I, when pressed, like to lump parenting styles into three categories...the crocodile, the ant, and the elephant. Each one of us probably has elements of all three, but one stands out as dominant.
The crocodile is quick to snap and rarely lets go once it grabs hold.
Bernadette comes to mind when I think about the crocodile. A single mom to a now teen-age; she spent the early years of parenthood advocating for her special needs son, making sure he got all the services he needed. She has very little life of her own. (She even quit her job to attend to him.)
She was always on high alert. She chomped down and applied pressure whenever and to whomever she felt was off course.
She knew what was best and she orchestrated his life...from school to family to friends to daily routines.
It was exhausting.
Crocodiles are aggressive and predators and solitary - most people stay far away from them - even the people they love.
The ant works hard for the good of the colony, never taking time for herself. This hard work is rarely appreciated but almost always expected.
A mom of two, Elizabeth does everything for her two kids. She is always at their beck and call, bringing them whatever they need, buying them whatever they want. She feels unappreciated and that her kids don't respect her. And, she is exhausted.
Ants are hard workers but often get stepped on.
Elephants are gentle giants. They are sociable, attentive, and have very thick skins. They have feelings and compassion and are attached to their family unit.
But watch out if they feel threatened or angry! Elephants have enormous strength and will use it when pushed.
Elephants are caring and docile but will become aggressive if threatened.
Are you a crocodile, ant, or elephant? Which would you most like to be?
We are all doing our best. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. We are human, and as the saying goes, "to err is human." We need to work on the "to forgive, divine" part and start giving ourselves some grace. Learn to trust our guts - we know what's best for ourselves and our families.
Your gut will guide you. And your kids. So you'll know when you need support. You'll know when you'll want extra support to implement research-based "best practices", strategies, and techniques in a way that suits you and yours. In a non-judgmental way.
If you need help figuring out what to do...schedule a BREAKTHROUGH SESSION today.
We'll look at your goals, the challenges you're facing, opportunities you might be missing. We'll also uncover hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results. You'll leave the session feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to get results faster and easier than you thought possible. And you'll have a plan of action to do just that.
"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso