Parenting Styles - Why They Matter
Developmental psychologists have long studied and been interested in the way parenting styles will affect the social development of a child later in life. But being able to pinpoint the cause-and-effect links between specific parenting types and later behavior of children is extremely difficult. However researchers have overcome these challenges and revealed direct links between parenting styles and the effects it will have on our children.
During the early 1960s, in which time parenting styles really began to change, psychologists conducted studies involving more than 100 children. Realizing the research was outdated , researches decided to give it another look and added a fourth parenting style to the three that were concluded in the 1960's.
The four that now stand as proven parenting types:
1. Authoritarian Parenting
In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules. If asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, "Because I said ." These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children. These parents "are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.
I think every parent in America has been guilty of this type on more than one occasion.
2. Authoritative Parenting
Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. These parents "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.
3. Permissive Parenting
Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. These 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. Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.
4. Uninvolved Parenting
An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child's basic needs, they are generally detached from their child's life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children.
What are the effects of these Parenting Styles?That is the million dollar question. Parents in today's society do not realize the impact of parenting styles. In this world of "Socialnomic" or "Socialnomics" time, everything has changed the way we as mother and fathers parent our children. From being fully involved in social media to falling into the "electronic net" of technology we indulge ourselves with these things and sometimes blow of parenting, so to speak. We buy our children every piece of electronic known to man and in turn it keeps the children occupied and out of our hair. This topic is really for another article but in all actuality it ties together.
The harm that these parenting styles can cause:
· Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence, and self-esteem. Therefore they may allow themselves to be in abusive/submissive relationships or fail to have relationships at all.
· Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable ,successful, and usually willing to help others. This parenting style will also allow for the capability of having a meaningful relationship and be great parents themselves.
· Permissive parenting Styles often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. High school dropouts most likely rate high among children raised by this parenting style and have a hard time holding down a job therefore leading to criminal activity and/or drug and alcohol abuse.
· Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem, become addicted to alcohol or drugs, and are less competent than their peers. Many of the children raised by this parent type will most likely not be capable of having a relationship with anyone and if they do become a parent they will fail miserably. This type of parenting is a big contributor to the prison population. This parenting type as stated, is the lowest and usually favors the worst qualities in each parenting style. Low self-esteem for instance, especially with girls (but not limited to only females) is usually linked to multiple sexual partners (aka a slut) due to the fact they crave the attention in an attempt to make up for the lack of attention they were given as a child. In addition to multiple sex partners, low self-esteem can also lead to eating disorders.
Why Do Parenting Styles Differ or matter?So if it is that clear cut why do we have so many parents that do not follow the authoritative parenting style? Why wouldn't a parent want their child to be happy, confident, and successful? It's simple! Many parents come from different backgrounds and many factors such as culture, family size, personality, upbringing, religion, socioeconomic status, and education level can effect a person's parenting style.
What happens if each parent has a different style of parenting due to their upbringing? This is a tricky one and must be treated delicately as it could cause a lot of arguments in your house. You as the parent will have to figure that one out on your own due to the fact that everyone's personality is different. Best idea would be to sit down and have a serious discussion(preferably before you have kids) and figure out a compromise between the two styles you have. Like I said, tricky. No one wants to raise a successful criminal. (In case you didn't get that, I was referencing combining two parenting styles).I am guilty authoritarian combined with authoritative myself and I am man enough to say that I think I have to work on that a little more. Most parent's do not want to admit they need to work on their parenting styles because it's almost like saying you are a bad parent. It does not make you a bad parent if you recognize it and you are willing to correct it. Being a bad parent is thinking you are a perfect parent ,you do not need improvement, and your children will be just fine. Well, when your kid turns out to be Charles Manson don't start crying to the cameras and saying those famous words "I don't know how this happened".
Do you consider yourself a perfect parent? If not, ask yourself this; what parenting type am I and how can I improve on it to make my childs life a greater experience?