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Parenting Skills

Marriage and Family therapists know that every child is born with unrelenting needs and expects to have those needs met NOW! Every parent receives their bundle of joy without an instruction booklet for each developmental phase children must grow through from infant to young adult. Most people love children; stressful interactions between parents and children occur when the child’s immaturity and the parent’s level and type of parenting skills gets in the way. So parents revert back to what they know about parenting - something many swore they would never do - parent the way they were parented. Some of that parenting is effective and good, some of it is ineffective and potentially harmful.

Parents have their own parenting style which creates the overall emotional climate for everyone in the home. Scripture teaches parents must not exasperate their children to extreme anger and resentment, but to rear them tenderly in the training and counsel of the Lord. All parents can use some skills training to more effectively parent each child they have. There are basically four different parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian parenting: The parents place high demands on the child, but are not responsive to the child’s thoughts, feelings or needs. These parents have a rigid set of rules that are strictly enforced and require rigid obedience with swift punishment when the rules are not followed. There is usually no explanation of punishment; "Because I said so" is a typical response to a child's question of authority.
  • Authoritative parenting: Combines a moderate level demands on the child and a moderate level of responsiveness from the parents. Authoritative parents rely on reinforcing the positive behaviors and little use of punishment. There is an easy, free- flow of communication between parent-child and both control and support are balanced. Research shows that this style is more beneficial than the too-hard authoritarian style or the too-soft permissive style.
  • Permissive parenting: In these family settings, a child's freedom and autonomy are seen as the highest value, and parents tend to rely mostly on reasoning and explanation. Parents are undemanding, without any punishment. Children of permissive parents are generally happy but sometimes show low levels of self-control and self-reliance because they lack the sufficient structure at home.
  • Uninvolved parenting: Parents are often emotionally and sometimes physically absent. They have little or no expectations of the child and regularly have no communication. They are not responsive to a child's needs and do not demand anything of them in their behavior. If present, they may provide what the child needs for survival, but with little involvement with the child. There is often a large disconnect between parents and children with this parenting style. Children with little or no communication with their own parents tended to be the victims of other children’s deviant behavior and may be involved in some deviance themselves.
  • There is no single or definitive model of parenting. With authoritarian and uninvolved (indulgent) parenting on opposite ends of the spectrum, most parenting falls somewhere in between. Behaviors and ideals of what parents expect, whether communicated verbally and/or non-verbally, also play a significant role in a child's development.

    It's a wise parent who seeks help and instruction to create a better relationship environment with a nurtured child. To work with one of our counselors trained to work with parents and children, call today to set up an appointment at 417-882-6767.

Insurance Information

Most insurance companies do not cover relationship, marriage or family counseling. If there is a medical condition that is impacting the marriage and / or family relationships, insurance may cover the counseling on the individual diagnosis. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with your insurance benefits. When you check with your insurance company for benefits, ask for mental health benefits, with an out-of-network provider, for an office visit. We will be happy to file your insurance claim for you for reimbursement. You are responsible for deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments. All fees are paid up front and the reimbursement will go directly to you. Many clients use their Health Savings accounts and Flexible Spending accounts for counseling. If you have any questions please call and speak with Stephanie at 417-882-6767 or email her.


Initial appointments are usually made over the phone. Other appointments are then made at the end of each counseling sessions with your therapist. When your appointment is scheduled for a specific time, that time is reserved for you. Unlike other types of businesses, the Institute does not over-book clients. The scheduled times of appointments are dedicated solely to working with those individuals, couples or families. Our counselors spend time before each session preparing for who is coming to their appointments.


If you must cancel an appointment, please notify the Institute at 417-882-6767 at least 48 hours before your scheduled session (to avoid charges for the session.)

Financial Responsibility

Each client is responsible for payment of all charges. Your fee is collected when you arrive for your appointment. Checks, cash, Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express are accepted. We also accept flexible spending account, and health savings account cards. If another party is helping to pay for your counseling, we will gladly help with payment arrangements.

Working Together

You will work with the same therapist throughout your time at Springfield MFI. We believe counseling is most successful when the client and therapist develop a good working relationship. Your questions and concerns will be taken seriously. Information you share with your therapist will be kept confidential. It will not be disclosed to anyone without your written permission. If you have questions about something in the counseling process, please bring it up with your therapist.