What Subject Is Your Parenting?

Schools across the nation are back into the swing of things. By now, most teachers and students have a handle on their daily routine, and they are beginning to optimize the school day for learning. When I think about being in school, I remember all the different subjects from which we drew to become our collective knowledge-math, science, literature, music, PE, and art. I find myself comparing these individual subjects to different parenting styles, and it makes me wonder, “Which subject am I?”

Am I a math parent? Do I add rewards when I’m pleased with my son, and subtract them when I’m displeased? Do I require a clear and straight result for each task my son performs? Two plus two certainly equals four, as does eating all your vegetables equals dessert. Do I count my blessings and add value to my children’s lives?

Am I a science parent? Do I make a hypothesis on the best ways to encourage my son and test the hypothesis repeatedly? It either becomes a household theory of success, or I take it back to the beginning with a new hypothesis. Is it about experimenting and trial and error? In the same way that modern science is constantly evolving and requiring fresh, innovative ways of thinking, such is the science of parenting. The successful theory of earning a sticker for going to the potty on time for a three-year-old no longer seems to hold up as significant for a five-year-old learning to get himself to bed on time. Stickers no longer work, so we must form a new hypothesis.

Am I a literature parent? Do I pour over the latest, trending parenting techniques through countless, credible sources? Do I read through articles, books, and parenting magazines, in search for the great classics of parenting, such as the importance of good ol’ quality time, or the more modern reading materials that support attachment parenting and “unschooling.”ย Do we choose our words wisely when speaking to our children, so that they, as our readers, can get the message that we are trying to convey?

Am I a music parent? Do I look for ways to help my child express his emotions with the words that we say and the rhythms of our body language? Do I hit high notes and low notes, and through dedicated practicing somehow come up with a wonderful harmony in our parent-child relationship?

Am I a PE parent? Am I parenting in a way that promotes healthy life choices, such as exercise and eating nutritiously? Do I parent in a way that we are always active and on the go? Am I competitive? Certainly, I want to be a “gold medal” parent, excelling in the sport of parenting.

Am I an art parent? Am I creative in my parenting style? Do I see parenting as both abstract and an opportunity for creative freedom? Do I see my child as a blank canvas, waiting to be given a brush and a dab of paint, letting him splash a bit of color here while I add a shade there, until the beautiful piece of art that we see before us is a unique, creative individual?

There are so many different parenting styles out there, that it can be overwhelming at times. Much like a child trying to learn about all of these subjects simultaneously in school, it can certainly be tough for us parents. And a bit confusing. I think you’ll agree with me that parenting is all of these subjects rolled into one, and there is no easy answer as to what works best for all parents or with all children. What I do know, is that parenting is a subject at which we can’t afford to fail, and that we are our children’s greatest teachers.

What is your parenting style?


16 Comments on “What Subject Is Your Parenting?”

  1. I like the post – well thought out and good points.
    I am not sure what style I am – probably a little of many of them.

  2. What a wonderful way to look at parenting. I love the way you’ve compared it to school subjects. It helps us to make sense of the decisions we make as parents.
    I’ve obviously spent a little bit of time in schools, because I feel that I use most of the subjects listed when I parent.

    • Thank you very much for commenting and for the compliment. I also can see how having so many different ideas through at you in the parenting spectrum, that in a similar way it can be difficult for children to learn so many different subjects at once too… I can sympathize with my Kindergartner a little bit more when I look at it this way when he has an overwhelming day! I feel the pressure as a parent too! But I agree, that the best way is probably to incorporate a bit of all of this.

  3. As a former kindergarten teacher…and mom of three…I applaud this clever and creative way of presenting different parenting approaches! Hopefully, as parents, we take a bit from each subject as we raise our children…remembering, as you say, that we are our children’s greatest (and first) teachers. I will be following your blog…hope you will come and see mine: Positive Parental Participation: http://www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

  4. muddledmom says:

    Bits and pieces of all of those. We are our children’s first teachers, on every single level. Then they go to school and they think we don’t know anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ain’t that the truth!! Haha.. speaking of a country twang & my son not thinking I know anything…. I once was talking to him at dinner, and asked him about something with the question, “Don’t it?” Poor grammar, yes, but I have a very Arkansas-southern-twang father who calls going down the street from his suburban home to a Walgreens (where there is one on every corner) “goin’ into town” like it’s an all day affair, and he’s going on horse and buggy. Anyhow, some of that has rubbed off on me, despite a degree in English, and so when I asked my then four-year-old, “Don’t it?” he responds, “What’s “DOE-NIT?” Smarty pants already, that one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Roshni says:

    That’s a wonderful analysis! I would say I’m an art parent, with a bit of math and PE thrown in!! :))

  6. Fabulous Post once again! ๐Ÿ™‚ You tickle my senses with new points of view, you challenge my theories and fit new pieces to my puzzle…I love that! I am a little of all Parenting subjects, I could relate to all the things you mentioned doing. Thanks again for sharing your words with us! Blessings!

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