Each parent has a different manner of raising his/her little one. Whether to give in to your child’s tantrum: chocolate first, then dinner? Or to let him cry? Or simply leave him alone? Or come to a compromise? These are very common dilemmas and each parent will choose different option in these situations. The parenting style is influenced by the socio-cultural background, family traditions, education, religion etc. A lot of parenting styles have been identified, such as helicopter, attachment, spiritual and toxic etc. But experts and studies have derived four basic styles of parenting: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Uninvolved.
What Are The Components of Parenting Styles?
Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist extensively researched parenting behaviour and classified parenting styles as above. Parental responsiveness and Parental demandingness are the two elements that determine parenting style.
Parental responsiveness: It is the extent to which the parents attend, support and respond to their children’s need (including emotional)
Parental demandingness: The extent to which parents exert control over their child with regards to their expectations and discipline
A gist of parenting styles in above terms:
Authoritarian: High in demandingness, low in responsiveness
Authoritative: High in demandingness, high in responsiveness
Permissive: Low in demandingness, high in responsiveness
Uninvolved: Low in demandingness, low in responsiveness
Identify Your Parenting Style
Authoritarian parenting: These are the no-nonsense kind of parents. Their words are children’s command and invite punishment if not complied. They expect their child to follow them blindly and not question them. The parents are conservative and observe strict family rules. Threats and punishments are frequent so that the child abides the rules and behaves well.
Pros Of Authoritarian Parenting:
Very obedient, disciplined kids
Adapt very well to situations in control of authorities. They rarely break rules or play pranks
Excellent academic performance, appropriate social demeanor and emotional control
Cons Of Authoritarian Parenting:
Not very happy kids with low self-esteem
Just strive towards the goal, without any social competence
Since the parents do not indulge in explaining the rules or punishment to the child, he may never learn the logic behind these
Kids may be weary of discussing anything with the parents due to their critical nature
Easily give up on challenges and may exhibit aggression
Authoritative parenting: The parents practicing authoritative parenting can be best visualized as a coconut – harder outside, softer inside. They establish rules and believe in disciplining the child. The boundaries are set and any impending punishment is mentioned if the limits are crossed. Although the punishment may not actually be imparted. They appear to be quite strict with discipline however can be flexible. This parenting style is believed to be the most successful in terms of raising academically and emotionally stable children.
Pros Of Authoritative Parenting:
The parents involve children in the discussion but it is clear that the parent’s words will be binding
Have a supportive rather than punitive approach
Guide children in resolving issues, so they feel secure and are on the right track
With parent’s support, child develops into a socially confident and goal-oriented individual
The thoughtful application of positive reinforcements in the form of praise or rewards are used to define desired behaviors
Since everything can be discussed and modified, there are less chances of arguments in the family
Cons Of Authoritative Parenting:
In the event of disagreement, the parent may take on a more authoritative role, thereby tarnishing the image of a friend
The child may become aggressive and overpower the parents to fulfil his wishes. This is because there is more room for argument and this might as well lead to logical crackdown!
Permissive parenting: Also known as Indulgent/Non-traditional parenting. This type of parenting can be associated with “leniency”, where the parents pose more as friends than authority figures. They are quite laid-back when it comes to disciplining the child or confrontations. There are no regulations or boundaries for the child. This maybe out of guilt that they are unable to spend much time with the children. Therefore fulfilling every wish of the child is a way to make up for the work commitments etc.
Pros Of Permissive Parenting
Children feel important and loved
Easy two-way communication between the parents and child – easily approachable parents
Increases the self-esteem of child
Child may feel free and confident in discussing his woes with you, particularly during troublesome teenage years
Strict rules and discipline are perceived as hindrance to child development
Children are treated as equals and involved in decision making process concerning the family
Cons Of Permissive Parenting
Passes on the message to the child that he can have everything he wants – the idea of having something according to the need is not implemented
Fulfilling every demand is going to wipe off the patience and self-control of the child
Higher instance of back talking to parents, sticking to tantrums, emotionally blackmailing the parents
Since children are raised with so much freedom, making own choices, setting up own schedules, they may find it difficult to adapt to situations which requires discipline. Particularly in hostels and places where you cannot have your way
Such children often turn out snobs, unable to share their stuff
These children often face difficult time in school and workplace
They can easily misuse the freedom given to them
With no set frame of rules, the child will always be testing his limits. And the parents will be worried as to whether what he is doing is correct or not?
Uninvolved (neglectful) parenting: There are no rules and the kids are expected to grow up themselves. Parents may not have any expectations from the child or very low, if any. They are rarely bothered about child’s emotional needs. They may or may not be involved in school performance and rather remain detached.
Pros Of Uninvolved (neglectful) parenting
Children learn through their experiences
They become accustomed to facing problems alone and identifying solutions
Child grows up to be an independent individual
Cons Of Uninvolved (neglectful) parenting
Impulsive, snappy attitude
Unable to tolerate authority – do as they will, because that’s how they have been raised
Children may feel unwanted, unloved and unguided
If basic emotional needs of the child such as attention and love is not provided, he may develop into a problem child, an arrogant teenager and further behavior problems
Often it’s not possible to simply stick up to one parenting style. We are prone to oscillate between the above styles as per the circumstances – adding or subtracting to your basic parenting skills. The key is to adopt positives from all styles to maintain a balance between discipline and love.