4 Parenting Styles To Know
Your parenting style can have a deep impact on your child’s entire well-being, from their physical and mental health to how they regard themselves. It is critical to ensure that your parenting style promotes healthy growth and development, since the way you engage with your children will have a profound impact on them for the rest of their lives.
The authoritarian style focuses on control and placing high demands on their children. Authoritarian parents establish high standards for their kids, and focus more on the “stick” rather than the “carrot”. Detailed rules and instructions are given to their children, and non-compliance is often met with feedback in the form of punishment or withholding of privileges. Discipline is held in the highest regard, and positive reinforcement is often eschewed. Micromanaging is a common occurrence in the authoritarian parenting style.
Even though authoritarian parents may seem cold and uncaring, especially due to the fact that communication is often a one-way street, they ultimately have a deep love and concern for their children. However, it is often a case where authoritarian parents are unable to express their love in another way.
The reasons for their authoritarian style could be due to culture, where in some societies it is more common for parents to enforce greater discipline and control on their kids. It could also be due to their own upbringing. They could have been brought up under authoritarian parents themselves (which was even more common in the past), and thus, they too adopt a similar parenting approach with their own children. Lastly, it could also be due to the authoritarian parents’ own emotional makeup, where they have higher degree of stress, anxiety or depression, which in turn manifests itself in their authoritarian approach to their children.
Permissive parenting is a stark contrast to authoritarian parenting in that there are low demands and expectations. Rules are rarely established nor enforced, and discipline is not a priority. Permissive parents are flexible, lenient, relaxed, accommodating and responsive. They position themselves as a “friend” who rewards, rather than as a “taskmaster” who disciplines. Permissive parents openly express their love to their children in many ways, and often reward their kids with gifts and toys to keep them happy.
While permissive parenting allows children a great degree of freedom to be themselves and make all their own decisions, it may lead to them making many poor decisions without understanding the full consequences of them. The lack of accountability may also lead to self-entitlement, poor social intelligence and a severe lack of discipline further down the line.
Uninvolved (or Neglectful) parenting
Uninvolved parenting places very little demands on the children, due to the fact that uninvolved parents are often detached and indifferent to their children’s needs and well-being. There is very little supervision, and uninvolved parents are often too busy or preoccupied with their own problems to be involved in their children’s lives. Uninvolved parents are often unaware of the needs of their children, and thus often do not provide the requisite love, care and affection which their children may need.
The increased level of workplace and societal demands and competitiveness in recent years could be a major contributing factor in causing many parents to lack the resolve to carve out free time to spend with their children. Sometimes, uninvolved parents may be there with their kids physically, but mentally they are preoccupied with matters at work or with other things.
Children of uninvolved parents may exhibit lack of adequate social and emotional skills due to the lack of attention and responsiveness paid to them. They may also have problems forming deep relationships further down the line.
Free-range parenting differs from permissive and uninvolved parenting as it allows the children full freedom of experience, but with the element of safety being fully considered. Free-range parenting encourages spontaneity, focusing on the element of unstructured play. Kids are nurtured to be independent and are gradually given greater responsibility.
Free-range parents allow their kids to explore and even make mistakes. The ultimate goal is to train the children to be independent and self-sufficient. It is to help the children realise their full potential of what they are capable of doing independently, rather than spoon-feeding them or being overly cautious.