WHERE ARE YOU ON THE KIDSTUFF
test will identify where you are on the parenting style
scale. Do not give the answers that you know are
right, but rather give the answers that you think you
would do in that given situation. Answer each question using the following scale. Be honest and good luck.
Your pre-teen dawdles and is late for school. As a
result she misses her school bus. You drive her to
You walk into your child’s room and notice that the
laundry is still not placed in the hamper. You put his
clothes away for him.
Your child needs to come in for his bath. He asks
to play for five more minutes. You say “NO.” He
pleads with you, “Oh please, I promise I will take my
bath in ten minutes. I want to finish playing my
game.” You let him stay ten more minutes.
You are taking a bath and your kids are in the
other room fighting. It got to the point where they
are screaming. You rush out of the bath to find that
they are fighting over the television set. You solve
the problem for them in anger.
Your teenager went to bed and you noticed that the
garbage was not yet taken out. The little darling must have
forgotten. You take out the garbage for him.
For the second time this month your seven-year-old
daughter forgets her homework at school. “I’m going to
get in trouble”, she says to you. You help her out and
write a note to her teacher to explain the situation.
Your teenager child tells you that he wants an
earring. “Everyone in school has one”, he explains.
You are not crazy about the idea but you swore that you
would not be like your parents who never understood.
You let him have an earring.
Your toddler accidentally poured his milk onto the
floor. You clean it up for him.
You call your child for dinner. He asks if he can
watch television for ten more minutes. You let him
watch television for ten more minutes.
Your teenager just left his bike outside again.
You told him several times to put it away. You put the
bike away for him but you make sure that he attends
It's time to get dressed and your child is still not
ready. He appears to be having some trouble putting on
his shoes. You put on his shoes for him.
Your child is trying to tell you something. It is
taking him a long time to say what he wants. You are
rushing to get dinner on the table. You stop to listen.
Your teenager just informed you that he would be
spending the weekend with “a friend”. It appears that
he may be hanging around with friends that you told him
not to hang around with. You don’t want to appear
untrustworthy so you let him go.
Your son accidentally broke your spouse’s favorite
centerpiece. Your spouse will be home in less than an
hour. You really do not want your spouse angry with
the kids. Besides, they are kids; they were doing what
comes naturally. You fix it so that it will not be
Dinner is being served and your child comes to the
table, looks at the plate and states, “I don’t like
this stuff, it stinks”. You make him something else to
Your child is ready to go out in a revealing
outfit. You pleaded with her not to wear it in public. You let her go out wearing it anyway.
The rules in your home are made mostly by you.
Your kids do their best to try to break the rules that
You just received a phone call that your child is
in jail. You do all in your power to get him out of
You are in line at a grocery store and your child
is crying for a small toy she wants. People are
watching you. You buy it for her.
Your kids are arguing at the dinner table. You
plead and bribe them to stop arguing and continue
Now go back and give yourself:
“1” point for every “Always”
“2” points for every “Frequently”
“3” points for every “Sometimes”
“4” points for every “Seldom”
“5” points for every “Never”
Add up your points and match your score with the
0-30 Points : The One Household
31-70 Points: The Five Household
71-100 Point: The Ten Household
NOTE: If you scored a 73 that does not mean you live
in a ten household, but rather in a seven household.
If you score a 98, you live in a nine household, etc.
THE 10 HOUSEHOLD
TOTAL STRUCTURE AND NO FREEDOM
Your home tends to run with stern limits and no
freedom. Your children are told what to say, how to
act, and when to speak. Morals and values are not really
demonstrated; they are demanded (ie., “You MUST respect
me, I am your father”). Problems are usually solved with
punishment. Co-operation in this home tends to come after much
threats, warnings, and interrogations. Your children
have little opportunity to express their feelings,
thoughts, needs or rights. Your kids receive the
submissive message that they cannot comply by their own
wishes, but rather by the rules and wishes of other
people. Alfred Adler names this form of parenting as
the Autocratic Style.
Parents in this household justify their autocratic
style by believing the following:
“Kids need to be told what to do, they are too young
to think for themselves.”
“If I don’t make sure that they are on the right
track, they will end up in prison.”
“Controlling your children makes them stronger.”
“Kids have to be aware of who is in control.”
“If I don’t tell my kids what to do, they will end
up listening to anyone.”
“Children need to listen to authority.”
“My kids deserve and need a good smack when they get
out of hand.”
“If I let them do that at four, what are they going
to do at fourteen?”
“I need control in my life. Children easily comply.”
“I was raised like this and there is nothing wrong
Children who live in a household where there is too
much structure and very little or no freedom often
rebel. Some children, if not all, who are raised in a
“Ten Household” will store up their rage and resentment
until they are older. Children in this household are
not allowed to express their true feelings without fear
of punishment or having love and affection withheld.
In the book, ‘Dr. Spock On Parenting’, Benjamin Spock
believes this theory to be true. Some children who
store up their anger inside will later let it loose in
aggressive acts against themselves or others (usually
with loved ones).
Some parents declare they will never raise their
children the way they were raised and instead divert to
a total opposite realm of child rearing. They will
become extremely permissive and allow their children to
do what they were not allowed to do when they were
young. They adopt to live in “The One Household”.
So what can you do? Take it easy. Allowing children
to have some say in what goes on in the home cannot
ruin the home. Give them choices, within limits, even
though you know the answer. Simply ask them what THEY
think needs to be done. You will soon notice that your
children are cooperating just a little more, becoming
responsible just a little more, and that the household does NOT have to be as ridged and as serious as you may
THE 1 HOUSEHOLD
LITTLE OR NO STRUCTURE AND ABSOLUTE FREEDOM
Your children have absolute freedom without limits.
You “attempt” to solve problems by persuasion (ie,
“Please,” you may say, “Can’t you finish your
breakfast?”). There does not seem to be any form of
structure demonstrated to the child. Structure is not
expected or demanded by the parent. You probably find
it difficult saying “no” to your children. You may
tend to rescue, nag, lecture, bribe, and do everything
for the child. You believe that
the more you do for your children, the better parent
you will become. Alfred Adler names this form of
parenting as the Permissive Style.
Parents in this household tend to justify their
permissive style by thinking the following:
“I have to do
everything for them, they are only
“I feel guilty
because I am going through a divorce. I’m ashamed of what my kids are going through.”
“If I don’t give
her what she wants, she will run to
“If I don’t do things for her, I’m afraid that she
may not love me.”
“I really do not want her getting upset again.”
“Everyone else has one, why should I deprive my
“I’m too busy. I have three kids.”
“I want my kids to be free. Rules and regulations
can come into effect when they are older.”
“It’s not worth the hassle. I really do not see why
we should have strict rules anyway.”
“My kids are smart enough. They do not need anyone
telling them what to do.”
“I promised that I would not be like my parents.”
“If my child needs help or money, I promised that I
would help before he or she would ask me.”
“It’s more efficient for me to do it for them.”
“It’s difficult for me to see my children struggle
with their problems, especially when I know how to
solve it for them.”
“If I don’t do it, it will never get done.”
“This was the way I was raised and there is nothing
wrong with me.”
What is a parent to do? In this household, a parent
must demonstrate more structure. Say things once and
leave the room. If certain things are not done to your
satisfaction, make sure that the appropriate
consequences follow. It is not really about THE KIDS,
it’s about changing YOUR STYLE. You will soon notice
that the kids will begin listening to YOU a little more
because you follow through with the natural and logical
consequences. Have fun at parenting and don’t be
afraid to get your hands dirty.
With that being said, a parent’s primary goal is to
empower their children. The best form of empowerment
is derived from the Five Household.
THE 5 HOUSEHOLD
BALANCE OF STRUCTURE AND FREEDOM
In this home, children have freedom and structure that
compliment each other. You do not demand morals and
values, you demonstrate them. For example, you do not
demand that your children be responsible, tell the
truth, or be respectful. You are a positive role model
of responsibility, honesty and integrity. As a result,
your children may know themselves better and they are,
therefore, not easily manipulated by their peers or
you. You treat your children as equal human beings
with dignity and respect. Studies have demonstrated
that parents who encourage their children to take
responsibility, get their kids involved in the daily
decisions making process, hold their children
accountable and who allow their children to experience
the consequences for their choices, have children with
a stronger sense of who they are and a high sense of
self-esteem. These children are more aware of their
wants, needs, rights and they are better skilled in
knowing how to get it. Their morals and values are
further developed which allows them to judge more
objectively. They feel better about themselves and
have confidence. This self-confidence contributes to
their self-esteem and enables them to manage whatever
problems, challenges and situations may come their way