Whether they are eight or eighteen, they hold a piece of your heart. Being a parent, whether it’s your toddler or teenager, you hold the responsibility of cultivating a nourishing relationship between them and you.
This relationship is significantly defined by your parenting style. How you interact with your child in everyday life shapes both their personality and your peace of mind. Therefore, it becomes essential for you to tread carefully when it comes to parenting.
While each of us is rightfully unique regarding parent-child relationships, having a clear parenting style from the beginning can be extremely beneficial. But what exactly is a parenting style? Who gets to define it, and what does it constitute? Which one is the best? Above all, how can it affect your relationship with your beloved kid?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, keep reading!
What are Parenting Styles?
Perhaps you have a special way of rewarding your child every time they do good on a test, or maybe you have long conversations with them every time they make a mistake. Your daily interactions with your child in their formative years define your parenting style.
Of course, this style is unique for each parent, but certain behaviors that parents exhibit towards children have been categorized broadly by psychologists. The leading work in this field comes from Diana Baumrind, who defined three types of parenting styles based on her research.
Types of Parenting Styles According to Baumrind
- Authoritarian or Disciplinarian
- Permissive or Indulgent
In addition to these, there’s a fourth parenting style that was outlined by Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin:
- Uninvolved Parenting Style
These parenting styles each have their own set of characteristics. To find out which one is closest to yours, examine the next section carefully.
Authoritarian/Disciplinarian Parenting Style
Do you end up punishing your child every time they make a mistake or don’t understand you? Do you believe that children should obey everything parents say without questioning? Is your opinion the only one that matters when you make decisions about your child’s life?
Answering these questions might be difficult for you, but it’s better if you introspect now than regret later. And if your answer to these questions was a resounding yes, you have an authoritarian parenting style.
Authoritarian parenting style is characterized by often-irrational rule-enforcement, lack of reasoned arguments, and outright dismissal of children’s opinions. This style of parenting often tells your child that you don’t respect them, which in turn generates negative feelings and personality traits in them.
Effects on Children:
Children who grow up with authoritarian parents often end up showing aggressing in other facets of life. They channel their anger and rebellion towards their parents in unhealthy ways outside of their family life. They are also often dishonest and feel more comfortable with others rather than at home.
Do you let your children make their own decisions and rarely interfere in their lives? Do you communicate with your child but don’t bother leading them towards conclusions? Do you not impose any strict rules or expectations on your kid?
A positive answer to these questions means you exhibit a permissive parenting style.
Permissive parenting is the exact opposite of Authoritarian parenting. Parents following this style leave their child way too free. They aren’t strict at all and do not lead the kid as they navigate personal issues. Most times, such parents have a friendly relationship with their child.
Effects on Children:
Kids of permissive parents are usually lenient in most walks of life, as they have never encountered discipline’s true meaning. Such children are likely to make bad choices without fear of consequences. They may struggle not only academically but also in personal and professional lives later in their adulthood. Despite all this, however, they may communicate more with their parents.
Do you believe that your child should reason well, question you, and understand you completely? Do you ensure honest communication and rationalize your decisions and punishments? Do you contribute to your child’s life regularly and lead the way when they are stuck in a problem?
If yes, you have adopted an authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parents usually ensure the perfect balance between their opinions and those of their kids. They consider themselves equal to their children when it comes to reason. Moreover, they put extra effort into understanding the mindset of their children and ensure two-way communication at all times. There are punishments for bad behavior, but they are usually justified and mature.
Effects and Children:
Authoritative parenting style contributes positively to children’s lives. Since children of such parents feel nourished and encouraged at home, they turn out to be confident, responsible, and mature adults. They also make well-balanced decisions, both personally and professionally. They also share deep and meaningful relationships with their parents throughout their lives and involve parents in relevant aspects of their academic and personal environment.
Do you rarely take part in your kid’s life? Do you leave them to make all their decisions and rarely talk to them?
You are most likely an uninvolved parent if your answers were affirmative. Uninvolved parents neither participate actively in their children’s social and academic lives nor put much effort into fostering a healthy relationship.
Effects on Children:
Uninvolved parenting style can lead children to have low self-esteem. Such children do not feel comfortable communicating with their parents, and even later in life, they might develop trust issues.
What Should You Do to Be a Better Parent?
Now that you know precisely what parenting styles are and how they are defined, you should put effort into improving yours. Remember, your relationship with your child determines their entire lives. As a parent, if you fail in parenting, you will make your children fail in life. If you believe that your parenting style negatively affects your child, change it today. Take help from online and offline courses, books, and videos to learn new parenting techniques, and give your children and yourself the prosperity you deserve!