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What’s Your Parenting Style?

by Rabbi Dovid Hochberg, LGSW

The following questionnaire is designed to help you identify your parenting style. The first step is to print it out. Then, as you read each statement, decide how much you agree with it or how much it reflects the situation in your home. Then write the number from 1 to 5 that corresponds to your level of agreement: 1.Strongly Disagree 2.Disagree 3.Neutral 4.Agree 5.Strongly Agree

___ 1) It is important to listen to what children have to say, but parents shouldn’t always give in.
___ 2) Strong discipline is necessary sometimes because children will remember the lesson later.
___ 3) As a parent, I am essentially a teacher.
___ 4) I would prefer to have peace in the house than to stand firm and face a confrontation with my child.
___ 5) I don’t have to punish my child to make him listen.
___ 6) I always know what is best for my children.
___ 7) Mealtimes are pleasant in my home.
___ 8) I think parents must impress upon their children that the parents are the bosses.
___ 9) It is important to say yes to your children because it shows them that you love them.
___ 10) There are so many rules in life so I believe parents should let their children enjoy as much freedom as possible when they are younger.
___ 11) A spanking is okay once in a while.
___ 12) As long as you love your children, they will turn out okay.
___ 13) There are clear rules, consequences and rewards in my home.
___ 14) If I let my children basically have free rein in the house, they will eventually learn appropriate behavior on their own.
___ 15) If I don’t stay on top of my child, she will never get things done.
___ 16) It takes forever to get my child out of bed in the morning.
___ 17) I often get angry and yell at my child.
___ 18) My children often take advantage of my good nature.
___ 19) I usually give my older children choices instead of telling them what to do.
___ 20) Everyone does their chores smoothly.
___ 21) I usually have to punish my child at least once a week.
___ 22) A parent should publicly scold their child if he demonstrates poor manners in front of guests.
___ 23) My role as a parent is to enforce consequences with my teenager, not make her choices for her.
___ 24) It is very hard to put my children in bed for the night.
___ 25) I spend too much time on my child’s homework.
___ 26) It is a good idea to involve your child in making his lunch for school.
___ 27) I expect my child to obey me immediately when I ask her to do something.


Scoring your questionnaire:

Authoritarian Style score:

Add up your scores for the following statements: #2, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21, 22, and 27. Put the total in this blank. _______ (total)

Permissive Style score:

Add up your scores for the following statements: #4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 24, and 25. Put the total in this blank. _______ (total)

Positive Parenting Style score:

Add up your scores for the following statements: #1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 19, 20, 23 and 26. Put the total in this blank. _______ (total)

Interpreting Your Scores:

The highest score possible for each style is 45. The higher your score for a style, the more you tend to use that style of parenting. You may find that you have similar scores for more than one style. This means that you tend to use both styles equally.

The Different Parenting Styles:

Authoritarian - If you scored highest on this style, you find it important to have rules and a strong parental authority in your home. Things may run smoothly, but you probably find yourself in frequent conflicts with your child. Anger and frustration probably characterize the power struggles that you and your child experience, and your child’s misbehavior usually makes you feel angry and challenged rather than annoyed. You may also feel guilty after a particularly difficult episode.

Permissive - If you scored highest on this style, your relationship with your child may be pretty good as long as you do what he or she wants. But you probably find that your child gets very angry and hostile when you try to enforce a rule or make a demand of him or her. Your interactions with your child may leave you feeling resentful when your child gets her way or powerless when you try to take a stand. Often, you may find yourself abruptly flipping from permissive to authoritarian, and back, leaving you feeling drained.

Positive Parenting - If you scored highest on this style, your relationship with your child is probably positive. Though problems certainly occur, an atmosphere of respect, trust, and teamwork enables you to handle them without the hurt, resentment or anger that characterize the other styles. You tend to be consistent in dealing with your child and he generally knows what is expected of him. You use authority and limit setting, yet give your child freedom and independence within those limits.

Your goal is to have the highest score in the Positive Parenting style, and we will discuss how to do that in future articles.