When it comes to parenting, I have my own unique style that I like to call “democratic-assertive.” I am not authoritarian because I believe that this approach eventually backfires in the end.
I like to think that I am fair, flexible (to a degree), and firm. However, I do like to maintain control. Kids are kids for a reason. I am not at all wishy-washy (permissive) and I believe that consistency is a key component to well behaved children.
Sometimes I think I am too strict and overprotective. However, my husband is a nice counterpartner and helps round me out with his more liberal views.
I noticed that I approach teaching in the same manner that I do parenting. Often students are quick to remind us teachers that we are not their parents. I say a silent prayer of thanks before quickly pointing out that actually I am, in locos parentis. As a public school teacher I am legally entitled to act accordingly.
Oddly, they embrace this concept once they get over the fact that I don’t look very”motherly.” Despite my appearance I am quite conservative. My very austere grandmother had a lot to do with this. Even though I teach 12th grade, I still set my classroom up as a family. I am the parental figure and I liken my students to my “kids”.
Furthermore, I feel obligated to get to know my students like I do with my own child. I spend so much time with them that I couldn’t imagine doing otherwise. When you know their strengths and weakness, whims and wishes–it makes the monumental task of teaching far more bearable.
This approach works for me and it creates an atmosphere of trust, stability, and warmth. Many of the students that I work with come from broken homes and appreciate this type of environment. I don’t meddle in their personal affairs or anything of that nature. And I only give advice when requested.
We all have to discover what works best for our individual families because one size does not fit all. Here is a quiz I found on ivillage to help get you thinking about the type of parent you are or the kind that you desire to be.