Your parenting style contributes greatly to the resiliency, behaviour and well being of your children. Ideally, your parenting style should be based on support and love, combined with constructive discipline and strong structure. Children should be made confident and happy about themselves. It can be tricky to find an approach that combines communication, proper level of control, nurturing, warmth and discipline. There are four types of parenting with varying degree of demand and responsiveness.
- Authoritarian: When you have authoritarian parenting style, you tend to impose a lot of rules and children are demanded to obey without any question. Any misconduct is strongly not condoned and punishment is enforced even for mild violations and neglects. Parents who are authoritative tend to have high expectations about their children. They have high degree of control with little to no warmth. Children of authoritarian parents tend to be well behaved, but they may not have proper mental well being. They may have problems to find acceptance among their peers and they have lower self esteem. They can be quite troubled at a deeper emotional level.
- Permissive: Parents who are permissive have little or no demand on their children. Few or no rules are imposed, while children have freedom in regulating their own activities. These parents are non-punitive and they are very accepting to what children do. Often, children are treated as complete equal. They may have good level of warmth and caring, but there’s very low control on how children should behave. Children of permissive parents are often quite indulged and become irresponsible. Although these children have high degree of freedom, they still have higher chance of developing anxiety and depression, due to lack structure.
- Authoritative: Authoritative is not the same with authoritarian. Authoritative parents have good expectations of conduct and behaviour. Children activities are shaped with logical manner. Authoritative parents know how to finely balance all factors. At times, they can exert firm control, but accomplish healthy communication, instead of being disciplinarian. Authoritative parents encourage the autonomy of their children and recognize their interests. They are affirmative to good things that children do. There are responsible and self reliant. This is a well balanced and ideal parenting.
- Neglectful: Neglectful parents are disconnected and disengaged from gtheir children. They are unresponsive and emotionally distant. They place very few or no demands on their children, while showing little responsiveness and warmth. Neglectful parents usually function poorly in many aspects of life. Many juvenile offenders were raised by neglectful parents. They tend to have poor emotional, social and cognition skills, which make it harder for them to form proper attachments with others.
It is clear that the degree of demand and responsiveness determine whether a parenting style is appropriate. Parents need to balance expectations and their emotional responsiveness. Parents should also focus on warm emotional responsiveness. Authoritative parenting is about offering guiding principles and leadership to children. Parents should provide measurable and achievable benchmarks that children can easily manage. There should be fair consequences for any misbehaviour and guidance must be properly instructive.