PROS AND CONS OF 4 DIFFERENT PARENTING STYLES
Most parents want to promote the well-being of their children so that they can flourish, have good moral, and intellectual character. However, parents wonder how to instill these values and skills into their children. Parenting styles usually fall into 4 categories called authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative. Let’s explore each of these styles.
1. The Authoritarian style. Authoritarian parents are controlling and very strict. They often have unrealistic expectations for their children and require absolute obedience. These parents are high-demanding, but not very responsive. The child will therefore not develop a strong bond with his parents as he fears them. As a result, studies show that children of authoritarian children tend to be timid, have low self-esteem, and lack spontaneity.
2. The Permissive style. Permissive parents, while warm and accepting, make few demands on their children. They have a tendency to be lenient, tend to avoid confrontation, and may worry about thwarting their child creativity. So, they tend to give their children what they want. Some try to compensate for what they did not have themselves as a child: freedom and/or material goods. In return, such parents may implicitly hope for low demand from their children. The children of permissive parents may come to feel entitled to privileges and material goods.
3. The Uninvolved style. The uninvolved parent demands nothing and gives almost nothing in return, except almost absolute freedom. The most frequent explicit and implicit message is “Whatever”. At its worst, it can verge into neglect. By their indifference or inability to deal with their children, uninvolved parents often lead their children to have a lifetime of havoc.
4. The Authoritative style. While retaining authority and control, these parents are warm and communicative. They seek a balance between the wants/needs of their children and their own demands. They use a collaborative approach in which all parties are heard and valued. The goal is to find the best solution for everyone: it is the win-win situation. The parents are demanding, responsive, and assertive, yet not intrusive or restrictive.
Research shows that authoritative parenting balances clear, high parental demands with emotional responsiveness and recognition of the child’s autonomy. The child of authoritative parents typically does well in school, develops good social skills, and avoids problem behaviors.
As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.