Type A Personalities & Parenting Often Result In These 7 Snafus
The decisions you make as a parent are often impacted by your personality. When your toddler is throwing an all-out fit in the middle of Target, you may decide to pick them up and carry them surfboard style out the door as fast as you can, or ride out their kicking and screaming while continuing to fill your cart with unnecessary purchases from the dollar spo depending on your personality. Your personality also plays into the problems you might encounter as a parent, and if you're type A, you'll run into these parenting problems.
According to an article by Healthline, people with Type A personalities are often described as "driven, hardworking, and determined to succeed." In my own personal experience, the "determined to succeed" part has severely impacted my parenting because, well, everyone has a different definition of successful parenting.
All parents will inevitably have some difficulties when it comes to raising children. After all, kids will be kids and tantrums, disappointments, and setbacks will happen. But Type A parents will likely experience these particular issues more often than parents with Type B personalities because of their tendency to rely on organization, their competitive nature, and their dislike of wasted time — all things that can go out the window when kids are involved.
1. You'll Push Your Kids Too Hard
Type A parents might run into parenting problems when they feel inclined to push their kids too hard to strive for excellence. Lisa Jacobson, founder of the tutoring company Inspirica in New York, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that "Type A parents push their kids too hard, criticizing them when they are already doing their best or piling on unreasonable demands," which can lead to problems between the parent and their child.
When parenting as a Type A, you might find yourself wishing that your kids worked as hard as you do despite having differing personality types, or their ability level not being where you expect at any given time. But, pushing them too hard could backfire and create tension that causes even more problems, according to Jacobson.
2. You'll Feel Like Time Is Wasted
In an article for Psychology Today, author EE Smith describes the Type A personality as people who may "display impatience and tend to get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others when they are talking, and walk at a rapid pace." Obviously, children are not always the best at completing tasks in a timely manner, so Type A parents may feel like their children are wasting time when it takes them longer to do certain things.
It takes my own kids forever to get in and out of our minivan. I'm often tempted to remind them that they're wasting time we could be spending doing other things when they dawdle or take their sweet time unbuckling their seat belts. Honestly though, they're teaching me about patience and really an extra two or three minutes of car time with them should not be that big of a deal.
3. Your Emotions May Get The Best Of You
When your child is acting out or have done something that frustrates you, as a person with a Type A personality, you may be prone to overreacting to your child's behavior. According to Saul McLeod, a neuroscience researcher at University of Manchester, for Simply Psychology, "Type A individuals are easily ‘wound up’ and tend to overreact."
So, when your child is having a tantrum, you may feel yourself becoming increasingly frustrated and lashing out at them. Although this can be a normal reaction, learning coping strategies like taking deep breaths or counting to 10 before reacting can be helpful in quelling emotional outbursts.
4. You'll Micromanage
Micromanaging is a part of having a Type A personality that can really clash with parenthood. One perfect example of this is my own stress level when it comes to how my kids load and unload the dishwasher. They're helping me out by doing the dishes, but because they don't do it exactly the way that I would (Cups go on the top rack. Always.), I am often tempted to do it myself instead of teaching them how to do it and teaching them an important life skill in the process.
According to Marc Nemiroff, PhD, clinical psychologist in an interview with WebMD, micromanaging "takes away the child's experience and [impedes] his learning how to handle himself in the world. Part of the job of the parent is not to do everything for the child, but to help him do things more and more independently." So if you're Type A and find yourself micromanaging your kids, it may be best to back off just a bit in order to help your kids thrive later on in life.
5. You're Less Likely To "Go With The Flow"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Routines and daily schedules help you and your child. You both know what to expect each day. Routines can also improve your child’s behavior and your relationship with your child." Type A parents often thrive on routines and schedules, but even though a routine can be helpful for children, being inflexible can create problems when it comes to your relationship with your child.
As children grow and change, re-evaluating your child's routine will be crucial, and providing some flexibility for change within the family schedule is one area where a Type A parent may struggle. Clinical psychologist Andrea Unbach wrote for Huffington Post that "adults and children must find a balance between structure and spontaneity," including that "the best thing is to maintain structure and organization, but allow time for fun and taking advantage of opportunities that come your way."
6. You'll Expect Too Much From Your Child
I am more guilty of this than potentially any other item on this list. I expected my oldest son to be potty trained much earlier than was recommended, and I struggled to accept his failure meeting my unrealistic expectations as a testament to my perfectionist tendencies and not his ability level. According to Verywell Family, "There’s a difference between a parent having high standards and being a perfectionist. Having high standards is often a good trait in a parent because it sets expectations for a child and helps them to succeed in life. Perfectionist parenting, however, sets a child up to believe that if he doesn’t achieve the highest standards, he’s a failure." This is not good for anyone, especially your child.
7. You'll Feel The Maximum Amount Of Parenting Stress
When you're a Type A parent, stress can be a byproduct of unmet expectations or feelings of failure that can spell disaster for your parenting. According to Healthline, people with Type A personalities will "be more likely to experience stress when faced with delays or other challenges that affect success." So when your parenting doesn't read as successful by the standards you set for yourself, you may feel stress or even guilt.
This is a hard reality to face, but understanding where you are feeling stress as a parent can actually help you find ways to back off and relax a bit, which is a win-win for everyone.