Parenting Styles

One of the biggest fears adults are often troubled with is the fear that they are parenting incorrectly and that their style of parenting may eventually reap harmful effects on their children.

You learned a parenting style even before your children were born. You observed your parents as a child and you learned to parent your children from them. You also took away certain styles of parenting from other role models and these experiences helped to shape the way you relate to your own child.

It is helpful to understand your own parenting style, and determine if it is effective in leading your child toward the desired goals of being a healthy, independent, productive and responsible citizen.

So, what’s a parenting style? There are many styles of parenting, but they can all fit under three headings: Authoritarian Style; Permissive Style; and Authoritative Style.

Authoritarian Style
Authoritarian parents are very strict and have many rules. The authoritarian parenting style focuses primarily on controlling behavior to meet the expectations of the parents. Authoritarian parents yell, blame, and threaten their children to get what they want. The children are not allowed to express their opinions or ask questions. Because the child’s job is simply to obey, they do not learn to think for themselves or make good decisions.

This type of parenting is rigid and is designed to keep children in a submissive role with little or no freedom.

Permissive Style
Permissive parenting is completely opposite to authoritarian style of parenting. Permissive parents have few rules and do not set consistent limits on their children. Permissive parents often give in to their children and do not enforce rules already in place. This style of parenting opens itself up to confusion and chaos as the family has no structure.

Growing up with permissive parents allows the child to be in charge and do whatever they want in life.

Authoritative Style
Authoritative parenting combines a warm relationship with the child and at the same time it builds structure and guidelines that are enforced when necessary. This type of parenting and relationship with your child is a very difficult balance to maintain and you might not be able to incorporate this style into your family perfectly, but you can get a sense of balance most of the time. Authoritative style means you set up guidelines and a structure that is clearly defined by you, as the parent.

There is flexibility in this structure as opposed to the authoritarian style of parenting which is rigid, demanding and inflexible to change.

Think about which style of parenting you employ. Can you learn a different parenting style?
Yes, you can. And, once you understand the styles and start to understand your children, incorporating a different parenting style isn’t as hard as you might think.


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