Parenting is a complex activity that includes many specific behaviors that work individually and together to influence youth. A parenting style is defined as a psychological construct representing standards, strategies, and mindsets that parents use in child rearing. Developmental psychologists have long been interested in how parents impact child development. Theories and opinions concerning which ways are most constructive in rearing children, as well as how much time and effort should be invested, vary amidst different people and different cultures. Many parents create their own style by merging selected components from two or more existing parenting methods; these may evolve when the children develop individuality and their own personalities as they move through life’s stages. Moreover, parents often learn parenting practices from their own parents; some may be emulated while others may be avoided. Parenting styles affect how well a family may function as a system, as well as increasing the risk of troubled behavior as the children grow up and move into adolescence. In this essay, I will be explaining the four most well-known parenting styles: authoritative style, authoritarian style, indulgent style, and neglectful style; also, I will briefly explain some of the effects they have on children raised within each style. Keywords: parenting styles, children, adolescents, behavior, effects.
A parenting styles paper would not exist without the historic work of developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind. Diana is credited for the distinction of the three primary parenting styles in her studies: Authoritarian, Authoritative, and Permissive. The correlation between parental behavior and the development of children held a mass amount of significance in her research. Baumrind believed that parents should develop rules for their children but still be an active, stimulating, and affectionate parent. Maccoby and Martin expanded the styles to four by adding neglectful parenting in 1983 (Maccoby and Martin, 1983). These four styles of parenting involve combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand, and demand and control on the other (Santrock J.W. 2007). In addition, it is important to recognize that most parents do not fall perfectly into one category, but fall somewhere in the middle, showing characteristics of more than one style. Authoritative parenting is associated with the child being demanding and responsive. Also referred to as “assertive democratic” or “balanced”, it is parenting that is child-centered and holds expectations of maturity. “They monitor and impact clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative” (Baumrind, 1991, p. 62). Also, authoritative parents may hold high demands for their children, but foster these demands through open communication, induction, and encouragement of independence. Authoritarian parenting, on the other hand, is parenting that is associated with children being demanding but not responsive. Also called strict parenting, authoritarian is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialog between parent and child. “They are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation” (Baumrind, 1991, p.62). Instead of having open communications with their children like authoritative parents, authoritarian parents do not communicate the rationale behind rules; the “because I said so” mentality is at large with authoritarian parents. According to Baumrind (1978), indulgent parents are moderate in responsiveness but excessively lack expectations for maturity, while their tolerance of misbehaviour is relatively low....
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