your mothering style
Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your parenting style to prepare for the challenges ahead
b> Good. You’ve had your share of differences, but you’ve come to terms with those issues and want her to play a role in your child’s life.
c> Volatile. You see your mother’s parenting patterns as negative and are determined not to make the same mistakes with your own child.
8 You’re expecting out-of-town guests tonight, but a last-minute project has just come up
at work. Your husband is stuck in traffic, so he can’t start dinner. You:
a> Ditch that home-cooked meal, put the finishing
touches on your project and hit the local deli for take-out.
b> Scrap your dinner plans altogether; you can always catch up later.
c> Burst into tears.
What is your mothering style?
Add up your points (below)
according to how you answered the previous questions,
then refer to the profile below that corresponds to
your total. Keep in mind that most women have a mix of
parenting styles that vary depending on the issue at hand.
1) a>1 b>3 c>2
2) a>1 b>2 c>3
3) a>3 b>2 c>1
4) a>2 b>1 c>3
5) a>3 b>2 c>1
6) a>1 b>3 c>2
7) a>3 b>2 c>1
8) a>2 b>3 c>1
The Overanxious Mother The upside is you’ve read extensively about child development and are up-to-date on child-rearing philosophies, which can greatly benefit your baby. But you may feel anxious about doing everything just right and need a little confidence building. In work and
at home, you tend to approach tasks with an all-or-nothing attitude, which can end in disappointment or frustration. If you view mothering the same way, you could project your anxieties on your child. You’re often not comfortable taking time out for yourself to indulge a hobby, learn something new or simply recharge.
Tips: Nurturing yourself more will make you a better
mother. Look for ways to ease your anxiety—such as meditation and yoga—and take time out for yourself on a regular basis. By doing so, you’ll develop a healthy perspective on your new role and a better sense of your child as his own unique being.
The Balanced Mother You are generally confident, self-assured and comfortable in a nurturing role. You feel you’ve had a positive influence on your friends and believe you can make a positive difference in your child’s life. You have healthy relationships with a wide group of people, whose differences you respect. You’ll likely see the ways your child is both like yourself and a marvelous being totally separate from you. You’ll view your child as resilient and try not to smother him with protection and guidance. You recognize that you must take time for yourself and other interests in order to stay charged and engaged. The downside: You’re fully aware of what you’ve given up to have a child and experience the normal grief that comes with sacrifice—of time, privacy, career advancement, etc.
Tips: Be proud of how you’re approaching motherhood, but realize that you will have bad days when your balance seems out of kilter. Follow your instincts, and the situation should soon right itself.
The Detached Mother The benefit of this style is that you won’t project anxiety onto your child. You also won’t worry extensively about leaving your newborn with caregivers, so separation is easier. But you risk not establishing a deep bond with your infant. As you tend to derive your feelings of self-worth from work or physical activities more than from relationships, you may feel ambivalent about the new role you’re about to take on. Being detached can stem from having a pregnancy that was unplanned or ill-timed or from being in a family in which female roles weren’t valued.
Tips: Motherhood is an opportunity for you to grow and learn. Aim to play a central role in your baby’s first year, when the foundation for attachment is first built. Sit in the park and observe what your baby experiences. For example, is he more visual (looking around at everything), auditory (listening, responding to sound) or kinesthetic (feeling the breeze)? Your pleasure and feelings of attachment will grow with the increased knowledge of who your child is.