types of parenting

Different Types of Kids and the Types of Parenting That Work for Them

We have three kids and sometimes you would never know they are siblings based on their personalities and the way they respond in different situations. With one child, all it takes is a stern look or word, while another child needs more significant consequences. With one child, there never seems to be silence while with the others, you wonder if they’re still in the room. Different kids need different types of parenting.

I’ve learned over the years that a one size fits all parenting style is not the most effective. Based on their personalities, I’ve needed to find the parenting style that works best for each child. Here are 4 types of kids and the types of parenting that work best for them.

1. Your strong-willed child needs an authoritative approach.

This is the adventurous, determined, and outspoken child. You can bet clashes will happen. A more authoritative approach will work better with this child. An authoritative approach means you are assertive, and not intrusive or restrictive. You need to balance your demands and authority by being more responsive to the child’s needs, especially the need for self-expression.

2. Your imaginative child needs a patient and positive approach.

This is the child who is playful, sociable, lively, and talkative. A permissive parenting style isn’t a good fit; it can lead to being the child’s buddy and allowing the child to live as freely as he or she desires. An uninvolved parenting style can lead to letting this child do his or her own thing because the child seems fine without a parent’s influence. But a parent of an imaginative child actually needs to use a lot of patience, especially if you aren’t the most talkative or social. Positive reinforcement with guidance is needed.

3. Your deep child needs a thoughtful and attentive parenting approach.

This is your detailed child—your child who is orderly, persistent, and very respectful. The words you say to this child will stick with the child, so choose them carefully. Our second child has this type of personality and we frequently find him in deep thought. We also find him deeply hurt when we don’t choose our words carefully. An authoritarian parenting style can cause major havoc with this child and his or her self-esteem. He or she will remember what you’ve said and when you didn’t honor your word. But this child may not say anything about it. Be thoughtful in the words you say and be attentive to his or her words and actions or even lack of action. It’s important to spend time alone with this child to allow him or her time to get the things in this child’s mind out so you can have meaningful and even fun conversations.

4. Your diplomatic child needs a selfless and encouraging parenting approach.

This is your child who is considerate of others, measured or controlled, adaptable, and attentive. You can bet he or she knows when you are happy, sad, or angry. This child pays attention to others and wants to adapt or help when he or she thinks others aren’t having the best experience. Sometimes, this child does this at his or her own expense. A parent who practices self-sacrifice as well will make a great connection with this type of personality. You’ll also need to encourage this child to step out and do some things outside his or her control or comfort zone as this child tends to play it safe all the time. Getting this child to step out will challenge him or her and allow for growth.

When we are uninvolved with our kids, we lose connection, influence, and the relationship.

No matter what type of personality your child has or your primary parenting style, one of the most effective things you can do is be attentive to your children and how they function. When we are uninvolved, we lose connection, influence, and ultimately, the relationship. But our relationship with our kids is the most important. And at the end of the day, that is what they want most from us.

Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with the mother of your children: 9 Types of Moms: Which Are You?

Sound off: What types of parenting are most effective in growing your relationship with your kids?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one thing you like about our time together?”