Following are some broadly categorised parenting styles that parents should know to understand the correct approach that fits their case and to establish a connection with their child.
1. Authoritarian parenting style: This parenting style is synonymous with strict disciplinarians. Parents who follow this style want their kids to be disciplined all the time and follow strict rules that are set by them. This kind of parents feel authority over their kids and clearly show it to them by punishing them for their mistakes.
They often set strict rules and don’t make their kids understand the rationale behind them. The phrase “because I said so” is frequently used by parents following this style, to answer whenever their child asks the question of why. These parents generally do not consider the inputs and feelings of their children on a matter. There is a lack of empathetic communication between the parent and the child in this style and the child doesn’t feel ‘heard’.
The parents are not nurturing enough and have high expectations from their children. The rules are less explained and the parent doesn’t negotiate with his/her child. Since the parents do not let their children make their own decisions, children, when they grow up face problems in decision-making. They find it difficult to do anything which is not instructed to them. They also face low-self esteem issues and believe that they are not good enough to meet expectations. They also grow up to be more aggressive with pent up anger for their parents and become less empathetic themselves. Moreover, they may also develop the habit of lying while growing up to escape punishment.
2. Permissive parenting style: These are generally the liberal parents who act more like friends than parents. They allow their children to do what they want and do not restrict them much. They act opposite to the authoritarian style.
They don’t guide their children and let their kids solve their problems. They do not interfere with what their children do and often fail to discourage the bad choices made by them. Punishment is also a rare thing in this style of parenting and they forgive their children easily.
The parents are lenient and they try to have open communication with their children. They are nurturing and empathetic towards their kids but also often ‘spoil’ their kids by letting them do whatever they want. They also have fewer expectations from their kids.
Children who grow up with such parents struggle to stick to rules and also face academic problems. They also may have low-self esteem when they grow up. Since they go unregulated in their childhood, they often develop health problems like cavities and obesity because of bad food choices.
3. Uninvolved parenting style: Uninvolved parents do not tend to know what their kids do and have minimal interest in raising them. They don’t spend time with their children and do not put the effort to ask about their kid’s homework, their friends or their life.
Communication is not open as the parents don’t sit with their children to discuss their problems, to guide them and help them make better choices in life. They may even lack the knowledge or any proper way in which they should raise their kids. Since they are uninvolved, any specific rules aren’t present and they don’t punish their children. They usually also do not have any expectations from their kids. Parents might not do this intentionally and may get busy with their other things like doing a job, handling various requirements of their house, etc.
Children who grow up with uninvolved parents also face self-esteem issues when they grow up. They also tend to suffer emotionally as their emotional needs go unattended in their childhood. They also struggle with their studies and face behavioural problems as they were not bound to follow any rules in their childhood.
4. Authoritative parenting style: Parents who follow this style are usually more reasonable in their approach and are neither too strict nor uninvolved. They generally put effort into building a good relationship with their children.
They clearly define the rules but also try to make their kids understand the reason behind them. They also many times involve their kids’ opinions while framing them. This type of parents takes time to have meaningful conversations with their kids and encourage them to make good decisions. They guide their children in the right direction and consider their children’s feelings.
Since they are not too strict, they allow some kind of flexibility with their kids. They also praise their children from time to time and recognise the good behaviours that their children exhibit. Parents are nurturing and empathetic with their children. While they may have high expectations from their kids, they communicate them effectively to their children and discuss how they can be met.
Children with such parents generally grow up to be confident adults with their own decision-making abilities and sense of responsibility. They tend to be organised and happy in their lives because of their meaningful relationship with their parents.
Which one is right for you
While the authoritative style of parenting is seen to be the most beneficial one, we as parents, tend to opt for various methods belonging to different styles when needed. One might need to be stricter in some situations while more nurturing in others. It is beneficial if both the parents don’t practice the same style as it becomes less effective in determining what works for their child.
Even if you’re not an authoritative parent, you can choose to become one by trying to understand your child, making time for him/her, establishing clear communication and being empathetic. After all, parenting plays a big role in determining what a child will be moulded into as he/she grows up.