Styles of Parenting: Life&Style: Relaxed
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This week on newsstands everywhere, Life&Style Weekly enlisted Dr. Vicki as their parenting expert to comment on the styles of parenting of several celeb parents.
Styles of Parenting: Which one do they choose? Brad and Angelina
Brad Pitt and Angelina Joile let the kids gorge on jund food, from Cheetos to McDonald’s.
Parenting Style: Relaxed. “There isn’t too much damage done if these are occasional snacks or meals,” says [child psychologist Vicki] Panaccione, founder of the Better Parenting Institute. “It’s probably healthier than kids who are put on strict diets.”
Here’s Dr. Vicki’s full response:
Scenario I: The kids can’t watch mommy and daddy’s action movies just yet. “I can’t show my kids movies where people are trying to kill me,” Angelina says.
Parents using many different styles of parenting shield their children from various kinds of situations. For this family, I think this is a good decision for a few reasons: kids can be very concrete in their thinking and may get very scared watching these kind of images; there are movie ratings for a reason and even though the actors are their parents, these kids have the same developmental and emotional needs of others their age—if they aren’t 13, they shouldn’t be watching PG 13 movies; the same reasoning applies to R movies. However, I think it would be great for the kids to be able to see clips of the movies.
This is a pretty normal occurrence these days, with most styles of parenting. There isn’t too much damage done if these are occasional snacks/meals. It’s probably more healthy/normal than the kids who are put on such strict, restricted diets. I think it’s great to teach kids how to eat in healthy ways, including how to have some junk food now and then (i.e.—portion control, good choices even in a fast food place, etc.)
Scenario III: The kids control their style and haircuts. Angelina has said: “I have a very strong-willed four-year-old girl who tells me what she wants to wear and I let her be who she is. I think people think kids should be a certain way, but I feel they should wear what they feel like wearing and they should express themselves. Shiloh cried one night and said, ‘Please cut my hair off. I don’t want to have long hair.’ I’m not going to leave it long just because somebody thinks I should.”
Many adults using various styles of parenting think that the choices should be theirs. However, I think it’s great for kids to be given some control over as much as possible, such as hair styles, clothing, etc. There can be some guidelines set. For example, with my own son, he had free reign to decide on hair cuts, with the exceptions being that he couldn’t shave his head or grown his hair down to his shoulders. With Shiloh, Angie honored her child’s request. I think that was a good thing. I have watched mothers make decisions about their kids’ hair that make the kids miserable. Boys who want the latest look, but mom likes it the old-fashion way. Girls who want to cut their long hair and moms who insist that they don’t cut it. One mother was sorry that she cut her hair when she was a teen, and so is not allowing her daughter to cut hers. I don’t think parents should dictate some aspects of a child’s appearance.
Same thing with clothes—if kids want to express themselves either in a fashion statement or for comfort, they should be allowed to do so —again, within certain guidelines. For instance, jeans may be OK most of the time, but church clothes are required on Sunday.
What do you think of this parenting style? Are they too relaxed?