Ready to Find Your Parenting Style?
Have you ever asked yourself what type of parent you are? What type of parenting style do you use? Has your parenting philosophy changed since you had children? I bet it did.
I’m sure you (just like me and all the others) were a parenting expert before your child came along. But did having your child serve you some humble pie?
Do you even know what to identify with nowadays with all the fancy terms flying around? Are you a crunchy mom, a silky mom, attachment parent, free-range parent, helicopter parent? My head is spinning listing off all these trendy and non scientifically based parenting styles. So without further ado, let’s simplify and talk about the 4 classic parenting styles based on the work of a developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind.
- Authoritative – characterized by high demands and high responsiveness. These type of parents set high expectations for their children. But they are consistently warm and responsive. They set and enforce rules but also push for independence. They are affectionate with their kids.
- Authoritarian – characterized by high demands and low responsiveness. These types of parents also set high expectations but demand obedience and no explanations (“because I said so”). Punishments are often used to exact behavior and children’s needs are often ignored.
- Permissive – characterized by low demands and high responsiveness. These types of parents are often uncomfortable setting and enforcing rules. They are very warm and indulgent towards their children but don’t set many expectations.
- Neglectful (uninvolved) – characterized by low demands and low responsiveness. These types of parents don’t set many rules and don’t expect them to be followed. They are often not responsive to their children’s needs and wants. Often these types of parents are suffering from mental health issues or have had a neglectful or abusive upbringing.
As you can see, psychologists concern themselves more with the parents’ responsiveness to their children’s needs than with feeding them organic only. But that comes with no surprise, as psychology is primarily concerned with the mental and emotional impacts of our environment.
As you read the definitions of the parenting types, you may find yourself wondering whether one style of parenting is better than others. And the answer to that is yes and no. I, personally, believe that the authoritative parenting is the the optimal parenting style. But it is a style that may be culturally inappropriate for some people.
For some cultures, results are what matters. Results are typically easier accomplished with the authoritarian style. And in other cultures, setting boundaries and strict rules may be seen as a limit of the personal expression of a child. So a permissive style might be more appropriate.
But in order to have you be able to make the decision on the parenting style for yourself, I will leave you with some typical outcomes associated with each parenting style.
- Authoritative – typically leads to children who rate higher on self-esteem, are independent and successful.
- Authoritarian – typically leads to children who are obedient and capable but they rate lower on self-esteem, happiness and social competence.
- Permissive – typically leads to children who have issues regulating their behavior and rate lower on happiness. They often perform poorly in school and have issues with authority.
- Neglectful (uninvolved) – tends to lead to children who have issues with self-esteem, poor performance and lack of self-control.
What type of parenting style will you choose?
Quote of the day
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” – Frederick Douglass
Mental Health Tip of the Day
Being a good parent is exhausting but remember that your children don’t care about your definition of good parenting, they care about memories they create with you. Try to create lasting memories through experiences with them every day. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Sometimes watching a butterfly with a parent creates more magic than an expensive gift.