What type of parent are you? Take the Quiz

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Find out what type of parent you are by taking the quiz.

  1. You go to parents’ evening and the teacher complains about your child’s behaviour. What do you do?

a) You ask the teacher what they’re doing wrong.

b) As soon as you get home, you shout at your child and take away TV privileges for a month

c) When you get home, you talk to your child about their behaviour, plan with them how to change it and take away TV privileges for the weekend.



2. The living room is a mess after your child has had their friend round. What do you do?

a) Tidy up yourself.

b) Shout at them and make them tidy up.

c) Ask them to tidy up with you helping.


3. Your child hits another child in the playground. What do you do?

a) Ignore it and let them sort it out themselves.

b) Shout at your child and drag them home immediately.

c) Make your child say sorry and take away a privilege when you get home.


4. You go to the toy shop to buy a birthday present for a friend’s child and your child says that they want one too. What would you do?

a) Buy it to keep the peace.

b) Lecture them about not expecting things every time you go shopping.

c) Tell them no but say that can save up for the toy with their pocket money or say they can put it on their birthday or Christmas list.


5. The main job of a parent is to do what?

a) Make your child feel happy.

b) Teach them to have manners and behave well.

c) Teach them to manage their emotions and make good choices.


If you chose mainly As, then you are a permissive parent.

If you chose mainly Bs, then you are an authoritarian parent.

If you chose mainly Cs, then you are an authoritative parent.

There are three main parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative and permissive.

Authoritarian parents expect their instructions and orders to be obeyed without question. They are more likely to punish their children for misdemeanours than other parents and offer fewer explanations. Children whose parents adopt an authoritarian approach are more likely to rebel or distance themselves from their parents as they grow older (Thomson et al. 2003).

Authoritative parents set clear boundaries for their children but are less likely to use punishment as a form of discipline. They are also more likely to use praise and rewards. They are responsive to their children but also have high expectations for behaviour. This type of parenting is related to children feeling a sense of responsibility for their actions and the children are less likely to rebel when they are older (Baumrind, 1971).

Permissive parents find it difficult to say no to their children and do not reprimand their children for inappropriate behaviour. Children of permissive parents are more likely to engage in risky behaviours that put themselves in danger and are more likely to take illegal drugs or drink heavily and behave badly a school (Lamborn et al., 1991). Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between being understanding and kind and setting clear boundaries.

The key characteristics of an effective parent are: warmth and involvement, clear communication of expectations, reasoning, allowing your child to voice their opinion and general pleasantness (Robinson et al., 1995). Some parents can be too controlling, critical, restrictive or punitive. At the other extreme, parents can be too relaxed and ignore their child’s misbehaviour (Robinson et al. 1995).

Research suggests that taking the middle ground in terms of discipline is best.

Want to get a free parenting ebook? Go to www.fayecarlisle.com

Want your child to read more? Read the Fortress, a fantasy adventure story aimed at 7-10 year olds.






Using marbles to reward good behaviour


English: Picture of marbles from my collection

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I had been taking away toys for my 3-year old son’s bad behaviour but then returning them for good behaviour. My friend, a child psychologist questioned this method. She suggested that I separate negative consequences from rewards as giving toys back for good behaviour might undo the lessons I was trying to teach him when I removed the toys in the first place. Her recommendation was that I continue to remove toys for bad behaviours, perhaps returning them after a day/week but that I should reward good behaviour in a different way. One idea that she suggested that seemed easy to implement was putting a marble in a jar for good behaviour and then when the marbles reach the top of the jar, giving a reward. I have told my son he can choose a reward such as going to Thomasland when the marbles reach the top of the jar and he seems really enthusiastic about the whole idea. One thing I really wanted to change was how quickly my son gets ready in the mornings so I have told him that he needs to brush his teeth without a fuss and get his own pants and trousers on and he will get a marble. We have been rewarding my son with marbles for almost a month now, and my son consistently gets his own pants and trousers on, brushes his teeth, washes his hands after the toilet and gets ready for bed quickly, all things I was struggling with before. I do have to remind him that he needs to do these things to receive a marble but ultimately, the marbles seem to be working. What surprises me is that he is still persevering at getting the marbles even though he is only halfway to receiving  his reward.

My book  ‘Psychology for Parents: Birth to teens’ is on sale as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords.com.