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Setting rules helps everything go as planned. However, when it comes to parenting, flexible parenting plans should be adapted in place of rules. This is because rules have consequences attached to them and these consequences hurt children. Furthermore, consistency style in parenting views rules as the basis of the relationship between parents and their kids. Sadly, in such homes parents will unconsciously force their will on their children and their kids have nothing to say but to obey in silence. In contrast, learning how to be a flexible parent is all you need to inculcate both discipline and love as your parenting style. This in turn, boosts the love bond between you and your kids.
What is Flexible Parenting?
A flexible parenting style is a parenting approach that works based on teamwork between parents and their kids. In other words, parents aren’t rigid in their dealings with their kids but are open to new possibilities, considering the needs of everyone involved before a conclusion can be reached about a matter. Indeed there is no such thing as perfect parenting, similarly, being authoritative doesn’t make you a good parent, rather creates a separation between you and your kids.
Why is Flexibility More Important than Consistency in Parenting?
1. Flexible Parenting Enhances Effective Communication
Exchange of pleasantries with your kids every morning when you wake up and each time you return from work isn’t tagged effective communication. As a parent you need to know deep things about your kids; their challenges, fears, likes, dislikes, what’s bothering them and more.However, a flexible parenting plan will help you loosen up your rules by boosting effective communication between you and your kids.
2. Builds Self-confidence in Children
Being flexible means you’re open to the opinion of your kids regarding certain decisions. Interestingly, allowing your kids to make suggestions and decisions by themselves is one way of boosting self-confidence in children. In addition, they will feel valued and cared for because they now know you have their needs at heart and not just imposing your will on them.
3. Enhances a State of Mindfulness and Calmness
The state of being mindful isn’t restricted to meditative techniques of calmness, but a flexible parenting plan also guarantees calmness in your life as a parent. How? By bringing you into the consciousness that your kids will do the right thing even in your absence. Oftentimes, parents set rules to control the behavior of their children when away, but this shouldn’t be as it indirectly affects the self-esteem of your children.
4. Boost Self-discipline in Children
Rules aren’t what make children self-discipline rather it makes them feel controlled and may never grow up to be emotionally mature. But, as you begin to understand how to be a flexible parent it becomes easier for you to teach your children instead of controlling them. In essence, teach your kids about the rights and wrongs they deserve to know. This method helps kids feel empowered and take responsibility for their life even as they grow up.
5. Problem-Solving Skills
Kids learn how to be independent as they grow up through problem-solving. Yes, you’re their parents and are expected to provide solutions to all their problems, but spice things up by frequently letting them think through their problems and provide solutions. Their solutions may not be perfect but at least they have learned something tangible through that experience. Most importantly, problem-solving skills boost the intelligence quotient of children.
How Do I Become a Flexible Parent?
1. Choice Teamwork Over Self-centeredness
Oftentimes, parents feel they are fulfilling their parenting duty by doing everything as regards the family alone. This might sound great but it’s a form of self-centeredness. Sadly, some parents make family decisions without considering their spouses, not to mention their kids. If you must learn how to be a flexible parent you should willingly embrace teamwork.
For instance, don’t do the house chores alone while your kids stay back and watch you. In response to this, assigned household chores for kids to them, in addition, working together as a family boosts unity and strengthens the love bond.
2. Be Open to New Ideas
Everything is subjected to change even in parenting. Therefore, stop using the same parenting approach your parents use to bring you up on your kids. I’m not saying it’s wrong but those parenting styles that are outdated due to changes in times and environment should be modified. In essence, inculcating a flexible parenting plan involves accepting new ideas that work. Remember we learn every day, so, be open to learning from friends, family, experiences, situations, parenting books, and even from your children.
3. Involve Your Children in Making Decision
Don’t assume you know what’s best for your children, as you may not be correct at all times. Therefore, feel free to involve your children in making decisions, their contribution might be little but it can also be a pointer to the solution needed. The importance of children making decisions can’t be overemphasized because it helps them become independent, disciplined, responsible, emotional, and socially mature among other benefits.
4. Listen to Your Children More Often
As a parent when things go wrong or your kids make mistakes don’t be quick to act in anger by giving them tedious punishment. In contrast, hear them out, get to understand what led to the mistake, and see where you can help. This parenting approach makes your kids feel understood and secure to always run to you for help when things go wrong. Furthermore, to avoid acting out in anger you should learn how to identify and control your emotions, this will guide you on how to maintain your peace amidst unpleasant situations and take the best possible actions.
5. Teach Your Children
Most parents interchange teaching with controlling. Hence, they find them trapped in the web of using force to make their children obey them. This parenting approach only deprives you of having a healthy relationship with your children. Therefore, teaching your children the do’s and don’t of life is a basic requirement in the flexible parenting plan. The moment your children can differentiate between right and wrong and the results attached to both decisions, I assure you they will always go for the best option.
6. Prioritize Your Self Care
Parents who are plagued with mental and emotional issues like anger, depression, emotional neglect, bipolar disorder, anxiety among other disorders tend to be authoritative— using force to make things go their way. This approach doesn’t make things better but seeking medical help will improve their condition. Perhaps, you desire to learn how to be a flexible parent amidst your mental and emotional issues, it’s great but the first step to begin is by seeking medical help to avoid hurting yourself and your kids any further.
7. Practice More of Acceptance
Acceptance in this context means accepting the feelings and emotions of your kids. In other words, learning to be more empathetic, by doing so you will be mindful of how you set rules and make decisions. This attitude guides you in taking into consideration what your kids will feel when you take that decision you’re about to take. Better still, put yourself in their shoes and analyze the outcome if you were to be at the receiving end of that decision.
There are no set rules and guidelines for parenting and this is what makes learning how to be a flexible parent of great necessity. It’s on the wings of flexibility you’re able to do things differently, adapt to the methods that work, say no to unprofitable rules. Most importantly, place the love you have for your kids above every parenting decision.
Therefore, as a parent what’s your experience with flexible parenting approach?
What are the 4 types of parenting styles?
Permissive parenting (lenient attitude from parents who only steps in when issues get serious), authoritarian parenting (Parents impose their will/authority on children without consideration), Neglectful parenting (nonchalant attitude from parents, having fewer rules, guidance and parenting attention) authoritative parenting (Uses rules with consequences, considering the children)
Why should parents be flexible?
Giving a child proper upbringing is only achieved when there is a healthy relationship between parents and their children. In other words, adopting a flexible parenting approach helps enhance the relationship with your children. Hence, your children become open to telling you things and run to you for solutions at any time.
What is soft parenting?
Soft parenting is a parenting style involving fewer rules and regulations and giving more attention to a child’s emotions. In essence, parents are more concerned about their children’s emotions and wouldn’t do anything to hurt them. This parenting approach is one way to make a child emotionally mature.
What parenting style is the best?
Research has revealed that an authoritative parenting style has great benefits to a child. This style still utilizes rules with consequences attached but involves positive discipline and welcomes a child’s opinion. This in turn makes a child self-disciplined and becomes more responsible.
How do I know if I’m a flexible parent?
Being flexible in parenting isn’t a day job but takes a series of processes. However, the main sign that shows you’re becoming a flexible parent is when your children become free to tell you everything about themselves without fear or constraints.
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