What is Your Parenting Style? And Why It Matters.
What is Your Parenting Style? And Why It Matters.
Knowing your parenting style can be the first step toward becoming a better parent. Becoming a parent doesn’t come with a manual. Children can be warm and affectionate one minute and then be demanding and cry the next. It is an ongoing learning process for both the parents and the children. It’s not easy to adjust our parenting styles to the roller coaster of a child’s emotional temperament. The truth is, that we all have our own ingrained personalities, and they can predispose us toward a certain style of parenting. Psychologists have suggested that the way we parent and discipline our children can have a lasting impact on their development. These different four distinct parenting styles are marked by patterns of behavior and communication. It is important to understand how these styles can inadvertently impact your children in order to better address your strengths and weaknesses as a parent. Always remember, that each child is different, and may react and respond differently to each style of parenting. While one method may seem better than the others, what may be nurturing to one child, maybe oppressive to another.
Authoritarian parents overemphasize discipline. These type of parents value justice and obedience above all else. They can become angry or forceful if and when they don’t get obedience and respect. With authoritarian parents, their love and acceptance can appear conditional to the child. Often, they do not see their children’s individuality and independence and relevant to a child’s upbringing. Research has shown that the children of authoritarian parents are predisposed to becoming withdrawn, mistrustful, anxious and unhappy. As a result, their self-esteem often suffers. These children often do not develop the skills they require to self-regulate because they aren’t taught to set their own limits and receive very little feedback from their parents.
Permissive parents overemphasize self-esteem. These type of parents may be supportive and warm but often are not effective disciplinarians. This style of parenting is often characterized by low expectations and high levels of responsiveness There is little in the way of rules, and limited consequences if rules are broken. These children may feel as though their parents are more of a friend than a parental figure. Research has shown that these children tend to have lower self-esteem and struggle academically. They can often blame others for their misfortunes and have difficulties with authority.
Authoritative parents set high expectations for their children while also providing support and guidance. The children are expected to obey the rules and offer consistent discipline if the rules are broken. Authoritative parents communicate their expectations and will provide positive reinforcement when needed. They are sensitive to their children’s needs. If the children misbehave, they respond with firm limits but provide support above overt punishment. A child’s individuality and independence are encouraged. Research has shown that these children are more self-reliant and content. They have good self-esteem and report having a happy childhood overall.
Uninvolved parents make very little in the way of demands of their children. They provide the bare necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter, but are uninvolved in their children’s lives. This doesn’t always mean that there are no rules or guidelines, but they are often basic. Uninvolved parenting can easily border on neglect. They have little to no expectations for behavior and show limited affection. Uninvolved parents are often too consumed with their own personal issues, such as substance abuse, depression, attachment issues, or financial stresses. Often, they do not even realize that they are not providing emotional support to their children. Uninvolved parents prioritize their own wants and needs above that of their children. Research has shown that the children of uninvolved parents often have difficulties forming attachments to people as adults. Academic, social, and self-esteem issues are often prevalent amongst these children.
How can we improve as parents?
What is clear from the research is that children need a balance of discipline and emotional support for their psychological health and wellbeing. Now that you know how your parenting style can affect your children you can adapt your style if you leaned too far toward authoritarian or permissive parenting styles. It is an ongoing process to ensure that your parenting and discipline technique is best for your child and your family. Internationally renowned expert, author, and lecturer on child discipline and attention deficit disorder Dr. Thomas Phelan can help you sort out these important questions.
His life-changing book 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting has helped me to learn how to effectively discipline my toddler by psychologist Dr. Thomas Phelan. This book has taught me how to take simple and effective steps toward positive discipline techniques that have made me a more effective parent. It has provided me with the tools necessary to correct problem behavior, while still fostering my children’s self-esteem, independence, and individuality. I am not spending more quality time with my children, rather than just nagging. I cannot recommend this book enough if you are having any difficulties disciplining your children. It has made me and my children happier. In fact, Amazon is currently running a promotion, where if you sign up for a free trial of audible, you can listen to the book FREE. What are some of your greatest struggles disciplining your children?