Their Effect on Children
January 24, 2012
Each parent has their own parenting style comprised of instinct and how they were raised. Parenting a child goes beyond conception. Children require attention, a sense of security, and love.
Parenting Styles and Their Effect on Children
There is a woman in Wal-Mart shopping for groceries. She is a mother with of kids ranging in age from two to ten. The four-year old grabs a pack of cookies off the shelf and places them in the cart. Her mother notices and asks her to put the cookies back. The little girl stomps her feet and begins to scream “I want cookies!” at the top of her lungs. The other customers stop and stare, anticipating her mother’s reaction. Taking advantage of the crowd, the little girl launches into a full-blown temper tantrum. Feeling the eyes of strangers watching, the mother desperately tries to calm her daughter down. When all else fails, the mother gives in. How should the mother have handled it? What does this say about her style of parenting? “The idea of being a parent is exciting but it's a little scary; what if you get it wrong? There's so much you have to know and so many things you have to decide” (Gurian, 2011). Parenting is arguably the toughest, yet most rewarding full-time occupation. There is no universal manual on how to raise the perfect child or how to be the perfect parent. Parents are responsible for raising a child from birth to adulthood. How a child is raised differs from household to household. What works in one family may or may not work in another. Parenting styles can be based on culture, socioeconomic status, or the kind of parenting the parent received as a child. In the 1960s, a psychologist by the name of Diana Baumrind studied more than one hundred preschoolers. Baumrind identified four significant dimensions of parenting through naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other various research methods. They are warmth and nurturance, communication styles, expectations of maturity and control, and disciplinary strategies (Cherry, 2011). Baumrind is also responsible for identifying the three main parenting styles. Based on her research, others were able to come up with a fourth and highly unfavorable style of parenting. The four styles of parenting are authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, negligent or uninvolved parenting (Cherry, 2011). An authoritarian parent enforces rigid rules and demands strict obedience to authority. Children raised in authoritarian households are expected to accept without question what the parents tell them (Coon, Mitterer, Talbot and Vanchella, 2010, p.91). An authoritative parent is similar to an authoritarian parent when it comes to enforcing rules and establishing guidelines. The children are expected to abide by these rules and guidelines. However, an authoritative parent allows the child to voice his or her opinion making this style more of a democracy than a dictatorship. The child is allowed to make mistakes without the guilt of disappointing the parents. Permissive parents demand very little of their children and rarely discipline them. They are more of a friend than a parent to their child (Cherry, 2011). Negligent or uninvolved parents are unresponsive, uncommunicative, and have few demands. They fulfill the basic needs of children – food, shelter, clothes—but are emotionally detached from their child’s life. They have very little knowledge of what goes on in the child’s world. What effect does the parenting style have on children? Diana Baumrind (2012) researched the qualities of children based on the parental style in their home. Her results are as follows: Authoritative Parenting:
•lively and happy disposition
•self-confident about ability to master tasks
•well developed emotion regulation