Every parent is different, and every child is raised differently. However, almost all parents tend to raise their children in one parenting style over another. When we consider how our parents raise their children, do we say they know what it takes to properly prepare them for what they will face outside the home? We can say that as parents we try to bring our children up as best we can. A parenting style is a pattern of behavior that influences child-rearing practices. Parenting style can be very simply defined as how a person parents. Parents are sometimes troubled by the fear that their style of parenting may have negative effects on their children. However, research has consistently shown that there is a broad range of acceptable parenting styles from highly structure to permissive. Some parenting styles are more successful than others in encouraging the child to develop independence and self-control. Those that are most responsive to the child, with much more communication, appear to do best. Parenting styles are influenced by cultural and society standards, the parents’ economic position, childhood, character, and the temperament of the child. Most parents could benefit from knowledge and information of these styles to improve their parenting skills. Parenting styles is a model of parental control developed by Diana Baumrind. During the 1960s, psychologist Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool age children. Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other research methods, she identified four important dimensions of parenting: (1) warmth or nurturance; (2) clarity and consistency of rules; (3) level of expectations, which she also terms as “maturity demands”; and (4) communication between parent and child (Baumrind, 1972). In her research she determined that there are three descriptive model of parental control that differentiates parents on the basis of maintaining control over their children. These are authoritarian parenting (a parent-know-best approach or military like obedience), permissive parenting (provides few behavioral guidelines because parents don’t want to upset their children) and authoritative parenting (which blends a caring tone with structure and consistent limit-setting).. Further research by also suggested the addition of a fourth parenting, uninvolved (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Each is described as a style where different levels of parental control, guidance and influence are asserted. These different levels may have a direct association with a specific child or adolescent behaviors and affecting individual’s personal development and ability to deal with the outside world as adults. Parenting styles control the outcome of each individual child and can determine how these children will develop into young adults. Authoritarian parenting involves the parents letting the children know what is expected of them without the parents themselves being responsible enough to play their parental roles through follow-ups. They have a high number of rules, and they handle disobedience by yelling, blaming, or threatening. 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 so.” These parents have high demands and control, but less communication and warmth toward children. This results from being afraid to make decisions and being expected to obey. Children living in authoritarian households don't learn to think for themselves or make good decisions. These children often become rebellious in their teenage years. According to the 1970 British Cohort Study, this study examines the relationship between mothers’ authoritarian attitudes and child behavior using cross sectional data sample survey. Results show a clear linear relationship between the approval of authoritarian childrearing attitudes and the rates of conduct problems at age 5 and 10 (Thompson, A. 2003). Children of authoritarian families may develop low self-esteem because of the feeling that they are not being seen or heard. The constant overruling makes the kids feel that their opinion doesn’t matter. Because of the rigid rules, little space for own opinions and punishments, children of authoritarian families don’t know what they actually like or what they don’t like other than what they are being told is good or bad. Generally, this style lead children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. Unlike an authoritarian approach to child rearing, authoritative parenting seeks to create a home environment where there is enough structure for the children to feel secure, but not so much structure that they become afraid to try anything new or different. The house rules are designed to keep the child safe and also provide a basis for beginning to relate to the world in general. Failure to comply with rules is usually met with forgiveness and nurturing instead of punishment. It is both demanding and responsive, a more democratic level allowing children to ask questions and voice opinions. Children are given choices, encouraged to decide, and accept responsibility for their actions and decisions. An adolescent child benefits from this style of parenting because it allows flexibility and keeps the line of communication open between the parent and the child. This type of style is high in warmth, moderate discipline, high in communication, and expectations of maturity. It is also becoming more pervasive in the West. Studies reinforced the idea that the authoritative parent was the optimal parental style (García, FernandoGracia, Enrique. 2009). Authoritative parents often use inductive discipline, a strategy in which parents explain to children why a punished behavior is wrong. In this tactic, parents point out to the child the consequences of his or her behavior for other people or another person’s emotional state. The use of induction encourages the child to understand the perspective of others and to sympathize with them. Inductions also provide reasons for behaving, or not behaving, in a way that children can remember and use it in later situations. Also because a parent is reasoning with the child rather than hitting or yelling, the child receives a controlled, consistent, and caring model to follow. Children are more likely to develop high self-esteem, positive self-concept, greater self worth, less rebellion, and generally are more successful in life. Permissive parenting, also labeled as neglectful parenting, is high on warmth, very low on discipline and structure, and low expectations. Their main concerns are to let children express their creativity and individuality to make them happy in the belief that this will teach them right from wrong. They do love their children and are highly bonded to them, but they prefer to be their child’s friend rather than their parent. Even when guidelines and standards do exist, they are not enforced. Children who are raised in a permissive home tends to do poorly in school. They have problems with authority that may affect them for the rest of their lives. They rarely accept responsibility for their actions. Emotional immaturity will also probably affect their relationships with others. They are more likely to exhibit such psychological problems as anxiety, depression and more likely to commit violence. Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to perform poorly in school. Finally, the uninvolved parenting style, when compared to the above three parenting styles, tend to be the worst method of parenting. Parents who use this method are normally out of tough with the lives of their children. They are both undemanding and unresponsive. In some cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children. Moreover, the parents normally fail to set limits which ought to be adhered to the children. An uninvolved parent may show no emotion to a child, or dismiss the child's emotions. The parents may be depressed or may be overwhelmed by other problems in their life and may simply not have made any deep emotional connection with their child. When a parent is undemanding and doesn't set behavioral boundaries, the child may feel that the parent does not care. This causes severe emotional damage, irrational behavior, unsocial attitudes and poor grades. The child of an uninvolved parent may have behavioral problem such as antisocial behaviors and substance use. Due to the lack of positive guidance – no parental values, beliefs and expectations, the child may be lead by the wrong type of friends and as a result find him or herself in a destructive path. They show little commitment to providing care for their child. These are parents that do not go to parent teacher conferences, do not sign their children up for extra curricular activities, etc. For example, a parent who is uninvolved in their child’s social life, sets no expectations has allowed their child to do as they please and search for affection and attention in the wrong place. Studies have also shown that uninvolved parenting, unlike authoritative parenting, has a negative impact on a child’s holistic development. Uninvolved parenting style ranks lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. Parents owe good and more responsive parenting to their children. Children also have styles, or temperaments, which goes in hand with their parents’ style, each affecting the other. As a parent to a 5 year old enforce the authoritative parenting style. Inducting discipline is consistently being used in everyday misbehavior. Reasoning with my child for his actions has been most effective to prevent further outbursts. For example, he wants to rent a PG-13 rated DVD as he browses, instead I’d explain the reason he is unable to related to his age and help him find a more appropriate DVD. Good parenting does not necessarily means the usage of any method of bringing up children to be respectful through forceful means and intimidation. It entails constant communication between the parent and the child and ensuring that the child is able to understand the environment in which he or she live in, what is right and what is wrong and why that is so, and the right thing to do in every circumstance the child finds himself or herself in. Generally, all parents and children are unique and not easily categorized. Most will show characteristics of several styles, but over time, one style generally prevails. Love, peace and understanding should therefore be the guiding principle in bringing up children in the family.
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