The Different Parenting Styles

Developmental researchers are constantly baffled by the connection between parenting and the child’s later behavior. Studies have shown that children that grew up in different household conditions can still grow up having very similar characteristics. However even if that is the case, those specific parenting styles have an effect on the children’s behavior when they grow up. Here’s a rundown of the various parenting styles and what kind of children they are most likely to produce.

Authoritarian Parenting

For an authoritative household, the child is expected to adhere to his/her parent’s very strict rules and guidelines. If there are any lapses on the child’s part to adhere to these rules, then it is meted out with strict punishment no matter what the reason for the lapse may be. Even if the child may ask for the reason why they have to follow those sets of rules and guidelines, authoritative parents decline giving any specific answer. In short, authoritative parents have terribly high expectations, but they are not willing to listen to the children’s side.

In an authoritative household, it might seem very impressive to see children act in a very calm and orderly manner. This might even seem very good for families with young children. On the other hand, since the child is not allowed to think or speak for himself, he will never develop these socially important skills. When faced with problems or decision-making questions, they tend to shy away from these and opt to follow the general consensus. After all, that’s what they were programmed to do – simply follow and never decide for themselves.

Authoritative Parenting

An authoritative household is very similar to an authoritarian household in the sense that both parents might have high expectations for their children. The major difference here is that an authoritative parent will constantly listen and take into consideration the children’s opinion. For example, the child might be too tired to go to soccer practice, but the parent will notice that lately the child has been skipping any form of responsibility and simply hanging out with newfound friends. Instead of caving in or forcing the child to go to soccer practice then and there, the parent will make the child understand about the importance of keeping commitments and then take the child to soccer practice with a promise of a reward after it is over. It might sound difficult and complicated, but once achieved, authoritative parenting is very rewarding for both the child and parent.

Children raised in this type of household grow up to be very confident achievers who are not afraid to make mistakes, since they learn from mistakes and get better each time. In addition, they are also more flexible with regards to gender roles like sensitive men or independent women, since they were raised in a very open environment. It is also important to note that if the children are unable to meet the parent’s expectations, they are met with nurturance and forgiveness rather than punishment so the way they deal with failures is also lenient but serious.

Permissive Parenting

Also called as indulgent parents, these parents only have few conditions for their children. Since they have few demands, they also have few to no expectations at all regarding self-discipline and maturity. In turn, this means that they don’t have any reason to discipline their children no matter what the child does or screws up. This type of parents is more responsive and lenient in the sense that they do not expect any type of mature behavior, and tend to avoid confrontation.

With the parents’ busy schedules and less quality time with children, it’s very easy to fall into this type of parenting. Since they don’t spend as much time with their children, parents tend to go overboard in terms of buying the children what they want or giving them as much freedom as they want. In this sense, the child ends up feeling entitled to getting what they want, not what they need all the time. Permissive parents tend to give in to small battles like the fight for that extra toy or special dessert. However, it leads to bigger problems down the road when the child has problems with authority, talks back to parents, or simply misbehaves against society. If you’re tempted to give in to this kind of situation, think more about the long-term happiness for the child. It might seem painful having to say no or setting limits for your beloved children, but this is for the best – their future.

Hands-off Parenting

Hands-off parenting involves letting the child learn through experience. They are allowed to make their own decisions, make mistakes, and recover from those mistakes all by themselves. It can be very difficult to discern properly when children are allowed to make mistakes on their own accord or if they need guidance at some point. The major problem with this parenting style is it may be because of the parent’s stress rather than the child’s needs. For example, when a parent comes home tired from a long day at work and the child is eagerly waiting for help on their homework, the parent can easily postpone or delegate the task to someone else. Once this kind of situation happens too often, it can easily undermine the child’s determination to do well in school. Hands-off parents could argue that this is letting the child be more independent. However in this time, the child was not asking for help, but just asking for guidance on what to do or where to begin with.

It can be very beneficial for the child in the long run if they are allowed a greater deal of independence. After all, parents are raising their children to be very good adults. However next time the child asks for help about issues around school or responsibility, it’s not actually the child being all whiny and overly dependent, but asking for guidance. Of course, hands-off parents don’t have to indulge every single thing the child needs but help them build a bridge to independence on their own by breaking down their problems into smaller steps so they can handle it on their own with ease.

After reading about the different parenting styles and their effects on the child’s behavior, you might wonder why everyone doesn’t simply become authoritative parents. However, there are some factors that lead to these differences like personality, culture, parental background, family size, religion, socioeconomic status and even educational level. Of course, the parenting styles of the individual parent also create a unique style for each family out there. For instance, the mother could adapt to a more authoritarian approach, but the father may go for a permissive style. For their parenting to work, both parents need to facilitate a unified method of parenting. Both parents need to learn to work with each other while they try out different elements from their different parenting styles. Also it’s very important to remember that nobody is perfect, so if the road gets tough or the parent might make mistakes, getting back on the road is more important.