Wednesday’s Parent: How parenting styles help/hurt students

Natural parenting styles

Natural parenting styles, photo by Peter Gronemann

I’ve been mulling over two questions for this week’s post about parenting styles.

1. Parents want to help their children achieve success but do certain parenting styles help or hurt this goal?

2. When higher education is sought, what parenting styles better prepare students?

Parenting styles do not emerge from thin air. Perhaps you mimic your parents or vow to do the opposite. More likely than not, you do what makes sense and feels right to you. This sounds like there is a strong connection between personality and parenting style.

The road to college is bumpy, filled with potholes, curves and unexpected obstacles. Certain personality traits can help or hinder raising college-bound children during the journey:

Easy going The calming influence of an easy-going parent can be helpful. However, there are times when being too laid back may cause problems. Attention to detail is crucial because teachers and college admission officers focus on them.

Control freak Knowing what to do and when to do it is key from daily homework assignments to the college process of getting in and paying for it. The trouble develops when the parent assumes control and the child is going through the motions without owning it. For example, whose idea is it to play sports, study a subject, apply to a certain college or choose a particular major? Parents can’t expect a student to maximize her opportunities if her passions lie elsewhere.

Pessimist Many activities and schools receive applications exceeding the number of available spots. Pessimists can counter-balance unrealistic student expectations. Walk this line carefully because too much negativity can lower a student’s enthusiasm and self-esteem.

Optimist Building and shoring up a child’s self-esteem is a natural fit for an optimist. However, the danger is similar to the pessimist when parents convey unrealistic expectations for their student.

Procrastinator Putting off decisions until ready to make them is right up a procrastinator’s alley. However, deadlines are their death knell. Whether it’s signing up for an activity, class, college admission test, or submitting college, scholarship and financial aid applications, missing a deadline can cost dearly in time and money. In some cases, being one of the early applicants can provide an advantage.

Energizer bunny There is always something to do when it comes to education. From studying to participating in before and after school activities, students have a full day. Helping students get it done is the forte of the Energizer parent. However, too much action and too little downtime can lead to student burnout.

Hammock hugger Teaching children how to relax and savor present moments is a useful tool. But it is also important to plan carefully for the future. Higher education is costly and requirements for admission must be met.

There are many personality traits and parenting styles and they all can help or hinder parenting. It’s a matter of balance and timing. Sounds like life in general.

Read on for Suzanne’s analysis of finding your inner parent coach in her Wednesday’s Parent: Parenting Styles.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

How the last 6 years prepares you for success

Cliché: A recipe for success.    
POCS Reality: Certain skills are necessary for success.


Time may fly but knowledge gained from experience can last a life-time and prepare you for success in the years ahead.

 I just read What 15-years as a stay-at-home mom taught me about entrepreneurship and I thought about the college-bound.

What skills have students learned that are critical for college success?

From middle school through high school, here are essential skills for success the college-bound have learned:

  1. Listen Whether it’s paying attention to parents, teachers, employers, siblings or peers, students know when to tune in for vital info.
  2. Question “Why” may be the most common query of the young but asking the right questions to find sought after answers is a skill that students practice.
  3. Adapt A plethora of cliques dominate the teen years. Meeting, mingling and managing co-existence with many styles and personalities is key.
  4. Adjust With new privileges come new responsibilities. Students must follow the rules and adjust to new situations.
  5. Creative Essays, papers and projects require research and thought. Whether alone or in groups, students create new material.
  6. Resilience Teen years are filled with highs and lows. Keeping perspective means balancing conceit and disappointment
  7. Manage time Homework, clubs, sports, friends and family claim attention. Fitting all commitments in before deadlines is crucial.

POCSmom’s College Prep DIY Insight: Abilities to listen and question, adapt and adjust, maintain focus and create within deadlines are life skills. Add in financial savvy (some students may already have this) and these skills can lead to success in college and beyond.

*POCSmom’s DIY Insight: College-Bound Stress and the Stress-Buster

Cliché: Stressed out.    
POCS Reality: POCSmom is a college-bound stress-buster.


Sky rocketing college costs, complicated admission and financial aid processes, rules that can change at any time. No wonder parents and their college-bound students are confused, stressed, and having trouble partnering in the college process. 

For best chance of future college success, it takes a village, or at least parents and students working together. How will you handle the hot topics of money, high school senior year expectations (senior privileges, SATS/ACTs, AP/IB classes, prom) and college prep (lists, college visits, admission applications, financial aid applications)? How will you deal with outside influences and weigh opinions of well-meaning family and friends, counselors and other experts?

It’s POCSmom to the rescue-partnering with Certified Parent Coach Kay Kimball Gruder and presenting a FREE one-hour webinar:

Beating College-Bound Stress: Strategies & Tips for Better Parent-Student Communication

Monday, Sept 26 form 9-10 pm EDT.


This is no ordinary chat. We will be giving specific how to’s on the 3 hot topics of $, high school senior year, and college-prep and taking questions from participants. We will talk about the quality of college-bound info (sources, expertise, and how current the info is). It’s all about how best to form a parent/college-bound student partnership for best chance of college process success.

POCSmom’s DIY Insight: The best way for families to navigate the college process is by working together with the knowledge to plan and make college affordable. Then parents and their college-bound students can lose the stress and find the fun to enjoy the wonderful college years.

POCSmom, the college-bound stress-buster will lead the way.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student