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December 27, 2009

Gardener families are more egalitarian. While parents remain the authorities in the family, power and roles in the family are assigned by talent or ability to solve the family’s problems, not by gender. Within the extended family, Gardeners do not work to discern allies and enemies, but rather opportunities to grow the family by understanding its systems, dynamics, heritages, and patterns.

Discipline for Gardener parents is about providing a healthy environment rather than obedience or enforcing moral correctness. If you’ve heard a parent say, just before spanking a child, “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you,” you’ve seen a Gardener parent in action.

Gardener parents see themselves as guides rather than guards. As a result, structure and opportunity are key to Gardener parenting styles. Gardener parents work to provide structure that steers children toward better futures, and provide as many opportunities for them to pursue their dreams as possible. Gardener parents are architects of their children’s lives and cheerleaders for their good work.

Both Knights and Gardeners may pursue “protect the children” legislation, but for different reasons.

At the extremes, Knight parents can be too harsh; Gardener parents can be too permissive.

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