Parenting is a journey to promote and co-gear the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from birth to adulthood. Your parenting style is then, an amalgamation of strategies that you use to raise your child. The age of your child, his/her temperament along with your cultural beliefs have a strong influence on your style of parenting.
Regardless of these individual and cultural differences, all child-rearing practices globally share three basic tenets:
- Ensuring your child’s health and safety,
- Preparing them for life productively, and
- To rightfully pass your cultural values and belief systems.
The strategies that you use to discipline your children have a huge impact on their subjective well-being. From how your children perceive themselves, to how they connect with others, or how they perform in school, everything is closely linked to your parenting style.
A sneak peek into the concept of Parenting Styles
Four Styles of Parenting and their Impact on Children
Parenting Style I
- Do I put great emphasis on fostering and maintaining a positive relationship with my child?
- Do I mostly attempt to reason with my child rather than bluntly posing rules?
- Do I take my child’s feelings into account while enforcing rules?
- Do I use consequences instead of punishment?
If your answer to these questions was a big bold YES! then you are an Authoritative Parent!
Authoritative Parenting Style
You use reason, understanding, and warmth when interacting with your child especially when your child has broken a rule or has done something wrong. You attempt to direct your child’s activities in a rational, issue-oriented manner and encourage verbal give and take. You also, share the reasoning behind your rules and seek their objections when your child refuses to conform.
Impact of Authoritative Parenting on your Child –
- Children who have authoritative parents tend to have a healthy sense of self-esteem, view themselves as competent, and experience success in school.
- They are emotionally stable and have fewer behavioural or emotional problems.
- Learning from their positive role models i.e; their parents, they effectively manage stress and strive towards their goals.
- They are efficient decision-makers and are good at problem-solving.
- These children grow up to be confident and responsible adults with adaptive coping patterns.
- They are socially competent and easily form relationships.
Parenting Style II
- Do I believe it’s “my way or the highway”?
- Do I think my child should follow my rules without any exceptions?
- Do I believe that my children are too small to understand what’s good for them so they should not have any say in decision making?
- Do I believe that my child should follow rules just because I said so?
If these questions ring a bell, then you are an Authoritarian Parent!
Authoritarian Parenting Style:
You use strict discipline to shape the behaviour and conduct of your child. When your child does something that is not in line with your expectations, you quickly resort to punishment rather than disciplining them. So, instead of teaching your child to make better choices, you are invested in making them feel sorry. You follow a one-way communication approach, wherein, you form the law and the child is solely on the receiving end with an expectation to just obey without asking any further questions. Also, you enforce rigid rules without considering your child’s feelings or even discussing their rationale.
Impact of Authoritarian Parenting on your Child –
- Children of authoritarian parents are vulnerable to developing low self-esteem and other confidence related problems as they continue to believe that their opinion is of no importance.
- Since children live in fear of punishment, they develop anger issues and become liars to avoid negative consequences.
- They may also be withdrawn or inhibited in general leading to poorer social skills.
- This parenting style is based on the premise of being told everything. Due to such spoon-feeding, children often struggle to live independently and don’t have a stand of their own.
- There are significant lags in decision making and problem-solving skills due to high dependence on parents.
- In some cases, children may show a positive impact due to early learning of limits and boundaries which enhances their school performance.
Parenting Style III
- Do I set rules but act leniently when my child breaks them to avoid enforcing the consequences?
- Do I behave more like a friend than a parent?
- Do I believe that my child will learn the best on his/her own without my interference?
- Do I forgive misbehaviour too easily because I believe that “kids will be kids”?
If these questions sound familiar, then you are a Permissive Parent!
Permissive Parenting Style:
You, by all means, are non-punitive. There may be times when you use consequences, but you rarely stick with them till the end. You let everything slide by the moment your child you see your child beg or promise good future behaviour. Deeply invested in your role as a ‘confidante’ or a ‘best friend’ with your child, you don’t curtail your child’s impulses or misbehaviour. You encourage your child to talk about various problems, however, you refrain from disciplining them or discouraging their poor choices. This makes your child feel like the boss in the relationship.
Impact of Permissive Parenting on your child –
- Children of permissive parents may seek boundaries by acting out or indulging in destructive behaviour.
- Permissive parents struggle to limit poor choices, due to which their children often exhibit greater behavioural and emotional concerns as they don’t go well with authority and rules.
- Children may be spoiled, rebellious, defiant of authority, lack discipline, and be demanding.
- They may be more prone to health problems like obesity due to the high intake of junk food in the absence of discipline and poor self-control.
- Children may suffer academically or maybe less focussed on future endeavours as they lack parental guidance.
- They often have low self-esteem and greater feelings of insecurity in their adult relationships.
Parenting Style IV
- Do I usually forget to ask my child about how his/her school is going?
- Do I rarely know the whereabouts of my child?
- Do I not have enough time for my child?
- Do I not show enough warmth to my child?
If you’ve been nodding in agreement with these questions, then you are an Uninvolved Parent!
Uninvolved/Neglecting/Rejecting Parenting Style:
You are almost self-absorbed and detached, often neglecting your child and child-rearing responsibilities altogether. You show little to no warmth and exert no control over your child’s behaviour or actions. The neglect is not always intentional. For instance, in some cases, your mental health concerns or substance abuse-related concerns may make it difficult for you to care for your child’s needs consistently. Regardless, this has a long term impact on your child.
Impact of Uninvolved Parenting on my child –
- Children with uninvolved parents are likely to have poor self-esteem and are usually low on self-confidence.
- They tend to perform poorly in school and exhibit problem or destructive behaviour.
- Children lack self-regulation and social competence which makes it difficult for them to make and sustain friends.
- They are at a higher risk for antisocial behaviour and delinquency as they grow up.
- Children may show strikingly high signs of anxiety, depression, and even restlessness.
- In some cases, children generalize the neglect from their parents to other relations and form a basic mistrustful detachment from the World.
Take Away Message:
Undoubtedly the Authoritative style of parenting, where you consistently use reasoning and positive consequences instead of punishment to discipline your child, is best suited for the optimum development of your child.
Having said that, wherever you placed yourself on the grid of parenting styles, that position, in itself is not a verdict. With dedication, commitment, and persevering efforts, you can positively establish a healthy authority whilst maintaining a harmonious relationship with your child. And over a period of time, your child will begin to reap the perks of that.
Share your unique parenting strategies with us in the comments below.