If you’ve ever read books, magazines, or web articles on parenting, you’ve probably heard the term parenting style.
Why is parenting style important?
Parenting includes many specific behaviors and actions that influence the outcome of a child. Although these specific parenting behaviors may influence a
it’s misleading to look at any one behavior or action by itself. The broad parenting pattern is more important in predicting a child’s well being than specific parenting practices.
Researchers have found convincing links between parenting styles and the outcome of children. Of course it’s difficult to pinpoint cause-and-effect links between specific parental actions and the future behavior patterns or personalities of their children. But generally, parenting style provides a reliable predictor of a child’s well-being, including social competence, academic performance, psychosocial development, and problem behavior.
In the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on preschool-age children, and she identified four important dimensions of parenting:
• Disciplinary strategies
• Warmth and nurturance
• Communication styles
• Expectations of maturity and control
Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that most parents display one of three different styles. Research conducted since the 1960’s have suggested the addition of a fourth parenting style.
Today, parenting styles are generally grouped into the following four broad categories.
The Four Parenting Styles
Authoritarian parents have a lot of control over their children and expect their kids to follow their strict rules at all times, often without providing them any options or choices. When their children do not follow the rules, they are usually punished. And authoritarian parents usually do not explain the reasons for their rules. If asked to explain, the parent might just reply, "Because I said so." They also tend to be highly critical, and don’t express much warmth or affection.
Results of Authoritarian Parenting
Children with authoritarian parents usually:
• Are rule-followers, and tend to perform pretty well in school.
• Do not learn to think for themselves or understand why they should behave in a particular way. They just do as they are told.
• Have poorer social skills and self-esteem, and higher levels of depression.
Like authoritarian parents, authoritative parents set rules and guidelines and expect their kids to follow them. But these parents are much more democratic; they are usually open to discussing their rules with their children, and explain to their children the reasons they are expected to behave in a particular manner. When their children do not follow the rules, authoritative parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.
Results of Authoritative Parenting
Children with authoritative parents usually:
• Are generally happy, capable, and successful.
• Learn to be responsible and to think about the consequences of their behavior.
Permissive parents, also referred to as indulgent parents, do not make many demands of their children. These parents do not discipline their children very often, nor do they expect much of them in terms of self-control. Permissive parents are usually nurturing and communicative, and they often act more like a friend than a parent.
Results of Permissive Parenting
Children with permissive parents usually:
• Are more likely to have problems with authority and to perform poorly in school.
• Are not as happy.
• Tend to be more creative.
Like permissive parents, uninvolved parents do not make many demands of their children. But unlike permissive parents, they are not very nurturing and do not communicate well with their children. Uninvolved parents usually meet their children's basic needs, but they are often detached from their child's life.
Results of Uninvolved Parenting
Children with uninvolved parents usually:
• Perform poorly at school.
• Tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem, and be less competent and happy.
Establishing Your Parenting Style
Determining which parenting style is best for your and your child is an important task. And it's not as complicated as it might sound. It involves merely becoming more aware of the effects your behavior has on your child, and, when necessary, modifying your behavior. Click here for more information about
establishing your parenting style.