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Healthy Parenting: Striking a Balance in Your Parenting Style

One of the biggest challenges of parenting is knowing when to step in and attempt to change or enforce certain behaviors and when to give your children space and allow them to make decisions for themselves. There are dangers with either being too strict or too permissive. Finding a balance in how you choose to approach parenting can help you raise children that are physically and mentally healthy and well equipped to make good decisions. Forge Martial Arts Academy presents some tips on how you can strike a balance in your parenting style.

Understanding Parenting Styles

Since the 1960s, developmental psychologists have recognized four main parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive
  • Neglectful
  • Authoritative

Neglectful parenting involves a lack of rule-setting and indifference from parents, which can be incredibly damaging to a child’s future and open the way for impulsive or delinquent behavior. While people who practice permissive parenting are present and involved in their children’s lives, they are lenient with rules and may spoil or overindulge their children. Narcissistic perceptions and relationship problems are possible negative outcomes of this parenting style.

Authoritarian parenting can be thought of as the exact opposite of permissive parenting. This style focuses on enforcing strict rules and expecting obedience and extraordinary performance from children without offering explanations or sufficient love and affection. Children may suffer from low self-esteem, alcohol abuse, and mental illness as a result.

Authoritative parenting can be thought of as the perfect balance between the authoritarian and permissive categories. This parenting style emphasizes setting clear rules but with clear explanations and consistency. Children are viewed as valuable, independent humans that are deserving of respect and understanding. Warmth, love, and support are not withheld.

Tactics for Implementing a Balanced Parenting Style

If you tend to stray toward characteristics of either the permissive or authoritarian parenting styles, implementing several changes can help make a big difference in your child’s overall health and well-being. Here’s how you can begin:

  • Encourage fun, character-building activities: Participating in sports or other activities that require kids to work with others, practice discipline, and set goals is a great way to help kids find a healthy outlet. Martial arts, such as karate, are a strong choice for helping children improve their physical health and work on personal growth. Forge Martial Arts Academy offers great classes to help your child get started.
  • Help them learn to vent: Don’t encourage children to withhold negative emotions or to stop crying when in pain. Instead, welcome your children to express how they’re feeling and talk to them about their struggles. Similarly, the Guardian reports that don’t feel you need to hide your unhappiness when you’re around your kids. Allow them to see that it is normal to feel sad or mad — even for adults.
  • Be a strong role model: Show your kids just how rewarding work toward a goal can be by involving them in your aspirations and talking with them about how they can bring their dream to life. If you feel you need to wait to further your schooling and get a master’s degree for the good of your children, instead think of how inspiring the experience would be. By pursuing an online degree in a field like teaching, medicine, or information technology, you can open up new opportunities in your career or find new paths.

The type of relationship you choose to have with your children will affect the way they view the world around them and relate with other people. Healthy behaviors are best learned through example, consistent rules, and encouragement. Learn how to find a balance in steering your children in the right direction while giving them the love and support they need to thrive.

Forge Martial Arts Academy wants to bring out the greatness in your child. To learn more about our classes, call us at (970) 585-4354 or email

-Amanda Henderson

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