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Parenting Styles Quiz

What's Your Parenting Style?

It may surprise you!
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Do you ever stop to think about your overall approach to parenting? How about your partner's? Understanding your parenting styles can be very helpful in figuring out how to understand each other-and in making positive changes. Here's what Doc Pop has to say on the subject:

Differences in parenting styles are a problem for both parents and children. At the least it invites kids to play one parent against the other in a smart attempt to get the answer that they want to hear. This is not the child's fault. After all he is just using good common sense. However, it does create a situation in which rules are not clear or consistently enforced, which is bad for the child as well as for the parent.

At its extreme, a polarization of styles can occur in which one parent compensates for the perceived weaknesses of the other. For example, if the father is too strict, the mother may overcompensate by becoming more lenient. That may prompt the father to become even stricter as he attempts to overcompensate for her leniency. The result can be a very confusing world for the child to navigate—one that makes it hard to make sense of reality and can set the stage for mental health problems in some children.

While parents do not have to be identical in parenting styles, they should agree to discuss matters between them and come to an agreement about what to tell the child. This may require compromise between the adults, before even beginning to involve the child.

To help parents find a successful middle ground, it is helpful for them both to take a parenting course, or to at least read and discuss the Parent's Guide. We have had many mothers take an Active Parenting course and then share what they have learned with their husbands. Often, the husband then wants to take the course for himself. The goal is not to parent identically, but to find the common ground and to learn to support each other with their children.

-Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D.
Author, Active Parenting Now

Take this quiz to discover your parenting style!
Click for a printable version of this quiz.

The following questionnaire is divided into two parts with fifteen statements each.

Part I is designed to help you identify your beliefs about being a parent.

Part II focuses on your current home situation.

As you read each statement, decide how much you agree with it.

Please select the appropriate button for every question
between Strongly isagree and Strongly gree.

Part I: Beliefs

1. It is better to give a little ground and protect the peace than to stand firm and provoke a fight.

2. Children need discipline that hurts a little so that they will remember the lesson later.

3. Children shouldn’t always get their way, but usually we ought to learn to listen to what they have to say.

4. The parent-child relationship is like a war in which if the parent wins, both sides win; but if the parent loses, both sides lose.

5. If parents provide a good environment, children will pretty much raise themselves.

6. The parent’s role is like that of a teacher who is preparing the child for a final exam called life.

7. Childhood is so short that parents should do everything to make it a happy time.

8. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is still the best policy.

9. Children need to learn what they may or may not do, but we don’t have to use punishment to teach.

10. Whether we like it or not, children have the last word about what they will or won’t do.

11. If you let children have pretty free rein, they will eventually learn from the consequences of their behavior what is appropriate.

12. Children first have to learn that the parent is boss.

13. Too many children today talk back to their parents when they should just quietly obey them.

14. If we want children to respect us, we must first treat them with respect.

15. You can never do too much for your child if it comes from genuine love.

Part II: Actions

16. I often have to call my child more than once to get her or him out of bed in the morning.

17. I have to constantly stay on top of my child to get things done.

18. When my child misbehaves, he or she usually knows what the consequences will be.

19. I often get angry and yell at my child.

20. I often feel that my child is taking advantage of my good nature.

21. We have discussed chores at our home and everybody takes part.

22. My child gets a spanking at least once a month.

23. My child has no regular chores around the home, but will occasionally pitch in when asked.

24. I usually give my child clear instructions as to how I want something done.

25. My child is finicky eater, so I have to try various combinations to make sure he or she gets the proper nutrition.

26. I don’t call my child names, and I don’t expect to be called names by my child.

27. I usually give my child choices between two appropriate alternatives rather than telling my child what to do.

28. I have to threaten my child with punishment at least once a week.

29. I wish my child wouldn’t interrupt my conversations so often.

30. My child usually gets up and ready without my help in the morning.

Click on the SUBMIT button above to see your FREE results!
© Michael Popkin. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this Parenting Quiz for use in parenting groups.
Reprints must include the following text: "© 1987 Michael Popkin. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint granted by Active Parenting Publishers/www.activeparenting.com/800-825-0060."