There's something about being a parent that erodes your self-confidence. After every decision comes indecision. After every edict comes a pesky voice in your head second-guessing what you just did. Was it fair to ground her for a week because she crossed a busy street on her bike? Did forcing him to gag down that spinach ensure that he'll forever be deficient in antioxidants? Should you have thrown Barbie out the window -- or patiently explained that it's unsafe to be wagging her in Mommy's face during rush hour on the interstate? And, come to think of it, should you have caved in to her tantrum in the store and bought that darned doll in the first place?
Although you face a myriad of choices when raising your children, psychologists package them in just four styles of parenting: authoritarian, permissive, balanced, and rejecting/neglecting. Being able to identify which one you are is the first step to becoming a confident and, ultimately, better parent.
But instead of boring you with all the psychobabble, marriage and family therapist Ron Huxley, the Fresno, CA-based author of Love and Limits: Achieving a Balance in Parenting, explains each parenting style using characters from classic TV shows. By the end, you'll know if you're a Marion Cunningham or a Marge Simpson, an Al Bundy or a Mike Brady.