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Growing Up Again, Jean Illsley Clarke



Parenting is on a continuum.  This is best described by Jean Illsley Clarke (author of Self-Esteem a Family Affair), in Growing Up Again.  Parenting styles range from overly strict to overly permissive.  Probably moderation is the healthiest.  In the middle of the continuum, you should have a set of Non-Negotiable Rules and a set of Negotiable Rules.

Rigidity * Criticism * Non-negotiable Rules * Negotiable Rules * Marshmallow * Abandonment
click pic for full size continuum, print landscape

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Jean also created a set of developmental affirmations (printable) for each stage of your children in their development.  You can also be sure to give yourself the same healthy messages as she suggests we relive each stage of our own childhood with our children.

Words that Help: affirmations for every age

Strict Parenting disadvantages

Often one parent is more towards the strict end of the continuum and offers the structure, and the other parents is more towards the permissive end of the continuum and offers the nurturing.  It can be healthy to swap styles or roles.  The person who sets the limits and consequences deserves to also have fun and silly time.  The parent who soothes the boo boos and gives in due to empathy also needs to have the ability to be firm when called for. 

are you a marshmallow parent?

Parents will bring what they learned from how they were parented, generally repeating what they think worked consciously, but often repeating what didn't work subconsciously. 


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