Why parenting styles are like potatoes


Parenting styles

How we interact with our children has a profound effect on our children’s happiness, social skills and self-esteem.  There are four parenting styles: baked, boiled, fried,…oops no hold on, that’s potatoes… parenting styles are: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved. 

The thing is the terms are meaningless.  Look at the picture of the potato.  It’s a baked potato.  But simply calling it baked is meaningless.   With parenting - as with potatoes - the devil is in the detail. 

Jacket potatoes, oven chips and the delicious Hasselback potato in the picture are all baked potatoes.   Do they taste anything alike?  I don’t think so.


The devil is in the detail

Stopping a child from drawing on the wall by distracting her, works without punishment or great upset.  But does that stop the child from doing it next time your back is turned?  Probably not.  Explaining WHY we don’t draw on walls has better chance of success.  Both ways might be regarded as methods of authoritative parenting, but really only one works well in the long run. 

Over the next few weeks, I will give you many detailed recipes tips and ideas on how to play and interact with your baby whilst on a play mat.  I believe that play is THE best way to connect with your baby.  Playing is fun.  Babies learn everything through play.


Parenting through play

And the best thing about playing with your baby is that you can do all the parenting whilst having fun too.  The key to effective, stress-free parenting is understanding babies.  If you learn how to understand and communicate with your baby, it will make your life as a parent enjoyable and rewarding. 

There is no magic right formula to parent a child.  Or else we would all follow it – and all children would end up perfect.  Parenting consists of millions of little interactions that all come together to create your parenting style.  What I will try to do over the next few weeks is to give you some of the best baby play ideas I know, backed up with some knowledge I have accumulated over many years from reading child development books.

Our parenting styles have a huge effect on our children’s lives.  It all starts somewhere.  It all starts much earlier than you might think.   


How the cosyplay mat can help

Psychologists have shown many times, that the bond formed between a baby and his or her parent permeates all aspects of early life and provides a model for later social relationships.  The cosyplay mat will help you to tune into your baby.  This will set the path to finding the parenting style that suits you and your baby. 

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