Written by: Shani Fowler
As parents we encounter many of the same situations, but we may deal with them very differently according to the style of parenting we have adopted. Experts say there are four types of parenting style and the different approaches can influence a child’s mood and temperament into adulthood. Here we examine the different styles and what each one might bring to the table.
This style of parenting is where the parents establish the rules and the reasons behind them and expect the children to abide by them. This style of parenting makes little or no allowance for children to be involved in setting rules, any negotiation, or any problem solving with any of the challenges faced. Merely the parents expect their set rules to be followed without question all of the time. Though this style of parenting mostly does develop children who are willing to follow rules, there can be self-esteem problems and children may be hostile and even aggressive.
Authoritarian parents may use punishment over consequence discipline. Punishment may defeat the object, instead of teaching a child to learn from their mistakes and manage behaviours and ultimately learning to problem solve it can cause anger and resentment instead.
Some of the signs of this style of parenting include having little tolerance of misbehaviour, trying to actually control your child’s behaviour, trying to cause shame in your child to get him/her to behave, physical smacking and having a “no exceptions to the rules” policy.
Similar to that of authoritarian style, parents set rules that are expected to be followed, but they allow for exceptions to the rule and are more agreeable to considering a child’s feelings when the rules are actually set. They usually use more of a consequence discipline rather than that of punishment and are willing to reinforce good behaviours by using positive consequences too. Children raised this way are more likely to be happy and successful and develop into responsible adults who are at ease expressing their opinion whilst accepting those of others.
This style of parenting offers little in the way of discipline to children. Parents may view themselves more in a ‘friend’ role as opposed to a parent and would be unlikely to dole out any consequences or punishment for bad behaviour unless it was deemed to be serious. Although they may encourage children to talk, they may not discourage any bad behaviour.
Children raised with this style of parenting often have behavioural issues, low self-esteem and struggle academically. Some of the signs of this parenting style include a lack of routine or schedule for a child, apply the value for a child to have freedom over responsibility and failure to issue discipline and/or show consequences to bad behaviour. These parents struggle to be an authoritative figure.
As indicated by the title, this style tends to be neglectful and bears total contrast to the authoritarian style. Children’s basic needs are not met, as well as a lack of nurturing and guidance; almost having to raise themselves. This could be down to parents’ mental health issues or substance abuse, or they may lack knowledge of child development. Not only does there tend to be few or no rules, the parents may be unaware of what their children are actually doing. Children raised under this parental style generally suffer from a lack of self-esteem, are academically below their contemporaries and often display a variety of behavioural problems.
The lines can be moved
A parent might not just come under one umbrella of a parental style all the time. Some situations call for changes or a fusion in style and it can very much depend on the nature of a particular child. Some children are by their very nature are more meek and sensitive and others more head strong and robust which would likely require differing parental styles.
Different strategies may even apply to different children in the same household. It is important to find a strategy that suits your particular child. If you aim to have a child who can ultimately make decisions realising that there are consequences to actions, it can get them to adulthood as a well-rounded individual with high self-esteem whilst displaying acceptable behaviour and have consideration for others.