If you are a parent you will know that parenting is probably one of the most challenging jobs you will ever have to do!
Inevitably individual personalities and circumstances will influence parenting styles, which in turn affect the children in different ways.
Basically there are four different parenting styles – see which of these describes you best:
I’m in charge and I want what’s best for my child, this is the authoritative parenting style where you take charge and set reasonable boundaries for your child. If these boundaries are not adhered to, there are appropriate consequences.
In this style of parenting, you are able to maintain control and still able to provide your kids with a nurturing and warm environment. The child feels safe and is allowed to question and discuss matters with you.
An authoritative parent engages in creating a positive relationship with their children. They have high expectations from their kids but are also understanding and supportive in helping your child achieve your expectations.
Authoritative parents appreciate and accept their child’s desire to explore their independence however they also enforce rules and teach their kids about the consequences of their actions.
Children thrive in this secure atmosphere. Kids raised under authoritative parenting philosophies are more independent, happy, successful, evaluate risks better, and make better decisions.
Moreover, children raised through authoritative parenting methods are also associated with higher academic skills, better social skills, have more self-awareness and self-esteem, and are also associated with lesser mental illness and lower delinquency.
It’s my way or the highway. With the authoritarian parenting style, rules are very strict and the child is not allowed to question the parent without being punished. Obedience is required without explanation.
Fueled by a strong sense of justice authoritarian parents implement stringent child-rearing practices that have little or no regard to the kid’s opinions and feelings.
Similar to the authoritative parents, authoritarian parents also have high expectations from their kids but coupled with a high expectation of blind obedience.
Rather than using discipline for creating a nurturing and independent environment for their kids, an authoritarian parent relies on implementing punishment and humiliation as a way to teach important lessons.
Even though authoritarian parents are likely to have children who are good at following the rules, but it also inhibits them from developing a stronger sense of self-worth.
The effect of this type of parenting style on children includes shyness and low self-esteem, as well as fearfulness and difficulty in social situations.
Kids raised by authoritarian parenting types tend to be more delinquent, have lower academic performance, suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, and mental illnesses.
My child can do what he likes, as long as he’s happy. The permissive parenting style is indulgent towards the child, with few demands and expectations. Permissive parents tend to avoid setting limits for fear of upsetting the child.
Confrontation is avoided and the parent behaves more like a “friend” than a father or mother figure. Although the relationship can be loving and close, unfortunately, the lack of structure can result in the child having very little self-control or self-discipline.
The permissive parenting style is very lenient and based upon self-regulation. Parents following such a parenting style are warmer and very indulgent and responsive to their kid’s needs without demanding much in return.
Unlike different types of parenting styles, a permissive parent is usually bad at enforcing strict rules and teach kids about the consequences of one’s actions.
It is a very indulgent parenting style wherein parents are more forgiving and do not emphasize on discouraging poor decisions and behavior.
Kids with permissive parents are usually more egocentric and have impulsive behavioral traits. They are bad at following rules and also struggle academically.
They are prone to health problems associated with overweight and dental hygiene, because of the inability of their parents to enforce good eating habits.
This also affects their ability to have good social and personal relationships and lowers their self-esteem.
Neglectful or uninvolved parenting
The fourth parenting style is neglectful or uninvolved. This is when parents are basically too busy with their own lives to pay much attention to their children. It is one of the most harmful styles.
There is a serious lack of communication and the child is left to fend for themselves to a large extent, both emotionally and physically.
The relationship between the parents and the kids has no give or take. Parents are not bothered about how their kid is getting by in their life. They do not feel the need to ask their kids about their lives and future expectations.
Children brought up with such a parenting style tend to grow up on their own without any supervision or rules.
The reason for uninvolved parenting can vary from one family to another. Intentional neglect is not always the cause of uninvolved parenting, sometimes the parents are so occupied in managing household and livelihood that they are unaware of their kids lives current affairs.
In other neglectful parenting scenarios, a parent might be mentally challenged or mentally unequipped to devote enough time and focus on their kids.
Whatever might be the reason but the effect of uninvolved parenting is quite apparent. Kids raised with such parenting styles are usually impulsive, may suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, and are at risk of suicidal tendencies.
If you have recognized yourself in any of the above parenting styles, take some time to consider the effect you are having on your child and how you can adapt your behavior so that your child can thrive.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help as there is a vast array of resources available such as good books, websites, and counselors who can help you become the great parent that your child needs and deserves.