• Shalyn Yamanaka MS, RD

The Fine Line Between Respectful, Permissive, and Controlling Parenting Styles


Every parent has their own beliefs, values, and desires for their child(ren). These are based on what they were taught growing up, what they experienced and how they perceived each event that occurred when they were growing up. All of these thoughts, beliefs and values form the basis of each person and based on a parent’s hopes, will form how the parent will act and teach their child(ren). This is the reason why many beliefs, values, and cultures are passed from generation to generation. For many, a lot of these overlap, and some may be very different from parent to parent. Many parents with similar thoughts and beliefs tend to find one another and they support each other, which is an important asset to have.

One thing that is often passed on from generation to generation is parenting style. If you are not into psychology, not many parenting books discuss the different parenting styles, which is probably to prevent lots of debate as a parent may have different parenting styles which come out in different situations, based on the parents’ concerns. With regards to food, some parents depending on the food being discussed may have different parenting styles. For example, a parent worried about a child being overweight may be controlling when it comes to cookies and candies by restricting them, but may be permissive and allow a child to dictate the menu, making multiple types of pasta for the family to suit all the different tastes around the table.

As we have been discussing boundaries this month, it is important to be aware of where you draw your boundaries with your child(ren). Here we are discussing food, but boundaries are important in many different areas of life when raising child(ren). I know for me, even though food is my knowledge specialty, there are still times I catch myself worrying about my little one testing to see if he can bounce from the table and then come back for more and I have to hold my boundary despite the awful feeling of him going hungry sitting in the back of my mind, or when he says he is done and hasn’t had anything to eat, and I feel the desire to control and coax him to eat wanting to come out.

Eating is an activity that carries a very heavy importance and charge for many parents. It is one of three important activities, along with sleep and exercise that are needed for health. It’s no wonder that many parents can cover multiple parenting styles in any given meal as their emotions are tossed all over the place by this little being. If this has been you on a given day, take a deep breath and know that you are in good company. It is all part of the parenting process.

If this is happening to you on a regular basis and you are ready to change, I am currently doing a special promotion this week offering free “make your meals happy meals” breakthrough sessions. This is a very limited time, special offer, so book your session today at http://bit.ly/2DGHZzl.

Next week, is February already, and we have two big holidays – Valentines Day and Chinese New Years. We will explore some of those traditions in the next couple weeks and how to handle them best with little ones. Until then, happy eating!

#childhoodeating #eatinghabits #eatingbehaviours #kidseating #parentingstyles #parentalconcerns #parenting

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