by Gerald Boerner


JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 Today, we revisit the several aspects of Father’s Day, focusing on our parenting during childhood. This is second year that we have brought you this series. It is a holiday that was proposed to be a companion of Mother’s Day. It has not received the same press as has Mother’s Day, probably because of the very close bond between mothers and their children.

We have included the post from last year and expanded it to include additional background information on the fatherhood and parenthood. We hope that as you read this and the subsequent posts that you will gain new and fond appreciations for our fathers. They have provided us with the support and love that has nurtured us through the good and bad times.

Let us renew our commitment to become the best fathers that we can be to our own children and not make the mistakes that may have been made by our own fathers. GLB

[ This is Part 5 of 7. ]


“Growing up, I’ve enjoyed hunting with my father.”
— Dale Earnhardt

“Doubt is the father of invention.”
— Ambrose Bierce

“I want to go ahead of Father Time with a scythe of my own.”
— H.G. Wells

“Though my father was Norwegian, he always wrote his diaries in perfect English.”
— Roald Dahl

“I think a child should be allowed to take his father’s or mother’s name at will on coming of age. Paternity is a legal fiction.”
— James Joyce

“It would be curious to know what leads a man to become a stationer rather than a baker, when he is no longer compelled, as among the Egyptians, to succeed to his father’s craft.”
— Honore de Balzac

“A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all.”
— Washington Irving

“One thing that’s happened to me is I’ve been around a long time and I’ve played a lot of villains and so forth. I think it had to do with, well one thing is that I looked younger than I was for a long time. Now I think I’m suddenly starting to play people’s father.”
— Christopher Walken


Children Growing Up: Parenting Styles

About to deal with the cute little infant becoming a child and going to school? Not sure of what to do with that little guy now that he is growing academically, physically, and socially? What should you expect during the elementary, middle, and high school years? The following is a reprint of a posting we wrote last year looking at this topic. Following that, we have included some thoughts of watching my little girls grow into a little boy or girl. GLB

(The following parenting your children posting to this blog on Wednesday, June 17, 2009)

“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”
— Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

MotherandChildholdinghands_thumb2 Aren’t children wonderful! They enable us to recapture our youth after we have braved adolescence, young adulthood, young married life, and started on our career trek. But along comes this bundle of joy that can rekindle the wonder of our earlier years.

Seeing the joys of discovery our children experience can reawaken the ‘kids’ in us. If we are willing to see life through their eyes, our career-oriented, result-oriented lives could be renewed and refreshed. We might again come to appreciate the joys of discovery. This can lead to a renewed of our relationships to our ’significant others’ and reinvigorate our efforts on our jobs. Life once again can become an adventure to be savored and reflected upon.

“Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young, Who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, And joined in thy innocent glee.”
— Margaret Courtney

By undergoing this self-renewal through the experiences of our children, we can then become living examples of how life can be for our children. We can lead by example, not by using the old dictums of “…because I’m the [mother/father/parent]…” or “…do as I say, not as I do…” Living a live that revels in discovery and love enables those around us. Let us all thry to live exemplary lives for our little ones and teach them how great and fulfilling a family life can be.

“I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.”
— Mario Cuomo

Let us make a pledge to be a person that our children would like to become. Let us instill in them respect for others, the love of family, the joy of learning, and the exhilaration of service to others. By doing so, we will help mold and guide the next generation to become that next “Great Generation!”

Parenting Styles

parenting A parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. There are many differing theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time and effort that parents are willing to invest.

Many parents create their own style from a combination of factors, and these may evolve over time as the children develop their own personalities and move through life’s stages. Parenting style is affected by both the parents’ and children’s temperaments, and is largely based on the influence of one’s own parents and culture. "Most parents learn parenting practices from their own parents — some they accept, some they discard." The degree to which a child’s education is part of parenting is a further matter of debate.

Baumrind’s Four General Parenting Styles

9734 In her research, Diana Baumrind found what she considered to be the four basic elements that could help shape successful parenting: responsiveness vs. unresponsiveness and demanding vs. undemanding. From these, she identified three general parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Maccoby and Martin expanded the styles to four: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful. These four styles of parenting involve combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the other.

Baumrind believed that parents should be neither punitive nor aloof. Rather, they should develop rules for their children and be affectionate with them. These parenting styles are meant to describe normal variations in parenting, not deviant parenting, such as might be observed in abusive homes. Most parents do not fall neatly in one category, but fall somewhere in the middle, showing characteristics of more than one style.

A. Authoritative parenting

The parent is demanding and responsive.

Authoritative parenting, also called balanced parenting, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectations of maturity. Authoritative parents can understand their children’s feeling and teach them how to regulate them. They often help them to find appropriate outlets to solve problems. "Authoritative parenting encourages children to be independent but still places limits and controls on their actions." "Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and nurturant toward the child." Authoritative parents are not usually as controlling, allowing the child to explore more freely, thus having them make their own decisions based upon their own reasoning.

Authoritative parents set limits and demand maturity, but when punishing a child, the parent will explain his or her motive for their punishment. "Their punishments are measured and consistent in discipline, not harsh or arbitrary. Parents will set clear standards for their children, monitor limits that they set, and also allow children to develop autonomy. They also expect mature, independent, and age-appropriate behavior of children." They are attentive to their children’s needs and concerns, and will typically forgive and teach instead of punishing if a child falls short. This is supposed to result in children having a higher self esteem and independence because of the democratic give-take nature of the authoritative parenting style. This is the most recommended style of parenting by child-rearing experts.

B. Authoritarian parenting

The parent is demanding but not responsive.

Authoritarian parenting, also called strict, is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between parent and child. "Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive style in which parents exhort the child to follow their directions and to respect their work and effort." Authoritarian parents expect much of their child but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries. Authoritarian parents are less responsive to their children’s needs, and are more likely to spank a child rather than discuss the problem.

Children with this type of parenting may have less social competence as the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself. Nonetheless, researchers have found that in some cultures and ethnic groups, aspects of authoritarian style may be associated with more positive child outcomes than Baumrind predicts. "Aspects of traditional Asian child-rearing practices are often continued by Asian American families. In some cases, these practices have been described as authoritarian."

C. Indulgent parenting

The parent is responsive but not demanding.

Indulgent parenting, also called permissive, nondirective or lenient, is characterized as having few behavioral expectations for the child. "Indulgent parenting is a style of parenting in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them." Parents are nurturing and accepting, and are very responsive to the child’s needs and wishes. Indulgent parents do not require children to regulate themselves or behave appropriately. This may result in creating spoiled brats or "spoiled sweet" children depending on the behavior of the children.

Children of permissive parents may tend to be more impulsive, and as adolescents, may engage more in misconduct and drug use. "Children never learn to control their own behavior and always expect to get their way." But in the better cases they are emotionally secure, independent and are willing to learn and accept defeat. They are able to live life without the help of someone else.

D. Neglectful parenting

The parent is neither demanding nor responsive.

Neglectful parenting is also called uninvolved, detached, dismissive or hands-off. The parents are low in warmth and control, are generally not involved in their child’s life, are disengaged, undemanding, low in responsiveness, and do not set limits. Parents are emotionally unsupportive of their children, but will still provide their basic needs.

Children whose parents are neglectful develop the sense that other aspects of the parents’ lives are more important than they are. Children often display contradictory behavior, and are emotionally withdrawn from social situations. This disturbed attachment also impacts relationships later on in life. In adolescence, they may show patterns of truancy and delinquency.

Other Parenting Styles

There is no single or definitive model of parenting. What may be right for one family or one child may not be suitable for another. With authoritarian and permissive (indulgent) parenting on opposite sides of the spectrum, most conventional and modern models of parenting fall somewhere in between. The model or style that parents employ depends partly on how they themselves were reared, what they consider good parenting, the child’s temperament, their current environmental situation, and whether they place more importance on their own needs or whether they are striving to further their child’s future success. Parents who place greater importance on the child’s physical security may be more authoritarian, while parents who are more concerned with intellectual development may push their children into a number of organized extra-curricular activities such as music and language lessons.

One of the biggest effects on parenting is socio-economic status, in reference with ethnicity and culture as well. For example, living in a dangerous neighborhood could make a parent more authoritarian due to fear of their environment. Parents who are more highly educated tend to have better jobs and better financial security, and this reduction of potential stressors has a significant effect on parenting.

  • Attachment parenting… 
    Seeks to create strong emotional bonds, avoiding physical punishment and accomplishing discipline through interactions recognizing a child’s emotional needs all while focusing on holistic understanding of the child.
  • Christian parenting… 
    The application of biblical principles on parenting, mainly in the United States. While some Christian parents follow a stricter and more authoritarian interpretation of the Bible, others are "grace-based" and share methods advocated in the attachment parenting and positive parenting theories. Particularly influential on opposite sides have been James Dobson and his book Dare to Discipline,[23] and William Sears who has written several parenting books including The Complete Book of Christian Parenting & Child Care and The Discipline Book.
  • Concerted cultivation… 
    A style of parenting that is marked by the parents’ attempts to foster their child’s talents through organized leisure activities. This parenting style is commonly exhibited in middle and upper class American families.
  • Overparenting… 
    Parents who try to involve themselves in every aspect of their child’s life, often attempting to solve all their problems. A helicopter parent is a colloquial, early 21st-century term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to his or her children’s experiences and problems, and attempts to sweep all obstacles out of their paths, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover closely overhead. It is a form of overparenting.
  • Nurturant parenting… 
    A family model where children are expected to explore their surroundings with protection from their parents.
  • Slow parenting… 
    Encourages parents to plan and organise less for their children, instead allowing them to enjoy their childhood and explore the world at their own pace.
  • Strict parenting… 
    An authoritarian approach, places a strong value on discipline and following inflexible rules as a means to survive and thrive in a harsh world.
  • Parenting For Everyone… 
    A parenting book and one individual’s philosophy that discusses parenting from an ethical point of view.
  • Taking Children Seriously… 
    The central idea of this movement is that is possible and desirable to raise and educate children without doing anything to them against their will, or making them do anything against their will.
Dysfunctional Parenting Styles
  • Using…
    (destructively narcissistic parents with rule by fear and conditional love)
  • Abusing…
    (parents who use physical violence, emotional or sexual abuse to dominate or take advantage of their children)
  • Deprivation…
    (control or neglect by withholding love, support, sympathy, praise, attention, encouragement, supervision, or otherwise putting their children’s well-being at risk)
  • Asymmetrical parenting…
    (going to extremes for one child while continually ignoring the needs of another)
  • Perfectionist…
    (fixating on order, prestige, power, and/or perfect appearances)
  • Dogmatic or cult-like…
    (harsh and inflexible discipline with children not allowed, within reason, to dissent, question authority, or develop their own value system)
  • Appeasement…
    (parents who reward bad behavior–even by their own standards, and inevitability punish another child’s good behavior in order to maintain the peace and avoid temper tantrums "Peace at any price")
  • Micromanagement…
    (parents who micro-manage their children’s lives and/or relationships among siblings–especially minor conflicts)
  • "The deceivers"…
    (well-regarded parents in the community, likely to be involved in some charitable/non-profit works, who abuse or mistreat one or more of their children)
  • "Public image manager"…
    (sometimes related to above, children warned to not disclose what fights, abuse, or damage happens at home, or face severe punishment "Don’t tell anyone what goes on in this family")
  • Role reversal…
    (parents who expect their minor children to take care of them instead)
  • "Not your business"…
    (children continuously told that a particular brother or sister who is often causing problems is none of their concern)
  • "The guard dog"…
    (a parent who blindly attacks family members perceived as causing the slightest upset to their esteemed spouse, partner, or child)
  • "My baby forever"…
    (a mother who will not allow one or more of her young children to grow up and begin taking care of themselves)
  • "Along for the ride"…
    (a reluctant de facto, step, foster, or adoptive parent who does not truly care about their non-biological child, but must co-exist in the same home for the sake of their spouse or partner)
  • "The politician"…
    (a parent who repeatedly makes or agrees to children’s promises while having little or no intention of keeping them)
  • "It’s taboo"…
    (parents rebuff any questions children may have about sexuality, romance, puberty, certain areas of human anatomy, nudity, etc.)
  • "The identified patient"…
    (one child, usually selected by the mother, who is forced into going to therapy while the family’s overall dysfunction is kept hidden)
  • Münchausen syndrome by proxy…
    (a much more extreme situation than above, where the child is intentionally made ill by a parent seeking attention from physicians and other professionals)  

Traits of a Great Father

The website, in it’s article “12 Traits of a Great Father”, lists a number of characteristics that should help all fathers establish a good relationships with their sons (and daughters), especially during the toddler stage. It is included here for your convenience, but check out this posting as well as others at her web site listed in the “References” section below. GLB

“I’m quite sensitive to women. I saw how my sister got treated by boyfriends. I read this thing that said when you are in a relationship with a woman, imagine how you would feel if you were her father. That’s been my approach, for the most part.”
— Orlando Bloom

12 Traits Of A Great Father

In the spirit of Father’s Day, find out if you (or your pop) have what it takes to be the ultimate dad.

By Julian Marcus, Stress Management Specialist

"Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy." 

96b_better_living A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life. He’s a pillar of strength, support and discipline. His work is endless and, oftentimes, thankless. But in the end, it shows in the sound, well-adjusted children he raises.

On Father’s Day, much of the world will take the time to appreciate the work of good fathers. While you show your admiration for your own dad, take the time to see if you yourself have what it takes to be a great father, whether you have children or plan to.

[ We continue the list of the Traits of a Good Father
from yesterday’s posting. ]

  1. He leads by example
    A good father is above the old "do as I say, not as I do" credo. He will not smoke if he doesn’t want his kids to do it, and definitely won’t drink heavily. He teaches them to deal with conflict with a family member and with others by being firm but reasonable at the same time.

    A good father also illustrates the importance of affection by professing his love for their mother in front of them. And he won’t fight with her in their presence. In all, he adheres to the values he’d like his children to follow.

    He’s fiercely loyal to his family…

  2. He’s supportive & loyal
    Although he may be a football fanatic, if his son doesn’t share his love for the game, he accepts it. He may be loyal to his alma mater and dream of having his kid follow his legacy, but if his son prefers to study abroad, he’ll support his decision to take a different path.

    A good father is also his children’s public defender, standing up for them when needed. He waits for privacy to administer discipline. A safety net, a good father is also the person his kids turn to when things go wrong.

  3. He challenges his kids
    A father wants his children to be the best they can be, and gives them challenges that help them grow as human beings. This means giving them some liberty to face setbacks and resolve conflicts on their own. Or it could be a task, such as building something for the house.

    If a father wants his children to take over the family business, he teaches them how to keep it flourishing — provided that’s the path they want to take.

  4. He teaches his children lessons
    A father figure is the prime source of knowledge in the ways of men, and teaches his kids accordingly. From shaving to being courageous, a father molds his kids into well-rounded members of society. He especially instructs them in proper etiquette, on being honest and keeping their word, and on being thankful.

    A great father knows he must sacrifice his own comfort for his fatherly duties. For instance, if he comes home from a hard day at work and catches his kids looking at porn on the Net, he’ll take the time to address an awkward situation even though he’s tired.

  5. He protects his family at all costs
    As the main provider of security and necessities, a father will do whatever he can for his family. He’ll take a second job to provide for them, and he’ll put his own safety on the line to keep them out of harm’s way. This is how a father instills in his children the importance of personal sacrifice.
  6. He shows unconditional love
    This is the greatest quality of a good father. Even though he gets upset at his children’s faults and may lament that they did not attain what he hoped for them, a father loves his children no less for it.
Give Props to Dad

In these days of polarized sexual politics, the value of a great father is often overlooked. But there are few things as valuable as a father who will do everything he can, and provide all the tools he has so that his children can become better than him.

This Father’s Day, show your dad you appreciate what a great man he is. And take the time to make yourself just as grand.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Toddler…

Developmental Diana Baumrind’s (1966) Prototypical Descriptions of 3 Parenting Styles… 12 Traits of a Great Father…

Brainy Quote: Father Quotes…