The type of discipline you use can have a dramatic effect on your child’s development. Your discipline strategies can have a big impact on the type of relationship you have with your child. The various approaches to discipline can even influence a child’s mood and temperament into adulthood.
Researchers have discovered four types of parenting styles. These different styles are dependent on what the parent feels the child needs from them. As a result, each parenting style uses a different approach to discipline.
The Four Parenting Styles
In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules. If asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, “Because I said so.” These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children.
Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.. 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.
Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation, Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.
An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, they are generally detached from their child’s life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children.
The Impact of Parenting Styles
What effect do these parenting styles have on child development outcomes?
- Authoritarian parenting stylesgenerally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.
- Authoritative parenting stylestend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful.
- Permissive parentingoften results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.
- Uninvolved parenting stylesrank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.
Why Do Parenting Styles Differ?
After learning about the impact of parenting styles on child development, you may wonder why all parents simply don’t utilize an authoritative parenting style. After all, this parenting style is the most likely to produce happy, confident, and capable children. What are some reasons why parenting styles might vary? Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level, and religion.
Of course, the parenting styles of individual parents also combine to create a unique blend in each and every family. For example, the mother may display an authoritative style while the father favors a more permissive approach. In order to create a cohesive approach to parenting, it is essential that parents learn to cooperate as they combine various elements of their unique parenting styles.
Let’s do a small activity:
Shut your eyes and go back to your childhood. Now visualize the parenting style you were brought up with. Do you find it similar to the one you have adopted with your kids?
Most of the times we will find ourselves in our parents shoes…
Do reflect, analyze and then adopt a parenting style or styles which will help you nurture confident individuals.
“The reality is that most of us communicate the same way that we grew up. That communication style becomes our normal way of dealing with issues, our blueprint for communication. It’s what we know and pass on to our own children. We either become our childhood or we make a conscious choice to change it.”
Habiba Kudrati is a career and consulting counsellor who has completed a post-graduate diploma in School Counselling and a Masters in Career and Development Counselling. She is currently with JBCN International School in Mumbai, Parel, as a school counsellor. She also has a private practice in Mazgaon and Andheri in Mumbai.
Habiba Kudrati believes that counselling is a process which enables you to empower yourself to deal with situations, emotions and people effectively. The focus is on empowerment and guidance towards self -development & self – sufficiency.
You can connect with her @ Tel:98921 50552 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org