If you take a look at other parents you know, you’ll certainly realize that each has their own distinct parenting style. Some parents are permissive and flexible, while others are strict and relentless. There are those who instantly rush to their children’s aid and others who practice tough love.
Psychologists have long studied the different approaches to parenthood and their effects on children. If you’d like to find out what your style is, if there’s anything you should change in your approach, and how your parenting can affect your children, keep reading.
What are the four parenting styles?
According to psychological research, there are four main parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and neglectful. The styles describe aspects of parents’ behavior and relationship with their children.
Parents who exhibit a permissive parenting style are lenient and relaxed. They don’t impose rules or discipline their children. Instead, they allow them to do anything they want. For example, they may let their child stay up all night playing computer games or have candy for lunch if they want to.
The children of permissive parents often act entitled since they are allowed too much. They may expect the whole world to comply with their wishes because that’s what they’re used to at home. If they don’t get their way, they sometimes act out and have emotional outbursts. They could also lack responsibility and structure, and exhibit poor decision making. They see their parents as friends, so they may disrespect and dismiss them.
On the other hand, authoritarian parents want their children to follow rigorous rules. They don’t provide warmth and comfort; instead, they are strict, overbearing disciplinarians who expect obedience. They criticize and punish children for failing to meet their expectations. They also make their children’s decisions for them.
Children who are raised in an authoritarian way are often afraid of their parents, so they may obey their rules at home, but act rebellious elsewhere. Because their parents expect them to be perfect and take away their agency, they often have poor self esteem and lack independence. They’re often resentful of their parents and may desperately look for ways to break away from their control.
Neglectful parents are absent and distant, and they don’t provide their children with the attention and support they need. These children are forced to fend for themselves since their caregivers don’t offer affection or guidance. Sometimes, the children’s well-being is seriously endangered by the parents’ lack of interest and effort.
Growing up with uninvolved parents can have serious consequences for the child. These children are more likely to experience mental health issues and substance abuse. They’re also at risk of getting involved in crime.
These parents give their children routine and structure, but they don’t take away their freedom and independence. They are loving and kind without giving up their parental authority. They don’t use harsh punishments to discipline children. Instead, they set clear rules and talk to their little ones to help them understand the consequences of their actions. When children make mistakes, they see it as a learning opportunity.
Since psychologists consider this parenting style to be ideal, children who are raised this way have the best chances to grow up healthy and happy. These children have the best balance of discipline and warmth to thrive. As adults, they’re typically assertive, confident, responsible, and able to establish healthy relationships.
Every parent should aspire to adopt an authoritative parenting style because it provides the best outcomes. To do so, spend quality time with your children by taking them out to play, talking to them, and tending to their needs. Make sure you set the rules and impose them firmly, but not too harshly.