What's Your Parenting Style?
Learn the pros and cons of the different styles of parenting and how they can affect children
Every parent wants their kids to be happy and healthy - emotionally, psychologically and physically. As parents, we want our kids to grow up to be confident, well-adjusted, good-hearted, and happy.
Your parenting style will guide your child into adulthood and affect your child’s self-perception and worth. So whether you have kids already or want to have kids in the future, knowing about the various styles will help inform the type of parent you are or will be.
According to Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist from the University of California, there are four different styles of parenting, namely:
High demandingness; less responsiveness
Authoritarian parenting demands total obedience and acceptance from their children using reasons like “I said so,” “because I am asking you to do so,” etc. and believes the child should follow all rules without argument or questioning.
Authoritarian parents are usually not as nurturing or “warm and fuzzy,” and are not as responsive to children’s needs. They often use strict measures and punishments as a mode to behavior modification.
According to VeryWellFamily, “Children who grow up with strict authoritarian parents tend to follow rules much of the time. But, their obedience comes at a price. Children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems because their opinions aren’t valued.”
Many kids under this dynamic grow up to be kind, successful adults, but children parented under authoritarian style are at a higher risk of being more aggressive and often feel as their opinions aren’t important, which can lead to destructive behaviors. They may become insecure, exhibit poor social skills and exhibit less happiness overall.
High demandingness; high responsiveness
Even though authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles sound similar, they’re complete opposites of each other.
Authoritative parents validate their children’s feelings, while also making it very clear that they are ultimately in charge. These parents set rules and boundaries with an open discussion. They’re affectionate and also encourage independence.
Children of authoritative parents tend to have a higher chance of being happy, content and independent adults. They tend to develop healthy self-esteem and social skills and exhibit less aggression. They are also more likely to be good at making decisions and risk-taking.
Low demandingness; high responsiveness
Permissive parents set few rules and boundaries and don’t enforce rules consistently. They usually adopt a “kids will be kids” kind of attitude towards their children. This parenting style is warm and responsive, but rarely disappoints or says no’ to the children. As a result, children can have less self-control, possess egocentric tendencies, encounter problems in social relations and have a harder time following rules. Many children of permissive parents will learn more about rules and how to manage to hear “no” once they leave home, but often they report lower self-esteem than other parenting styles.
Low demandingness; low responsiveness
Neglectful parents set almost no boundaries or standards; they’re uninvolved in their children’s lives. Children may not receive much parental guidance, nurturing or attention at all. These children are mostly self-raised; uninvolved parents don’t spend as much time or energy meeting their children’s needs. Children with this parenting type may struggle with self-esteem, academics, and socialization.
Self-raised kids may be more impulsive, not as able to self-regulate, and are more drawn to indulging in delinquent behavior.
Tips for healthy parenting
According to MedicineNet, “Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness. It also promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation, and encourages a desire to achieve. Good parenting also helps protect children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, antisocial behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse.”
Tips for healthy parenting:
Accept and respect your child
Realize what you do matters
Be involved in your child’s life
Set reasonable rules and enforce them
Encourage appropriate independence
Give reasoning to your boundaries and rules
Acknowledge your child and give them your attention
Parenting is one of the most challenging, and at the same time most rewarding, jobs of all time. And if you want to change your parenting style, it’s never too late! While kids of all parenting styles can grow up to be successful, well-rounded, healthy adults, they will have even higher chances with your hands-on love and guidance.