Lesson 1: Approaches to Raising Children

Lesson Activities

  • Listen to the lesson.
  • Read the lesson notes.
  • Take the Parenting Style Assessment. It has three sections. 
Guiding Questions

Think about these questions before you start the lesson. Use them to frame your thinking and learning while you take this lesson.

  • What is it hard to raise children?
  • What makes raising children amongst divorce and separation challenging?
  • How can you start to be a successful parent and co-parent?
  • What parenting styles did you most identify with?

Lesson Notes

Workbook p. 1

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

-Ben Franklin

Parenting is complex, and many parents feel unprepared to tackle the day-to-day challenges of raising their children. 

A separation or divorce can complicate parenting because of many factors:

  • Heartbreak or loss of hopes and dreams
  • Intense and changing emotions between spouses or ex-spouses
  • New living arrangements like a new neighborhood or house
  • Financial burdens like legal fees and asset distribution
  • Conflicting or differing parenting styles

Experts often give parents confusing or conflicting information about how to raise children. Therefore, it is essential that you understand yourself, your personality, and your parenting style. 

To be a successful parent, you must identify your natural parenting style and adapt that style to match your child’s behavior. 

  • This creates compatibility between parenting style and child(ren).
  • Your knowledge and insight into your parenting style will allow you to use your knowledge and insight to shape and determine how your children will respond to you. In other words, you can more easily shape the behaviors you want to see in your child(ren). 

To be a successful co-parent, you must identify your parenting style and the parenting style of your co-parent to..

  • Help child(ren) to make easy transitions from home to home and parent to parent.
  • Be objective. It is easy to take things personally. When you understand that people and parents are different, it is easier to accept differences in your co-parent’s perspective and parenting style.

You can work to create real change in your family. You are the manager of your family system. In the same way a business or organization manages employees, you are responsible for your children. You can help your children thrive like a manager helps their employees succeed with...

  • Problem solving
  • Motivation
  • Responsibility
  • Flexibility

There are three main parenting styles. While you may display one style more frequently, these styles can be changed to fit the family interaction. In other words, we may choose different styles in different situations and circumstances.

  • Authoritarian Parenting
  • Permissive Parenting
  • Conscious Parenting

Listen to this Parenting Style Tedx Talk by Scout O’Donnell

  • Trust your child innate abilities.
  • Parents will never have complete control over their children.
  • Integrate these fundamental practices:
    • Resilience
    • Intellectual freedom
    • Exploration
    • Challenge
    • Allow intense emotion
    • Accept and adapt
What Is Your Parenting Style?

It is important to understand your parenting style and your child’s style. Then you can figure out how to change it or adapt it to get the best results for you, your child(ren), and your family.

Our parenting styles are shaped and influenced by different factors like family legacy (how you were parented), personality, and past experiences or belief systems. 

Next, you will identify your parenting style and the style of your child(ren). The first parenting style assessment will help you identify your style on a continuum or scale. Many find this assessment and experience an enlightening exercise in self-discovery and awareness. The goal of this assessment is to identify your dominant parenting style, not to look for any downside or negative labeling regarding how you parent your children. In fact, you’ll be able to draw nothing but positive conclusions with the insight you gain from this assessment.

Parenting Style Assessment

Directions: Complete each section of the parenting style assessment; there are three. Each section will give you a result based on the parenting style that is assessed.
  • Each statement describes various aspects of parenting behavior. Read them carefully and rate how well they describe how you parent. Be honest in your responses.
  • Avoid selecting answers that sound the most socially desirable. Instead, pick the answer that you believe is true for you, regardless of how positive or negative it appears. 
Section 1:
Section 2
Section 3