Ever wondered how to define your parenting style? Maybe you’re as relaxed as Ferris Bueller after a weekend in Jersey? Or more like Dirty Harry on a dodgy pill? Perhaps you’re a helicopter Dad? Or you take a hands-off approach, conducting most of your parenting duties with your credit card?
Well, Let’s Dad! has put together this quick test (based on the three parenting styles defined by Professor Diana Baumrind in her ground-breaking study of the early 1960’s) which enables you to discover your parenting style in just a few easy steps…
1. You enter the living room to find that your kids have played a game called ‘Let’s Get Every Toy Out, Pile Them Up And Then Disperse Them So That We Can’t See An Inch Of Carpet Anywhere, Except The Bit We Peed On Over In The Corner’. Do you:
a) Tell them that you they won’t get any dinner/pocket-money/love until the room is spotless.
b) Turn the tidy-up into an exciting race against the clock! Quick, let’s see if we can get everything put away – and the pee cleaned up – in under 3 minutes!
c) Ask them nicely to tidy up…but end up doing it yourself after they ignore you and head upstairs to play round 2.
2. Your son has a clarinet recital approaching, which unfortunately clashes with a particularly important sporting/theatrical/musical event you’d planned to watch with friends. Added to that, your son is f*cking awful at playing the clarinet, it just sounds like he’s fisting a goose. What do you do?
a) I’ll drop him off, wait until he starts tormenting that poor goose and then slip out the back. That way I can catch the second half/act/set and make it back in time to tell him how great he was.
b) They’ll be other chances to watch this game/play/gig, so this time I’ll support my little goose-fister. Next time, I’ll put myself first.
c) Of course I’ll go, it means so much to him. I’m sure I’ll be able to get Champions League Final/Private Box/VIP Glastonbury tickets free through work some other time.
3. Your kids have just heard the latest 4-minute ear-rape from Lady Gaga and seem intent on singing it back to you, over and over and over again, whilst you try and prepare dinner. How do you respond?
a) Listen, briefly, before making them stop and then telling them, in no uncertain terms, that there is a time and a place for singing Lady Gaga and this is not it.
b) That’s super guys, but I’m a little busy right now…and I’m more of a Bryan Ferry fan to be honest. How about we have a right old sing-song after dinner?
c) Put dinner on hold, use the ingredients to create skimpy outfits, download the ear-rape from iTunes and stage an impromptu Gaga gig on the kitchen table (despite having guests arriving in half-an-hour and finding Lady Gaga as inspirational as a bowl of sick).
4. You won’t let your twelve year old daughter watch The Human Centipede, so she’s throwing a tantrum, claiming that “Mrs Miller, our science teacher, said we have to…and all my friends have seen it!’ How do you respond?
a) Kneel down, grab her arms and shout at her, “If all the other kids were sewing their mouths to each others bums would you want to as well? Would you? WOULD YOU?!”
b) Explain to her that it isn’t appropriate for her to watch The Human Centipede and suggest an alternative movie. Maybe a high-school drama that subtly reinforces superficiality and gender stereotypes or a harmless comedy that doesn’t contain any strong female characters?
c) What’s the worst it can do, really? I mean I watched The Exorcist when I was a kid and it did me no harm.
5. Your 8 yr old son tells a neighbour that she looks like ‘Mo from The Simpsons’ and ‘smells like something might be growing in her bum’. Do you:
a) Confiscate his Simpsons DVDs before sending him to his room without any dinner.
b) Make him apologise immediately. Then gently explain how likening Cathy to a bitter and perverted bartender with dirty knickers might hurt her feelings.
c) Ruffle his hair and laugh it off, “What a tike! He’s got a point though Cathy…not sure the short perm is working for you.”
6. Bored of playing with her toys, your 5 yr old daughter wanders out of the front door, up the street and is found by a neighbour trying to exchange some Duplo for a Ginsters Breakfast Roll at the local newsagent. Do you:
a) Drag her up to her bedroom, sit her on the bed and angrily consume the Ginster’s Breakfast Roll to drive your point home.
b) Gather the whole family together and explain, using recent ITV News footage and Daily Mail clippings, why it’s important that the front door stays closed and anyone who fancies a walk must seek permission first.
c) Praise her adventurous spirit before asking if she’d like a glass of shandy to go with her Breakfast Roll.
7. At the local Soft Play Centre, you discover your 3yr old daughter in the sensory room, trying to insert the dismembered limbs of Human Rights Barbie into the nostrils of another child, whilst wailing “Yarpol. Yarpol. Yarpol!” at the top of her voice. Do you:
a) Furiously sweep your littlun into the car and drive home in an angry silence, tossing Barbie’s limbs through the sunroof as you go.
b) Intervene immediately. Put Barbie’s arms and legs back in their sockets, explain to your daughter that the little girl has rights, one of which is the right not to have Barbie’s limbs rammed up her nose. Make her apologise and explain that if this happens again you’ll rescind her right to have yoghurt for pudding/bedtime stories/a university education.
c) Watch from a safe distance. Who are you to interfere with the behaviour of these wild and fascinating creatures?
8. You’re idling round Ikea, fantasising about how quickly you could burn it to the ground if you had a litre of petrol and a box of matches, when your son starts pestering you for a Shåtlumpƒ Crane and Tower Set, do you;
a) State that he has enough toys already, then grab his arm and storm straight out of the nearest exit (after spending 25minutes walking through every single department).
b) Ask him if he has enough pocket-money to buy the shåtlumpƒ and then discuss with him whether he’s sure he wants to spend it on a piece of worthless tat that 700 million children worldwide already own (and are bored of).
c) Whimper, “No honey. No honey”, until he increases the volume, drawing concerned looks from passing students and slum landlords. You give in and buy him two.
9. You’re woken up at 3am by your 4yr old daughter jumping into bed with you, scared stiff after a nightmare involving the cast of In The Night Garden getting abducted and butchered by bitter Teletubbies. Do you:
a) Tell her to go back to bed. It’s late and you’ve not got no time for nonsense.
b) Take her back to her own bed and comfort her, simultaneously explaining that both programmes were devised by the same prduction house specifically for the BBC, so the Teletubbies didn’t mind being usurped by In The Night Garden. All good things come to an end and only last week you saw Makka Pakka and Laa-Laa enjoying an ice-cream whilst strolling through Covent Garden.
c) Give her a cuddle, assure her you’ll hire additional security for the Night Garden first thing in the morning and fall back to sleep as one big snoozy family.
Your Parenting Style:
Mostly As: Authoritarian
You rule with an iron fist. An iron fist in a chain-mail glove. With a brass knuckleduster and poison-tipped fingers. Discipline is key and when it comes to right and wrong, you draw the line. You won’t explain why you’ve drawn a line, what’s on either side of it, where it begins and ends, how long it’ll be in operation for or why it is that you get to be the one who draws lines, but hey, they better understand about the goddamn line, or else…
Mostly Bs: Authoritative.
When little Johnny burns down the shed you don’t fly off the handle, you carefully and considerately get to the bottom of why he did it and proceed to explain to him why burning down sheds ‘because you like to feel the warm glow of the flames on your face’ isn’t acceptable behaviour. When Johnny burns down the replacement shed you don’t fly off the handle, you carefully and considerately get to the bottom of why he did it and proceed to explain to him why he’s going to need to spend sometime with Mrs Craythorne, the local child psychologist.
Mostly Cs: Permissive.
If your beloved littlun took a dump in your work shoes and updated your facebook profile to ‘gay divorcee’ (before throwing macaroni cheese all over the keyboard) you’d laugh it off as ‘just what kids do’, raise their pocket money and tweet about how ‘individual’ they are. You’re a soft touch, but hey, kids do the funniest things, don’t they!