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What Are the Biggest Influences on Your Parenting?

October 19, 2010

Reviewing the results from a recent survey of parents conducted for Zero to Three, I was most interested in the findings about influences on parents’ approach to parenting. Over 1600 parents of children ages birth to 3 years were surveyed in 2009. Over half of the respondents (53%) reported that the way their parents raised them was a major influence on their approach to parenting, with an additional 30% reporting this as a moderate influence. The other influences on approach to parenting, in order of significance, were faith and religious background, professionals’ input (e.g., pediatricians, child care providers), input from family and close friends, and information from books, websites, and other media.

I could not find, however, in the results summary that I read, if they measured whether or not the way that parents raised them was a positive or negative influence on their parenting. In my work with parents, I have seen parents who model their own parents’ style and practices, and others who consciously decide to be different from their own parents. I think for most of us, the way we were parented both positively and negatively influences our parenting.

In my recent post on the 3 Keys to Empowered Parenting, I briefly discuss how important it is for parents to know themselves, including how their own experience of being parented influences their parenting beliefs and practices, and I include exercises in my Empowered Parenting Workbook to help with the process of self-understanding. I encourage you to think about how your parenting may be influenced by the way you were raised and to make conscious decisions about what you would like to do similarly and/or differently from your own parents. You certainly are among the majority of parents if you feel that the way you were raised has a significant impact on your parenting.

But what else influences your parenting? Do the results reported above about the order of influences ring true for you? What do you feel are the biggest influences on your parenting?


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 22, 2010 8:30 am

    I try to stay up on the latest research, which has an impact on my parenting. I work hard to be an authoratitive parent as much as possible. Of course, I consider the way I was raised. I want to do many things differently than my parents without going to the other extreme. It’s a balancing act!

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