Your Parenting Style

Every parent and child, without exception, has a way of interacting with each other. Sometimes those interactions are highly positive and affirming; at other times they are volatile and counterproductive. Your style — and whether it meshes or clashes with your child's — strongly influences the relational dynamics in your family and how successful you'll be as a parent and a family in general.

Do you get certain feedback and responses in this relationship that say you're too rigid or strict or too lenient or permissive? What is it about this child's attitude or yours that is causing the problem? Do you need to approach this relationship differently — investing more energy in it for example? What style-related behaviors do you need to change in order to eliminate the confrontations, the conflict or the tug-of-wars that leave you drained and exhausted?

To download a quiz identifying your parenting style, click here. (Adobe Acrobat is required. Click here to download the latest version.) For each statement, choose: Agree (A), Mostly Agree (MA), Mostly Disagree (MD) or Disagree (D), by circling the number underneath the letter.

The following graphic illustrates how certain parenting styles link up and mesh well with certain children's response styles.

To identify your parenting style, your child's type and for strategies about managing the clash or confluence of styles, refer to Chapter Five in Dr. Phil's book Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family.

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