Quiz: Are you a pushover parent?

By: Jennifer Melo

Author: Canadian Living


Quiz: Are you a pushover parent?

By: Jennifer Melo

When it comes to disciplining your kids, do you relentlessly stomp about in your army boots or do you let your kids walk their overpriced sneakers all over you? To help you analyse your parenting style, we created this quiz with inspiration from clinical psychologist Dr. Maggie Mamen's book: The Pampered Child Syndrome (Creative Bound Inc., 2004).

Choose the answer that best represents what you would do in these situations.

1. You're at the grocery store and just told your 4-year-old daughter she can't have the sugar-laden cereal she wants. She throws herself on the floor, kicking and screaming. You:

a.) Buy the contentious super-sweet cereal and soothe her until she calms down.
b.) Leave the cereal on the store shelf and suggest she can have a healthier snack if she behaves.
c.) Leave the cereal at the store, tell her to stop whining and discipline her when you get home.
d.) Ignore her and walk away.

2. Your 3-year-old son is playing in the sandbox when he dumps a shovel-full of sand all over a playmate's head. You:

a.) Laugh hysterically and ask the playground moms if they captured your cute kid's antics on camera.
b.) Rush over to your child and tell him to apologize. Then apologize to the sand-soaked kid and his parents.
c.) Yank the shovel out of your child's hand. Playtime is over.
d.) Let the kids work it out on their own. It's only sand.

3. Your child is afraid of the dark and wants to sleep in your bed. You:

a.) Turn the light on. Ask your spouse to shove over and make room for one more.
b.) Tell your child there's nothing to be afraid of, but you'll sit by her bed until she calms down.
c.) Roll over and hide under the covers. She'll get tired and nod off eventually.
d.) Tell her to get back to bed and don't wake you again until morning.

4. Your teen has been on the phone for hours. You:

a.) Disconnect the phone and tell her to pay for her own line.
b.) Tell her to cut the conversation short. Others may need to use the phone.
c.) Don't mind it. It's important for teens to stay connected to their friends.
d.) Pay for a separate telephone line for your busy teen.

5. Your 12-year-old is still watching TV an hour past bedtime. You:

a.) Pull up a seat and ask her to fill you in. It must be an engaging program.
b.) Unplug the TV for a week. That'll teach her for breaking the rules.
c.) Tell her it's past bedtime. Either she can turn off the TV or you'll turn it off for her.
d.) Go to bed. You're tired and she's the one who suffers by missing out on some good shut-eye.

6. Your preschooler left mounds of modelling dough out and you've warned her that it will harden but she refuses to clean up. You:

a.) Let the dough harden and throw it in the garbage. If she wants to buy another set of modelling dough, she'll have to save her allowance for it.
b.) Wait a while and seal them for her. No use in spoiling her playthings just to teach her a lesson.
c.) Pack up the modelling dough and confiscate it. She's obviously not old enough to be trusted with this responsibility.
d.) Seal the dough in its container and grumble about how you have to do everything around here.

7. Your 8-year-old had to serve detention for speaking out of turn in class. You:

a.) Laugh with your child about her chatterbox tendencies. The teacher must've been having a bad day.
b.) Call the teacher to get the full story and discipline your child again when she gets home to make sure she gets the point.
c.) Don't talk about the detention. She served her time, why dredge it up again?
d.) Discuss the detention with your child and warn her that she'll lose a privilege if she gets another detention this month.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover your results and learn more about different parenting styles on page 2

Click here for your score sheet and then use the answer key on the next page to interpret your results.

Mostly 1s: Puzzled parent
Never mind being a pushover, your children may not recognize your parental influence at all. You tend to avoid conflict with your kids but they may see you as cold, distant, distracted and unavailable to attend to their needs. While children of dismissive parents can be street smart and independent, they're also more likely to be aggressive and/or violent and lack self-discipline. Don't underestimate the importance of actively nurturing your child's development. Get comfortable with playing a more active role in your kids' lives.

Mostly 2s : Pushover parent
You'd rather keep your kids happy than be the source of their frustration. Despite your best intentions to protect and empower your children, your tendency to shield them from conflict may hamper their ability to cope with letdowns. Children of pushover parents tend to have an inflated sense of entitlement and expect too much from others. They're also less likely to be good problem-solvers and blame others rather than assume responsibility. Focus on being consistent with rules and follow through with consequences. Rest assured that even if they don't show appreciation when you're administering discipline, your children look to you for structure, guidance and rules.

Mostly 3s: Parenting pro
As a result of the steady structure you provide for your kids to grow and learn in, they're more likely to be well adjusted, respectful and self-aware rather than self-centered. Continue to strike a nice balance between outlining consistent expectations and sharing warmth and encouragement. Then reap the rewards of a healthy, loving family life.

Mostly 4s: Play-by-the rules parent
You're definitely not a pushover but your rigid rules and overly strict parenting style could put a sizeable wedge in your parent/child relationship. Children of authoritarian parents may be withdrawn, depressed and lack self-respect. You may have a tendency to be a perfectionist but don't demand perfection from your kids. Give them room to make mistakes and allow them to learn from their errors.

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Quiz: Are you a pushover parent?