Parenting styles refer to a set of strategies that parents adopt to raise their children. The approach used during the parent-child interactions have a life long impact on the child. The parenting styles can be rigid, permissive or even range between the two. Just like how parents are unique, so is the parenting style followed by them. No two sets of parents may find the same style appropriate. However if your preference varies from that of your partner, do remember to have a discussion with him/her regarding this. But, do not opt to have this discussion in front of your child.
There are three key parenting styles. They are:
Understanding the characteristics of each parenting style and its impact on children can help you find the one that is just right for you. You may have to even try out different parenting styles before you make the final choice.
Not all the characteristics or outcomes of each parenting style would be present in each case. It would vary from family to family, parent to parent, child to child and environment to environment.
Parents who adopt the Authoritarian style of parenting exert full control over the child and do not allow him much freedom. The strict rules that these parents enforce on their children deprive the child of the parents' warmth, love and affection. Such parents also set very high expectations for children and failure to meet them results in high criticism. Rather than praising the child for good behaviour, the focus is on scolding the child for bad behaviour and not sticking to the rules. These parents may also expect their children to act more mature than their age.
Authoritarian parents do not focus on the “Why to do”. Instead they prefer to follow the “What to do” approach. If the child asks his parents why he should do something, he may be given the answer “Because I told you to do so.” Children do not get a chance to make decisions or choices.
An example of Authoritarian Parenting Style: If your child snatches a ball from her friend, you say “Give that ball back to your friend at once.”
Authoritarian parenting style has a drastic impact on the overall personality and behaviour of the child.
Parents who adopt the Permissive parenting style of parenting give the child full control to do as he pleases. They do not set any rules and regulations for the child to follow. If at all any rules are set, they are not consistently adhered to. No expectations are set to guide the child into socially approved behaviour. They show the child their love without correcting him in any way. These parents give their child far too many choices even when the child does not have the ability to make a good choice.
Permissive parents accept both good and bad behaviour of the child without any comments on it. They do not tell the child how he will benefit or suffer due to a particular behaviour. Such parents may not have confidence in their ability to change the child's misbehaviour.
An example of Permissive Parenting Style: If your child snatches a ball from her friend, you say “You decide what you should do.”
Like the Authoritarian parenting style, the Permissive parenting style can also have a drastic impact on their overall personality and behaviour due to lack of proper guidance.
Parents who adopt the Democratic parenting style of parenting let the child take control of himself based on the situation. Motivation is the key mantra of these parents. They help the child to grow up to be a responsibe and respected member of society. They set clear expectations for the child, and also shower him with love and affection. These parents give more importance to praising the child for his good behaviour rather than scolding him for a bad one. Also, they focus on guiding the child through teaching and not punishing. While these parents are firm with their child, they are also consistent. If a punishment is given, parents also explain the reason for this. Such parents follow the give-and-take policy and are friendly with their children.
Democratic parents do not focus on the “What to do”. Instead they prefer to follow the “Why to do” approach. If the child asks his parents why he should do something, he is told the outcome of carrying out the actions appropriately. These children are given age and ability appropriate choices. They also get involved when rules are set for them and chores are assigned to them.
An example of Democratic Parenting Style: If your child snatches a ball from her friend, you say “I know you like to play with balls. Why don't you talk to your friend about sharing it with her?”
Children raised using the Democrative parenting style exhibit positive outcomes on their overall personality and behaviour due to proper guidance by their parents.
Although there are many parenting styles, there is only one key to a successful one. And that is to develop a warm and affectionate loving bond with your child.
Have you identified that democratic style of parenting yields the best results? If YES, you are on the right path.