Parenting can be the most interesting task any human can take up. Especially, when you look at it from a psychological perspective. Two kids raised in the same home can grow up with completely different personalities, while two kids raised in a different environment can grow up to have the same personality. How does that happen? Parenting styles have a lot to do with them because how a child is raised, can create specific changes in their behavior.
The 4 parenting styles explained
1. Authoritarian parenting style
Children raised in this style of parenting are expected to follow rigid rules at home. Not following the established rules results in punishment. Parents don’t give reasons behind the rules, nor the punishment. If the kids were to ask, “Why do I have to do that”, they would simply be told something to the effect of, “Because I said so.” The parents following this style are very demanding and expect their kids to not make any errors. They are very dominating and dictatorial.
2. Authoritative parenting style
This may look similar to authoritarian parenting style, but there are some small differences. While parents who follow this model do establish rules for their kids, they are also willing to listen to their kids and answer their questions. They have high demands from their kids too, but they are much warmer with their approach and they provide support and feedback. When children make mistakes, these parents tend to forgive instead of punishing. They are assertive, but not restrictive.
3. Permissive parenting style
These parents have very few demands from their kids and rarely discipline them. They are okay with issues resulting from immature behavior and lack of self control. They are lenient and don’t like confrontation. Parents following this parenting style are nurturing and talk with their kids freely. They are often more of a friend to them than a parent.
4. Uninvolved parenting style
These parents have little to no demands from their kids and are non-responsive their questions. They also don’t communicate much with them. They do fulfill the basic needs of children, like provide them with food, clothing and shelter, but they are emotionally detached from them. They don’t offer guidance or moral support. In some cases, they may completely neglect their kids and not even provide for any kind of need.
What effects do these styles have on the kids?
Children raised in any of these 4 styles, grow up with very different personalities. It is true that every action has consequences. This is especially true in how parents engage with their kids on a day-to-day basis.
- Children raised in authoritarian styles grow up to be obedient, but they rank low in the happiness scale and even self-esteem. They are also socially awkward.
- Children raised in an authoritative parenting environment grow up knowing why right is right and why wrong is wrong. They are obedient and adept, but also happy and successful with a healthy dose of self-esteem.
- The permissive parenting style results in kids who don’t rank well on the happiness scale or in self-control. They often have trouble with following rules and also perform badly in school.
- Children raised with an uninvolved parenting style aren’t happy and have very low self-esteem. They are less competent than their peers and don’t have good self-control.
As you can see above, the authoritative parenting style leads to the best behavioral outcomes. Since children view their parents as fair, they are more likely to follow rules because the rules come with explanations too. Instead of following rules just to avoid getting punished, they know why these rules are important. They also trust that their parents would listen if they were to make mistakes.
There are limitations though. Like in all cases, there are kids who don’t fall neatly into these categories. For example, you might see a child raised under authoritative parents, who grows up and engages in bad behavior. While permissive parents may end up with very confident kids. A lot of it varies by culture too.
However, it does give parents a general understanding of how their behavior might affect their children’s personality. Many families might have one parents who is more permissive than the other. In cases like that, it is important to come up with a blend of parenting techniques that is cohesive and doesn’t send mixed signals to the child. There are a lot more parenting styles now like “helicopter parenting” and “free-range parenting”, which are both derivatives of the original four. Knowing which style you mostly follow can give you the foresight to make better decisions. At the end of the day, we all want our kids to turn out great.