Parenting styles influence how children behave and how they feel about themselves. It’s important to follow a style that supports healthy growth and upbringing, as these interactions will stay with your kids their whole lives.
According to ParentingTipster.com, there are four main parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Let’s find out what each approach entails so that you can adapt the one your child responds to best.
The Four Parenting Styles
What are the four main parenting styles characterized by? Let’s see if you can now put a name or names on the style or the combination of styles you’ve been using. This could even be an opportunity to change your current style to benefit your children.
The main thing is to go for a healthy style that encourages growth and positivity.
If you’re someone who believes kids don’t have any business being heard, is adamant your rules (and only your rules) are followed, and doesn’t consider your child’s feelings, you’re likely raising children as an authoritarian.
“My house, my rules” and “Because I said so” are some of the go-to responses of authoritarian parents to their child’s inquiries about rules. In many instances, a child may even earn a harsh stare or a thorough telling-off for even daring to question the rules in the first place. For these types of guardians, there is no room for negotiation; there is only obedience.
An authoritarian parent also doesn’t take too kindly to a child who so freely expresses their opinion of something, even if that something is an issue a child is directly involved in. For them, the rules and the consequences for breaking them are enforced with little to no regard to what the child has to say.
Punishment rather than discipline is more the way of authoritarian parents than anything else. Instead of telling kids what they’re doing is wrong and teaching them to learn from their mistakes, they’ll make them sorry every time they mess up.
Authoritative parents are those who put effort into creating and maintaining positive relationships with their children. They set rules but explain the reasons behind them. While this parental approach is not beyond disciplinary action, parents who practice it tend to put their child’s feelings into consideration when doing so.
So, unlike an authoritarian, an authoritative parent regards their child’s opinions highly. These parents are invested in validating their kids’ feelings from a young age. They also take a more preventative approach to challenges, addressing an issue before it goes out of hand. This is the opposite of how an authoritarian would just punish children for their mistakes, not having paid attention to how these mistakes were a long time coming.
Permissive parenting is characterized by leniency and as little as possible parental involvement. So, while parents may set rules, they aren’t likely to enforce them. They tend to give kids a free pass for reasons related to immaturity, thinking children learn best when parents don’t interfere as much.
That said, even permissive parents know to step in when a problem gets serious. The rest of the time, though, they are likely to maintain their “kids will be kids” approach, which doesn’t tend to bode well for ingraining lessons. These are parents who easily give in when their child begs to lift a punishment earlier.
In a way, permissive parents want to be known as the “cool parents.” Rather than being seen as someone to respect and “fear,” they’d rather be their child’s friend. Of course, the good thing is children won’t hesitate to open up about their problems in this kind of parenting situation. And the bad? Well, these guardians don’t put “reprimanding bad behavior” high on their priority list. So, yes, their kids get off the hook most of the time.
This style is also likely to make kids dislike rules and authority. Thus, by the time they become teenagers, they’ll feel like no one really has their back and may feel profoundly sad about it.
On the opposite side of the spectrum of parenting extremes is uninvolved parenting. It’s when parents appear like they couldn’t care less about their child, though whether or not that’s true is beside the point.
Uninvolved parents tend to not know if their children are doing well in school, if they’re safe, or if they have problems they need help solving. On the off chance they are aware of how their children are, it’ll usually be the bare minimum.
While these parents aren’t beyond setting rules, don’t count on their rules to be detailed or enforced. Children tend to be on the receiving end of minimal nurturing, attention, and guidance in this type of parenting circumstance.
Find the Right Balance
Parents rarely fall under just one category. You could be an authoritative parent when it comes to some things and a permissive one when it concerns others. Whatever the case, it’s important not to entertain parental guilt. You’re a work in progress, and all that matters is you do your best to find the right balance.