Written by David Kellner
As parents, we all have what might be considered our better moments and those moments with our children that we wish we could take back. While our responses vary with the almost infinite factors that influence our day-to-day, typically our interactions and approaches to our children can be characterized by one of four different parenting styles.
In the 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind identified three main styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative and permissive, with a fourth style, neglectful, added in the 1980s by Stanford researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin. Parenting styles refer to the patterns of behavior and attitudes that parents use when raising their children. There are several different parenting styles, each with its own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. Here are four common parenting styles:
Authoritarian parenting: This parenting style is characterized by strict rules and high expectations. Parents who use this style tend to be very demanding and controlling, and they often do not allow their children to question their authority. In this style it is more common to talk “at” your children rather than “with” them, and the rigid boundaries are enforced through punishment and not discipline.
Children raised in authoritarian households may become obedient but lack the ability to make decisions and solve problems on their own. However, children of authoritarian parents are more often well-behaved and stick strictly to the expectations held by their parents. This parenting style can result in increased irritability and aggression in children, and can create deficits in their social skills. They have poor self-esteem and struggle to demonstrate confidence in their own decision-making. Strict parental rules and punishments often influence the child to rebel against authority figures as they grow older.
Authoritative parenting: This parenting style is characterized by a balance between high expectations and warmth and support. Parents who use this style set clear rules and boundaries, but they also encourage their children to express their thoughts and feelings.
Not only can children have input into goals and expectations with authoritative parenting, but there are also frequent and appropriate levels of communication between the parent and their child to ensure understanding of the underlying rationale for parenting choices. In general, this parenting style leads to open communication and relationship between parents and children and encourages the appropriate levels of independence and openness.
Children raised in authoritative households tend to be confident, independent, and responsible. Children of authoritative parents regulate their emotions, impulses and behaviors which leads to stronger support networks. Children of authoritative parents grow up with higher self-esteem and tend to have a high level of academic achievement and school performance.
Permissive parents tend to be warm, nurturing and usually have minimal or no expectations. They impose limited rules on their children. Communication remains open, but parents allow their children to figure things out for themselves. These low levels of expectation usually result in rare uses of discipline. They act more like friends than parents. Parents who use this style tend to be lenient and avoid discipline, often giving in to their children's demands.
Children raised in permissive households may struggle with self-control and have difficulty understanding boundaries and limits. This can lead to children with unhealthy eating habits, irregular sleep patterns and inability to self-regulate, especially with screen time. Overall, children of permissive parents usually have some self-esteem and decent social skills. However, they can be impulsive, demanding, selfish, and lack self-regulation.
Uninvolved parenting: This parenting style is characterized by a lack of emotional involvement and support, while fulfilling basic needs. Parents who use this style tend to be distant and neglectful, showing little interest in their children's lives.
Children raised in uninvolved households may experience emotional and behavioral problems.
While they may be resilient or even more self-sufficient than children with other types of upbringing, these skills force maturity and make it difficult to learn other fundamental skills developed in play or appropriate developmental activities. Additionally, they might have trouble controlling their emotions, less effective coping strategies, may have academic challenges, and difficulty with maintaining or nurturing social relationships.
It is important to note that there is no one "correct" parenting style, and different styles may be more effective depending on the child's temperament, culture, and environment. Effective parenting involves being responsive to the child's needs and adjusting parenting styles as needed to promote the child's healthy development.
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Published: March 07, 2023