of calm for your family.
At times you may be too accommodating, and give-in for the sake of peace, even when you should stand up for yourself. You may also procrastinate, attempting to avoid very real problems you face with your children. You may even stubbornly resist any attempt any attempt to compel you to take action on behalf of a child in need.
Use your newfound knowledge to help you understand why you react to your children’s misbehavior in the way that you do. If you see similarities between yourself and some of the unhealthy extremes, don’t panic! Being aware of your imperfections is the first step in correcting them.