If you have a child, you will probably understand why parenting is said to be the hardest job in the world. Yes, it is the most rewarding but it is also very challenging. There is no user manual nor a step-by-step guide.
There may be lots of available materials out there on how to raise a child; however, it is fact that every child is different. Each one has their own temperaments. Even if you are not a first-time parent, it is still going to be difficult for new challenges always arise in childrearing.
Just as each child is different, parents also have their own ways on how to raise their children. Although all parents share a common goal, that is to prepare their children to become productive adults; there are different styles in parenting. Each style has its own approach. Each style also has different effects on the child.
Psychologists described authoritarian parenting as those parents who have high demands but low responsiveness. It is also known as tough love parenting. You are considered an authoritarian parent if:
- You have many rules and you expect your children to follow them without question.
- You have very high standards and you expect your children to excel in their academic performance and other activities.
- You yell at your children when you are upset and tend to use harsh punishment.
- You have the tendency to control every aspect of your child’s life including the way they dress, how they act and what activities to pursue.
- You do not involve children in decision-making.
Children of authoritarian parents learn to follow rules most of the time. However, they may have low self-esteem because their opinions are not valued. They may also become good liars because of their fear of punishment. Although it seems that they grow up as the perfect lady or gentlemen on the outside, deep inside they may have anger issues and have the tendency to become aggressive.
Authoritative parents like the authoritarian have high demands but unlike the latter, they have high responsiveness with regards to the child’s emotional needs. You are an authoritative parent if:
- You allow your children to express their opinions and listen to them.
- You encourage independence but you monitor their actions.
- You explain to your children the reason behind your rules.
- Your demands are reasonable and based on your child’s individual capability.
- You express love to your children.
Children of authoritative parents are happy and mature early in life. They are self-confident, independent and good learners.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin
Unlike authoritarian and authoritative parents, permissive parents have low demands on their children. They have high responsiveness when it comes to the emotional needs of the child. You are a permissive parent if:
- You are very nurturing and loving towards your children.
- You are more of a friend rather than a parent.
- You have very few rules and are inconsistent in enforcing them.
- You used bribery such as toys or food to make children follow you.
- You emphasize more on the children’s freedom rather than their responsibilities.
Because parents have little or no expectations on them, children of permissive parents have low achievements. They may also have a hard time following authority. They may also have health problems like obesity because parents do not regulate their junk food and fat intake while growing up. Studies also link them to other risky behaviours such as drug and alcohol use.
Uninvolved parents are neglectful parents. They are indifferent and exhibits lack of responsiveness to a child’s need. Although unintentional, uninvolved parents are those who are too busy trying to make a living or are too preoccupied with their own problems. You are an uninvolved parent if:
- You don’t spend much time with your child.
- You show little or no affection to your children.
- You don’t ask your children about their school or friends.
- You offer little or no supervision.
- You don’t know who your children are like their skills, hobbies and what makes them happy
Children with uninvolved parents are unhappy. They have low self-esteem and tend to perform poorly not only in school but in every area of their life once they grow up. They may also have difficulty making commitments or staying in relationships.
Sometimes, parents don’t fit in in just one category. Although studies show that authoritative parenting is the best style; whatever style you use, the most important thing is your relationship with your children. You can mix and match depending on the situation and the personality of the child. Just remember that whatever style you choose, your parenting style will definitely affect your child’s overall self-esteem and general well-being.
What’s your parenting style? What works for your children?