Parenting is a delicate matter. Even seasoned parents with multiple children still struggle with parenting. There is no manual, and many learn about parenting as their children learn about the values you instill in them. Parenting can affect your child’s character and behavior extending to adulthood. Children need structure and control to learn and develop their personalities and values. However, parenting can be categorized into four. Each of these types of parenting styles has its advantages and demerits. It is important to know that you can merge different types of parenting styles, and you do not have to rely on one.
For example, there are instances where you need to be strict and lay down the law; there are other times when you can offer a controlled environment for your child to make mistakes and learn from them. While other times you need to be a friend and just be there for your child. All these characteristics are from different parenting styles that we will discuss.
Permissive Parenting Style
With this parenting style, children are rarely given rules, and the parent seldomly enforces rules if they have any. The most prevalent trait of this style of parenting is the parents often overindulge their children and give them everything they want. Parents avoid conflict with their children and settle any issues by going above and beyond to get their children what they want. Permissive parenting is characterized by high responsiveness and low demandingness relationship. The parent gives in to the child’s demands and rarely says no. With this parenting method, it is not uncommon to have children described as spoiled.
Permissive parenting can also be categorized as a friendship relationship between parent and child. While being friends with your child is highly recommended, boundaries still need to be set. It is a great nurturing tool that builds your child’s confidence but often does not prepare them for the real world. Once they grow up, they will find it hard as not everything in the real world will go as they want. Not everyone will give them what they want. It is good to learn such tough lessons early in a loving environment so they can cope with what life throws at them down the line. Even though permissive parenting comes from a good place, it often leads to more work from the parent, which can be frustrating. The frustration can manifest in different and destructive ways.
Authoritative Parenting Style
Many experts state that authoritative parenting is the sweet spot in nurturing children. It helps build confidence and enhances problem-solving skills. Authoritative parenting can be characterized as setting clear rules and expectations while being flexible and understanding. Many parents who use authoritative parenting let their kids suffer natural consequences so they can learn from them. They offer their children a controlled environment so that they can make mistakes and learn from them.
For example, if your child does not study and fails in their exams, this can be categorized as a natural consequence. “You did not study; as a result, you failed. So, what do you do if you want to pass your next exams?” This invokes the child to think critically about their action and its consequences. Authoritative parenting involves open communication, which is a high responsiveness, and high demandingness relationship. This helps children understand why something is bad or good and what they can do to achieve the desired outcome. It helps build self-confidence and self-awareness, leading to critical thinking. It encourages positive reinforcement and encourages self-discipline. The biggest drawback to this parenting style is that it can be a lot of work for both the parent and the child. It requires total commitment to seeing everything through.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Authoritarian parenting can be defined as a one-way street where the parent places tough rules. If the child does not follow said rules, they will be punished with no exceptions. The rules are set in stone, and the consequences are clear. This parenting style does not consider the child’s emotional, social or behavioral needs. It is embodied by the term “because I said so.” It is a high demandingness and low responsiveness relationship, where the child is often to be seen and not heard. The advantage of this style of parenting is complete unquestionable obedience. However, many children often struggle with self-confidence and controlling aggression towards peers. They may become bullies as they believe that that is the only way to communicate and express themselves. Furthermore, they may feel that bullying others is the best way to show authority and get their way, much like the situation at home. However, authoritarian parenting can be useful in some instances. For example, there are situations that require a strong hand. Putting on a helmet or a seatbelt should be a non-negotiable that should be enforced regardless of your child’s feelings.
Neglectful Parenting Style
This is the parenting style where the parent is absent or uninvolved. There is little nurturing, and the kid is left to learn and fend for themselves. The parent is often indifferent to their child’s social, emotional and behavioral needs. It is a low responsiveness, low demandingness relationship with limited rules and engagement between the parent and child. While, in some cases, it might help the child become more independent in the future, it often leads to lower self-esteem as the child may feel unloved and unwanted. They may also lack self-control and start doing petty crimes like shoplifting with the aim of getting attention.
As you can see, there are many parenting styles. Many of these styles can be used simultaneously and when the situation best suits. Even though there is no parenting manual, all parents can strive to raise their kids the best way they know and with love and compassion.