What parenting style do you apply to your children? What type of parent are you?
It is interesting how there are many ways of raising children and at the same time, how parents share some types of parenting strategies. The styles of parenting paths are so common that experts have grouped them into four major styles.
Simply put, your parenting style is determined by analyzing the combinations of strategies you use to raise your children. Research shows that strategies determine the success potential of your child.
The impact of children is so big that we feel it even before they are born. We start doing things differently. From financial planning to diet and social norms. One thing we are not prepared for is disciplining our children.
No one warns you of the challenge of raising a successful, mindful, respectful and confident child. Friends and family gather at the gender reveal with gifts and smiles but not even one of them gives you a clue of how hard it can be.
Even if you have other children, we are often caught by surprise with every newborn child. This is because all children are amazing, with their own personalities. So, you settle to learning ón the job.’
This is the one guide that will help you become the best parent you can be. It will arm you with parenting solutions and tools that will prime your child for success in life.
By the end of this parenting article, you will know how to raise your children to be confident, ambitious and disciplined while maintaining a sense of empathy and respect.
We will help you deal with;
• Tantrums and meltdowns.
• Creating an emotional connection with your child.
• Sex talks with teen.
• Bedtime issues.
• Bedwetting and potty problems.
• Separation, divorce and shared custody.
• Allowances and chores.
• Academic discipline.
• Anger and entitlement.
• Social media and technology problems.
• Trolling and bullying.
• Healthy diet and exercise.
Read on to figure out the best parenting styles to use on your children. By the end of his article, you will know how to reconnect with your children, establish your position and arm them with life-long success tools.
What Is My Parenting Style? Four Types of Parenting
Are you relaxed with rules or are you strict? Do you address disobedience on the spot or do you wait for a later time? Are you a yeller or do you whisper your instructions out?
What is a typical day at your house? At what time do your children go to bed? Who sets the rules in the house?
No matter the problems you are going through in your home, you are not alone. You will be surprised to know just how many parents go through similar situations.
Over the years, I have met parents who are on the brink of falling into child-related chronic stress. It is not uncommon to find children sending their parents into a limbo of emotional and mental chaos.
I once met this couple who came to me for parental advice, after they realized, they were on the edge of a divorce. Their children had driven a wedge between them. I had a hard time convincing them that their situation is not unique. Even scientific studies have proved that parenthood kills romance.
Imagine leaving work in the evening and coming to a clean and tidy home after your children have done their chores. Picture your children in bed by 8:30 pm, without a struggle. Envision your kids disciplined, healthy and happy?
Read on to see how Baumrind parenting styles affect your children.
What are Baumrind parenting styles?
Baumrind parenting styles are commonly applied in child psychology today. They are primarily based on the works of Diana Baumrind, a re-known developmental psychologist at the University of California in 1960. In the 1980s, Maccoby and Martin refined the model to what it is today.
The Baumrind parenting theory explains that there is a close link between a child’s behavior and the type of parenting style. Different parenting styles cultivate varying personalities and characters in children.
It all started when Baumrind observed that pre-schoolers manifested extensively different types of behavior. After thorough research, analysis and interviews, she was cognizant of three parenting styles; authoritarian, authoritative and permissive.
Later, in 1983, Maccoby and Martin expanded Diana’s works into four parental styles. Additionally, through research, they stretched the permissive parenting style into two different types; permissive (indulgent) and neglectful (uninvolved).
What are the 4 types of parenting styles?
Authoritative Parenting Style
Parents who opt for the authoritative style are otherwise, known as disciplinarians. In this level, parents and guardians exhibit warmth, love and explanation towards their children but also instill a high sense of discipline. The idea is that children are given explanations to help them fathom how to develop correct behaviors and effective decision-making.
Characters of an authoritative parent:
• They explain rules and reasons for discipline to their children.
• There is frequent communication, with regards to the child’s cognitive development.
• They are nurturing to their children.
• They express a high expectation of success, discipline and respect in their children.
• There is a sense of warmth, love and affection.
• They encourage independence while ensuring an impactful presence in their children’s lives.
• Children have better social skills.
• There is a lower risk of children developing mental illness, depression or stress.
• The kids are more confident.
• Increased potential for high academic performance.
• Lower chances that the child will grow to be a criminal or delinquent.
Authoritarian Parenting Styles
This approach insists on strict disciplinary measures without forming a connection with your child. In short, you are your child’s boss and you control their every move. These types of parents do not give their children any type of control. On the flip side, there are no emotions, warmth or explanations for rules or punishments.
Characters of an authoritarian parent;
• Strict on discipline with little room for negotiation. Indiscipline often leads to punishment.
• Communication is usually one-way traffic – parent to child. You dictate the rules and the child follows without questions.
• The parents inflict harsh punishments.
• Authoritarian parents show less warmth and affection.
• There is a high expectation of obedience and disrespect, failure to which the children are subjected to serious consequences.
• Children are not confident enough to voice their opinions.
• Kids are likely to be bullied or trolled.
• Poor social skills.
• Low chances of academic excellence.
• Higher risk of mental and stress issues.
• Children are more prone to alcohol and drug abuse.
• High levels of delinquency and criminality.
• Lower chances of being successful in life.
Indulgent parents are warm, nurturing and responsive. Furthermore, they are lenient, permissive and exhibit inconsistent or little discipline.
This parenting style is growing popular in contemporary cultures. This has led to a generation of ‘spoilt brats’ who have little regard to rules and are weak when it comes to self-control.
Characters of Indulgent parents;
• They are more friends than children. Hence, their children relate to them as they do with their peers.
• They have little or limited rules.
• These parents let children figure out problems on their own.
• Although there is open communication, parents at this level allow children to make decisions for themselves.
• There is no clear sense of direction for the children to follow.
• Parents do not have high expectations of discipline, respect and success.
• Children exhibit impulsive behavior. They do not know the difference between what they want and what they need.
• Kids have an egocentric attitude. They believe everything revolves around their desires or wants.
• The child throws tantrums or anger sprees whenever things do not go their way.
• Children are likely to be spendthrifts and shopaholics when they grow up.
• Poor social skills. The kids are only comfortable in a social setting where they are adored. (That is how mean girls are created).
• The kids do not pay attention to rules. Moreover, they know their parents will get them out of trouble with little or no punishment.
• Children with indulgent parents have low-success rates in long-term relationships.
Parents under this tier are uninvolved, they give a lot of freedom and are not keen on their children’s day-to-day activities. While some parents consciously decide to be uninvolved, others do it subconsciously either due to work or other factors.
Characteristics of neglectful parents;
• The parents have no clear style of parenting, they just go with the flow.
• Parents allow their children to do what they want.
• There is poor communication.
• They offer little or no nurturing.
• They do not express expectations for their children.’
• There are no rules.
• Children have a higher risk of drug and alcohol addictions.
• Kids are likely to indulge in criminal or delinquent behavior.
• Children have controlling tendencies. They assume they can control their parents, hence develop a sense of entitlement with other people.
• Kids feel unloved or unwanted.
• Higher chances of committing suicides.
• Poor self-esteem and confidence.
• Such children show little empathy.
What is the most common parenting style?
Permissive parenting style is the most common of all. While most of the current generation of parents were brought up under authoritative homes, we are seeing this particular age-set of parents opting for permissive parenting.
Permissive parents are less demanding and highly responsive. This means that the child is subtly, running the relationship.
I met a couple that was stressed out over their two children, a boy and a girl. The main issue was that the children behaved their best whenever their father was around. On the contrary, all hell broke loose whenever they were alone with their mother.
A few minutes into the conversation, I had already discovered their problem. The father was more of an authoritarian while the mother was permissive. The conflicting parenting styles was confusing their children.
Are you usually hesitant to punish or discipline your child because you don’t want to make them sad? Is it hard for you to say ‘NO’ to your kids? Chances are that you are a permissive parent.
The biggest mistake that parents under this category make is – placing their children’s feelings above everything else. As long as the child is happy, they are ready to compromise rules.
Examples of permissive parenting;
• Allowing your child to use a Sippy bottle past their age. (A child should not be using a Sippy bottle in preschool).
• Your children decide when to or not to do their homework.
• You have no limit on screen time. For instance, you have clearly stated that they should not watch TV past 8 pm. However, you allow your child to continue watching past 8 pm because the movie is half-way through. ‘Just let me finish this movie.’
• You call your children and they answer from their room or wherever they are in the house but don’t physically show up. “Peter?” “Yeah, dad” But peter does not come to where you are to hear what you have to say.
• Your children don’t immediately do as you have asked. For instance, you ask them to do the dishes but instead of going to the kitchen instantly, they tell you they will do it later or after they have finished their activity.
“Peter, go do the dishes.”
“Okay mum, I will do the dishes right after I finish this video game.”
What is the best parenting style?
Authoritative parenting style is considered the best by experts. Research shows that children of authoritative parents are physically healthier and have higher cognitive abilities.
They make reasonable demands and are highly responsive to their children’s personalities and needs. Most authoritative parents set basic limits that must be met while appreciating, validating and listening to their kids.
Being authoritative, means you can discipline your children fairly. Additionally, you help them understand the importance of discipline and why they are being punished. You are authoritative but you still pay attention to your all your children’s differences and rights without bias.
Benefits of authoritative parenting.
Children of authoritative parents know that they are responsible for the choices they make. This ultimately empowers them to make good decisions. They know that they can shape their lives and be whoever they want. Accountability breeds motivation and purpose in your child. They are less likely to make silly mistakes or fall for peer pressure.
Strength and resilience
Through authoritative parenting, you teach your children that they can learn from their mistakes. Your kids know that it is normal and okay for people to say ‘NO’ or disagree with them. This will give your children a thick skin and prepare them for any pain that life might throw at them.
Strength and resilience are huge contributors to financial success. These characteristics are common among most CEOs and entrepreneurs.
Sense of Leadership
By teaching your children how to make their own decisions, you are molding them to be great leaders. Kids of authoritative parents believe in themselves enough to inspire faith and confidence in others. Leaders are made by their parents.
Kids who have been taught to respect themselves and their parents are more likely to respect others. They are okay in diverse environments, without discriminating or bullying others.
Children of authoritative parents are more likely to be studious and intelligent than their counterparts. Authoritative parents often help their children with homework and special projects. They show their children how to solve problems, but they don’t directly get involved.
What is the hardest age to parent?
Most parents think toddlers and infants are the hardest to raise. That is partly true when you count sleep deprivation, diaper changes, baby proofing and breastfeeding. You have to constantly keep your eye on children in this age group. Otherwise, you will find your kids doing crazy things. From eating lotion, wearing underwear on their heads, applying guacamole to their hair, playing with electric cords etc.
Well, surprise, surprise! The hardest stages to parent your child is in the pre-teen and teen years. While you are no longer physically tired, your mental capacity will be on a full-run.
You need to balance between school projects, parents’ meetings, academics and extracurricular activities. Today your child wants to join the basketball team, tomorrow he wants to be a member of the debate club. One day your kid loves chicken spring rolls and by next week he does not want his breakfast bread slices to touch.
Pre-teens are also battling between adulthood and childhood. They could be begging you to let them watch Maleficent today in the evening and still cry to let you watch Talking Tom the next morning.
Your children are also discovering their bodies. They are slowly realizing the difference between males and females. Therefore, be prepared for sex questions and talks.
Children are most vulnerable in their teenage years. Parental studies at Johns Hopkins show that with the right guidance, teenagehood can be a time of opportunity, instead of chaos.
Through the many sessions I have encountered with parents, I have concluded that teenagers have a hard time feeling secure, being themselves and setting boundaries. Most parents have no idea how to balance being there for their teenagers with setting boundaries.
Common reasons for tension between parents and teenagers:
• Self-centred – Teens are usually self-absorbed and cannot see things from other people’s perspectives.
• Disrespectful attitude – Mostly exhibited by backtalk and breaking rules.
• Negative attitude towards serious things in life including academics, social reforms etc.
• Sudden anger outbursts and tantrums.
• Neglect of responsibilities, errands and chores.
• Screen addition – They are always on TV, smartphones, laptops etc.
• Sexual activity – Teenagers believe they are grown and smart enough to participate in sexual intercourse.
• Drugs and alcohol abuse – They easily fall into the temptation of using drugs and booze.
• Physical aggression – In severe cases, some teenagers are physically aggressive to their parents, friends, neighbors etc.
Factors in How Children “Turn Out”
How your children will turn out depends on both internal and external factors.
1. Genetics – Your children can inherit physical traits from their parents. Characteristics include height, body, weight, hair, dental formula, diseases like diabetes and even intelligence.
2. Environment – The geographical surroundings of your child eventually affect things like their accents, beliefs, religion and academics. Environments also include the social setting around your child. Who does she see every day? Where does she go to hang out with friends?
3. Gender – Boys and girls grow differently and have varying needs. While girls mentally grow faster, boys’ maturity takes place over a long period.
4. Diet – Scientific research proves that diet affects your child’s IQ and moods. While sugar is more likely to trigger emotional imbalance, fresh fruits and vegetables improve moods.
5. Exercise – Physically active children are better in maths and sciences. They are also happier and have better social skills.
6. Hormones – Hormones affect the physical and mental wellness of your children. Hormonal imbalance issues contribute to obesity, behavior, growth defects and other diseases.
7. Subliminal influence – Your child will be highly influenced by what they see or hear daily. That is why it is important to pay attention to the type of media that your child feeds on.
How to be the best parent for your child
So far, this guide has taught you the different parenting styles and their effect on children. Now, it is time to take a personalized approach to raise your kids.
Are you worried that your children are too indisciplined? Do you have trouble putting your kids to bed? No matter the parenting challenges, there is a solution.
Positive Parenting Solutions is a course trusted by over a million parents from all over the world. It has been featured on all major networks, from CNN to MSNBC, Fox & Friends and Steve Harvey among others.