I know you’re doing your best for your little one. But which of the four parenting styles is good for your child?
As a parent, you spare no effort in doing what is best for your child. Notwithstanding your sincerest attempts, you may periodically falter.
Your parenting style might not be ideal for your child’s personality development.
According to psychologists, your parenting style has a huge impact not only on the personality development of your young one but on the overall development.
There exist many factors that are instrumental in the personality development of a child. Finding the right parenting style is one of the most important.
Read along to judge for yourself and choose what is best for your little one.
Four main dimensions of parenting styles:
In the early 1960s, a psychologist by the name of Diana Baumrind chaperoned a study on about 100 preschoolers.
Based on this study, she pinpointed four main dimensions of parenting:
- Disciplinary strategies
- Warmth and nurturance
- Communication styles
- Expectations of maturity and control
The 4 Parenting Styles by Diana Baumrind:
Centered around these four aspects, it was established that parents showcase and refer to one of the four parenting styles, i.e.
- Authoritative Parenting
- Authoritarian Parenting
- Permissive Parenting
- Uninvolved Parenting
The styles ranged from controlling and demanding, to complete freedom; and from cold and unresponsive to loving and receptive.
To know which parenting style you fall under, and which one suits you best, read along. Let us now discuss them in-depth.
To know your Parenting Style, start our interactive quiz below…
1. Authoritative Parenting:
Authoritative Parenting is one of the parenting styles wherein the parents respect their child’s demands and needs. Although the child has freedom, authoritative parents set ground rules and norms for the child to follow. We could call this style of parenting a little democratic.
The freedom given to the children is within certain limits. During times of conflict, the parents give the child the freedom to speak and put his or her point across as well. This teaches the child to listen, whilst speaking their mind out. This builds a bond of trust and respect.
Baumrind hypothesized that the parents who follow this parenting style “monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative” (1991).
Pertaining to this style of parenting, reasonable demands and responsiveness are certain. This parenting style is a mixture of love, affection and warmth churned together with rules and discipline. Children of authoritative parents witness positive reinforcement as an integral method.
The main characteristics of this parenting style are:
- Orchestrate just rules
- Freedom and trust to express emotions and thought processes (no suppressing of emotion)
- Hold accountable for lack of obedience in a fair manner
- Openness to having discussions
- Build and set basic expectations without the burden
- Love, affection, and warmth
The Authoritative parenting style, as opposed to the Authoritarian Parenting Style wherein the rules and parenting, is much more strict and rigid. This style of parenting can be contemplated as well balanced, inculcating more warmth and harmony between the child and the parent.
2. Authoritarian Parenting:
This style of parenting is high in demand and has low responsiveness. The parents showcase authority over their children with strict rules and regulations.
Though these parents love their child as much, they believe rules are extremely important for their child to be well behaved, and fit into society. This often leads to suppression of emotions. Kids start to believe that doing their duties is the way to gain acceptance, love, and support.
To gain the love of their parents, and to avoid making them upset, children become obedient.
Now you as a parent might feel this is the ideal child, well not really. They become incapable of making the right decisions for themselves eventually or follow their intrinsic interests. This henceforth results in internal conflict. They might lead a perfect life, however an unhappy one.
Parents following this parenting style focus more on punishment than discipline.
As per Diana Baumrind these parents “are obedience and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.”
The demands of these parents are high with low responsiveness, feedback, and encouragement.
The main characteristics of this particular parenting style are:
- Unresponsive with demands
- Insignificant nurturing and amiability
- Over Exaggerated punishments
- No room for negotiation
- Barely any choices for the child
- Rigid mindset
All these characteristics would definitely affect the child. Behavioral outbreaks, irrationality, and outburst of the child are bound to happen. Self-control and self-esteem are compromised. Anger issues may arise along with frustration.
Though they conform to norms, they more or less suffer from depression and anxiety. Their decision-making ability goes haywire as well.
Please hesitate to Dictate!
To see a comparison between these two parenting styles, click here.
Not to distract you, but here’s a podcast that’s worth a listen. An in-depth insight about these parenting styles.
3. Permissive parenting:
Learn to say no! Permissive parenting is that style of parenting wherein the parents are blinded by the love for their offspring. So much so that they wouldn’t know when to say no. The child’s wish is their command.
The child enjoys utmost freedom with no rules whatsoever. As opposed to the above-stated parenting style, children with such parents enjoy full control over them and get whatever they please. These children grow up without boundaries and do what they feel is right, without retrospect or introspect.
They do not know how to cope with conflict, or in fact, deal with their emotions. These kids become inconsiderate and unapologetic. Very few ground rules are established.
They are less of parents and more of friends. Permissive parents are usually relaxed, not enforcing any sort of structure in the life of their child. Their love overpowers the importance of any sort of ordinance.
In other words, permissive parenting is individualized by low demands and high responsiveness. They are seldom known as ‘indulgent parents’.
In the words of Diana Baumrind, permissive parents “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation.”
We can idealize the Permissive parenting style by the following:
- The abundance of love, warmth, and nurturing.
- Lack of structure, rules, and regulations.
- No punishment
- Emphasize is more on freedom than on responsibility and accountability.
- Bribery instead of positive reinforcement
- No consequences or accountability.
Though it is important for you as a parent that your child confides in you; it is equally important for your child to see you as a role model, and be at least a little reasonable and accountable. Balance is key!
4. Uninvolved Parenting:
The fourth of these parenting styles are for neglectful parents. These parents are self-absorbed and not present in their child’s life, resulting in the loneliness of the child. These children experience full freedom and have all the time and space for imagination.
In spite of freedom and space, they often feel unacknowledged, undesired, unappreciated, and neglected. They do not receive any feedback. This makes the child feel irrelevant, and that no matter what they do, nobody would care. Neglect consequently builds up to a lack of trust in themself and others.
These kids become insecurely attached, and incapable of forming healthy relationships. They hold themselves in low regard. As a result, they become numb.
This is an unintentional style of parenting. The hectic lifestyle of a few parents doesn’t give parents the time to realize what they’re doing wrong.
The characteristics of this parenting style are as follows:
- Self-absorbed parents
- Independent decision-making by the child.
- Unstable self-esteem
- No emotional attachment
- Lack of interest by the child
- No rules or repercussions
- Little to no assistance from parents
Even if a child doesn’t ask for love or attention regardless of their age, they expect it and yearn for it. Failure to provide so would result in an unstable mindset. Major self-esteem issues, attachment issues, and emotional instability are highlighted. The child’s social skills are compromised as well.
According to a study, the children of authoritarian parents did better academically than the children of uninvolved parents.
Seeking guidance and counseling seems like a good option for you as an uninvolved parent. Do right by them, and make smart choices. The results would be slow, and definitely not overnight.
Well, parenting is a work of patience and experience. The desire to change and make amends is the first step. Once you figure out the problem, it is then easier to find the solution.
Helicopter Parenting by Dr. Haim Ginott
Moving onto the last, but not the least, Helicopter Parenting. This is a relatively new parenting style. The phrase ‘helicopter parents’ was first seen in the book Parents and Teenagers by Dr. Haim Ginott in 1969. The teenagers in the book call their parents ‘helicopter parents’ as they keep hovering over their heads.
Also referred to as:
- Cosseting parenting
- Lawnmower parenting
- Bulldoze parenting.
Now it’s understandable that parents hover due to their own insecurities and triggers.
That could include:
- Worst-case scenarios and strenuous consequences.
- Fear and anxiety
Please understand and respect the concept of space. Most parents forget to give their children space and overwhelm them with love. This places a huge role in child development.
The Most Encouraged Parenting Style in Modern America
The majority of the parents wonder which is the best parenting style in the United States. Now from the four parenting styles, it’s usually Authoritarian vs Authoritative parenting.
The best and most encouraging child-rearing style is Authoritative Parenting. Built on a foundation of mutual respect, and love, this style of parenting is said to be most effective and supports the mental health of the child.
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And till then, Happy Parenting!