There may be countless parenting books, but when you become a parent, there isn't a textbook to tell you exactly what to do. You learn by doing… and how you raise your child is influenced in large part by your parent personality.
Not that you're being graded, but the people who spend the most time with your children – their teachers – have an incredible ability to quickly size-up their pupils' parents. They understand that your child's growth and development is in both your hands and theirs. And just as they develop ways to teach that best suit a variety of students' learning styles, they also know how to work with different parent personalities, too.
Here are the top six parent personalities that teachers encounter – which one are you?
The Executive Parent
Don't let the word “executive” fool you – this doesn't mean an out-of-touch parent who is all about work; it's a mom or dad who uses executive function to be an overall effective parent.
- These parents put tremendous effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their children.
- They take time to explain the reasoning behind rules.
- They have firm, clearly defined boundaries that are understood and age appropriate.
- They enforce rules and also give the consequences, but still manage to consider their child’s emotional well-being.
Needless to say, teachers enjoy dealing with this type simply because they tend to be involved and receptive. Many teachers maintain that the Executive personality makes it easier to find solutions to problems and will work side-by-side with teachers in order to help their child thrive.
The Authoritarian Parent
Take the Executive Parent to the extreme, and you may find an overly strict disciplinarian known as the Authoritarian Parent.
- They will make up and enforce rules that are impossible for any child to keep.
- They will have little or no regard for their child’s feelings.
- Punishment and obedience are more important than the quality of the parent-child relationship.
When it comes to dealing with this type, most teachers agree that they need to mind how they portray the child. In most cases, the teacher will focus more on the child’s achievements than his or her shortcomings. For a teacher working with a child who struggles in school, this can be a delicate, frustrating scenario.
The Permissive PARENT
- They will make excuses for their child’s behavior and even take the blame.
- They believe that kids should be kids and therefore will not force their child to do assignments including homework or chores.
- They allow their children to be free-spirited and often do not have set boundaries.
Without structure, the Permissive Parent's child can end up being overbearing, spoiled or out of control. It also makes the teacher's job tougher, as these children are unused to rules and struggle with taking direction.
The Ghost Parent
Ghost Parents tend to seldom, if ever, appear at school and in other areas of a child's life. There are a couple of scenarios that explain why these parents to be MIA:
- This parent is too busy at work or is overwhelmed by home life.
- Children are left to their own devices and have little or no guidance of any kind.
- In some cases, care of the child is handed over to a guardian or nanny who has very limited authority over the child and aren't empowered to make decisions on the child's behalf.
- This parent is actually involved in the upbringing of their child, however, is not actively involved in their life outside of the home.
- Children are given some guidance but it is not followed up on.
- They almost seem elusive, as they do not participate in the social aspects of their children's lives.
The biggest problem for teachers with the Ghost Parent is the fact that when issues arise that need to be addressed, it is very difficult to get them to commit to actually taking time for a meeting. And their children acutely feel their absence at school events, especially in this day and age where most parents take a hands-on role in their children's upbringing.
The Helicopter Parent
- This is the type who seems to want and need to be involved in every aspect of their child’s life.
- They are often are almost suffocating in their parenting approach and leave no room for their children to make their own decisions.
- To a certain extent these parents leave nothing to chance either and every second of their child’s day is monitored and carefully mapped out.
While on the one hand this can give a child’s self-esteem a boost, on the other it could also be equally damaging as the child is not given the opportunity for self-discovery and may lack imperative decision-making skills.
The Know-It-All Parent
- The Know-It-All lives vicariously through their child.
- They set extremely high standards for their child.
- They are either individuals who think they know better and don't take kindly to being told different or are actually intellectuals who do know a lot and therefore do not accept the opinion of others.
These parents are the hardest to deal with not only for the teachers but also for any other adult involved in the child’s life. Often children may be expected to overachieve and end up extremely stressed when they fail. The Know-It-All Parent sees any shortcomings in their child as a direct reflection of themselves and therefore do not tolerate failure.
Looking at all of the above parent personalities, teachers agree that the Executive type is the best parent personalities when it comes to supporting students. Of course, all parents may have a touch of one personality or another in a given setting or situation. If you learn anything from teachers' assessments of typical parent personalities, it's to have enough self-awareness so you can adjust your behavior to best support your child.