The middle ground is called democratic parenting. It is not
autocratic and it is not permissive: it's a style of parenting
that is both firm and kind at the same time. Firm, meaning
respectful of my rights and limits. Kind, meaning respectful of
my child's rights and limit. Democratic parenting is based on
mutual respect. Respecting our children is a way to teach them
to respect others. If we want our children to knock on our
doors, for example, we knock on their doors.
Democratic parents give choices - not orders. Orders teach a
child submission, resentment, and rebellion. Appropriate and
acceptable choices on the other hand, teach children they do
have personal power in their lives to make their life the way
they want it to be. These children grow into adults who when
faced with a problem will know and see all the options available
to them. Democratic parenting involves using natural and logical
consequences. Natural consequences result from going against the
laws of nature: The child who forgets his coat gets cold.
Logical consequences are not as simple, and require parental
intervention. Logical consequences are consequences that are
logically related to the situation and teach the child
responsibility. For example, if your child is rough with the
puppy it would not be logical to take away TV watching. It would
be logical to kindly and firmly remove the puppy. Natural and
logical consequences teach children to learn from the situation
thus encouraging self-control and self-discipline.
Democratic parenting also involves open and honest
communication. Reflective listening is listening with the heart
to what the child is feeling. It is listening with quiet
curiosity and then reflecting back to the child in fresh words
what he has shared. Reflective listening is giving your full
attention to your child and acknowledging what you are hearing.
It is not commanding, advising, lecturing, judging, moralizing,
or solving. Reflective listening is a wonderful opportunity to
show your child your love
Democratic parenting helps a child feel significant,
worthwhile, and loved. Autocratic and permissive parents create
children who have low self-esteem and will misbehave to find
their place. Democratic parenting helps children learn to be
happy, contributing, capable. self-reliant people.