Daddies & Mummies: Are You a Psychologically Wise Parent?

Every parent’s dream is to give the best to their children and watch them blossom into successful adults and responsible members of the larger society. However, the realisation of this dream rests on who you are as a parent because to a large extent, young children instinctively imitate their parents, the way they talk, their habits and attitudes. They are also significantly affected by the environment in which you raise them.
According to Dr Angela Duckworth, author of the New York best-seller Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success, and a mother of two teenage daughters, over the past forty years studies have found that the children of psychologically wise parents fare better than children raised in any other kind of household.

Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles Image Courtesy: http://www.discoveryinaction.com.au

“In one of Larry’s studies, for example, about ten thousand American teenagers completed questionnaires about their parents’ behaviour. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, social class, or parents’ marital status, teens with warm, respectful, and demanding parents earned higher grades in school, were more self-reliant, suffered from less anxiety and depression, and were less likely to engage in delinquent behaviour. The same pattern replicates in nearly every nation that’s been studied and at every stage of child development.”

So my Nigerian Parents, after all the sarcasm, yelling, cursing, spanking and flogging (that African parents are generally known for), are you a psychologically wise parent?

The checklist below was developed by psychologist and parenting expert Nancy Darling. How many of these statements can your child say “YES!” to without hesitation?

Supportive: Warm

  1. I can count on my parents to help me out if I have a problem.
  2. My parents spend time just talking to me.
  3. My parents and I do things that are fun together.
  4. My parents don’t really like me to tell them my troubles.**
  5. My parents hardly ever praise me for doing well.**

Supportive: Respectful

  1. My parents believe I have a right to my own point of view.
  2. My parents tell me that their ideas are correct and that I shouldn’t question them.**
  3. My parents respect my privacy.
  4. My parents give me a lot of freedom.
  5. My parents make most of the decisions about what I can do.**

Demanding

  1. My parents really expect me to follow family rules.
  2. My parents really let me get away with things.**
  3. My parents point out ways I could do better.
  4. When I do something wrong, my parents don’t punish me.**
  5. My parents expect me to do my best even when it’s hard.

P:S (**) the response to these questions should be “NO”

I hope you take the test, and I hope you and your kids have fun doing it. The goal isn’t to judge or upstage you, nor is it to make little of your effort to raise your child in the best way you can. My hope is that it will give you insight into your style as a parent and how your kids truly fill about you. Whether you choose to do things differently afterwards is up to you.

If you do take the test, I’d love to know how you fared. Ultimately, my wish for you is happiness.

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