Parenting Styles

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Parenting Styles
Abstract
This paper analyzes various parenting styles based on research by developmental professionals. The four basic patterns of behavior discussed here are authoritarian, authoritative, neglectful and indulgent parenting with the latter two being classified as permissive. Characteristics typical to each of these styles and their effect on parent and child will be explored in detail. Cultural differences will be discussed and what influences parenting has on education. Behaviorist research will be introduced and examined for comparison to the developmental approach. The research will indicate that about one-third of all parents use authoritative style of parenting. Regardless of the preferred style, varying factors such as culture, the temperament of the child and parent, and parental status will influence the interactive process of that style. Most parents could benefit from knowledge and information of these style to improve their parenting skills.

Review of Parenting Styles
A parenting style is a pattern of behavior that influences child-rearing practices. Approaches vary based on several factors, ranging from how parents themselves were raised to the goals parents have for their children. “Although many advances in social development are prompted by peer interaction, parents’ child-rearing patterns also shape their children’s social competence”. (Feldman, 2000, p. 373) Is there a way to parent children that is better than others? Diana Baumrind is a leading authority on parenting and she believes that parents should be neither punitive nor aloof. Baumrind believes that parents should develop rules for children while at the same time being portive and nurturant. (Santrock, 2001) Classic research by Diana Baumrind concluded that parents fit into one of four basic patterns of behavior based on the dimension of warmth and control. (Strauss, 2002) The four parenting styles that Baumrind say exist are authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting, neglectful parenting, and indulgent parenting. (Santrock, 2001) Authoritarian parents are also known as autocratic parents. 25% of parents today are authoritarian parents. (Chao & Willms, 1998) “Do what I say” is a phrase that could sum up the thinking style of authoritarian parents. (Waitley) According to Strauss, authoritarian parents often: firmly enforce rules, show anger and displeasure, view the child as antisocial, do not consider a child’s opinion, give harsh and punitive punishment, offer little positive support, and limit shared activities (parent and child) Children of authoritarian parents often have similar resulting characteristic. According to Waitley, children of authoritarian parents are often: unable to initiate an activity, have difficulty making friends, have poor communication skills, are coercive, sneaky, demanding, unsympathetic, lonely, withdrawn, comply or defy, and have a poor self-image. Authoritative parents are democratic parents. Authoritative parents make up 33% of all parents. (Chao & Willms, 1998) Their parenting attitude could be summed up with the phrase, “Let’s talk it over.” (Waitley) According to Strauss, authoritative parents often: have rules and expectations that are appropriate for age and ability of the child, communicate rules clearly, firmly enforce rules, do not yield to coercion, consider a child’s wishes and solicit opinions, are warm, involved, and responsive, participate and value joint activities, promote positive self regard, set and enforce educational standards. According to Waitley, children of authoritative parents are: socially competent, responsible, trustworthy, have high self esteem, are cooperative, have a strong sense of self-discipline, are confident, determined, and develop positive relationships with family, friends and others. Neglectful parenting is a permissive form of parenting. 25% of all parents are permissive parents. (Chao & Willms) Neglectful parents are parents who...
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