Learning Links Childcare

Different parents have different styles… and it probably doesn’t matter very much. There are lots of right ways to bring up kids.

You and your partner are different in so many ways, and you probably cannot change that.

What parenting style are you?

1- Sergeant Major

Too much Sergeant Major:

  • OUTWARD compliance, but INWARD rebellion
  • Fail to INTERNALISE your rules and values
  • STRAINED relationship with parents

2- Jellyfish

Too much Jellyfish:

  • Failure to learn from CONSEQUENCES
  • Persistent BEHAVIOUR issues
  • LOW SELF-ESTEEM as well

The happy medium: The parent-coach

  • Authoritative, not authoritarian
  • Firm, fair and friendly
  • Sees discipline as, “How can they do it better next time?”

But we are all different!

Some are stricter, some are softer. The way we were brought up, the way we are wired, the way we think is best.

And it often works fine

Some kids need a firmer style, others respond to a looser leash. Between the two of us, we often have complementary skills. Kids can handle it.

What they can’t handle is when they see..

• We don’t approve of each other’s parenting
• We don’t trust each other
• We undermine each other

Variety is okay.. but not tension and friction

Sometimes they see a gap..

  • and they exploit it!
  • Playing us off each other

More typically, it..

  • upsets them
  • confuses them
  • disappoints them!

A united front..

  • Discuss, even debate parenting with each other
  • But do it in private
  • Back each other up
  • Defer to the first person who ‘rules’ on a matter.
  • “Did Mum say that? Well you better do it, because I am sure she’s got a reason. I’ll talk to her about it”.

Should you argue in front of the kids?

  • Not about parenting – stay united
  • But if you can disagree and discuss like adults, it’s good for kids to see you problem solving together.
  • But most of us can’t, so best do it out of earshot.

A serious exception

If you really fear your partner’s behaviour is dangerous.. always defend your child.

What’s important?

But even if your kids don’t get to see ‘perfect’ parenting, they will at least get to see too very different adults who LOVE and RESPECT each other


What do children really need?

Home Feels Right

  • Encouragement
  • Noticing individual flair and skill
  • Fun
  • Gratitude
  • Time


  • You do it for them, not to them
  • Out of love, not out of anger
  • Children are learning to behave
  • What labels are they getting?
  • See through the behaviour and see the child!


  • Discovering who they are
  • Discovering who they are becoming
  • Adjusting your style to suit the child
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Birth order


  • Use the same skills that make you successful at work!
  • Battle past the technology.. or use it
  • Bedtime and meantime – never surrender these
  • “Being listened to is so much like being loved most people cannot tell difference”



  • Relax and enjoy your children
  • Find out what works for you and your kids
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Get a life


  • Praise and encouragement are not the same!
  • Praise when deserved
  • Encouragement when needed

Staying sane A happy, healthy head

We are all human

  • Most of us crumble sometime!
  • Stress and genes
  • No shame, because you are not that unique!
  • The good news: what has worked for others will probably work for you!

What can I do about stress?

  • Maybe we can’t avoid it
  • We all have a breaking point
  • Stress adds up, and it hangs around
  • It impacts us physically, emotionally, socially
  • Raise your breaking point!

Increase your stress resistance

  • Physical fitness
  • Sleep
  • The ability to say ‘NO’
  • Increase pleasurable input

Building resilience

  • Gardening
  • Coffee with a friend
  • Playing music
  • Gadgets and toys
  • Gym
  • Pet
  • Reading
  • Learning
  • Fishing
  • Art and craft
  • Leisure
  • Snoozing
  • Sport
  • Relaxation
  • Exercises


  • Alcohol is tricky… and a trap
  • Knowing what’s going on takes the fear away
  • Borrow hope – the importance of mates and whānau
    Help helps! It works for others… it’ll work for you.

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