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5 Major Parenting Styles: What We Can Learn from Each

Different Parenting Styles

Raising children can be the most rewarding yet difficult challenge one can face. You often care for them more than you can put into words, so you want the best for them. Parenting styles and practices can have a significant influence on them well into adulthood. There are a wide variety of parenting styles that can have different effects on your child, their behavior, and even their health.

Authoritative Parenting

The authoritative parenting style has been found to be the most successful parenting style out of Baumrind’s Theory which included four parenting styles. This is a parenting style built on consistency. When you set a rule, you abide by it and enforce it. The parent is highly responsive to the child’s emotional needs as well. Parents who use this parenting style have high expectations for their children and they value their independence.

This usually results in happier children, fewer behavioral issues, higher self-esteem, better performance in school, and better self-control. As the children get older, if the parent sticks by their rules and is consistent with enforcement, the children tend to exhibit less violent tendencies and better social skills.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is also known as indulgent parenting. Unlike authoritative parenting, permissive parenting has the potential for negative results. These parents often spoil their children and cater to their every need.

They tend to be lenient and they tend to have fewer rules. The children are often treated like peers by the parents. When the child breaks the few rules they have, these parents often do not enforce any repercussions. They often let their children make decisions on their own as well.

These children may turn out to be more aggressive, more impulsive, and they tend to perform worse academically than children with parents who use authoritative parenting. These children also tend to have more difficulties with regulating emotions as well as problems with social interactions.

Authoritarian Parenting

According to ParentingForBrain.com, “Authoritarian parenting is a parenting style characterized by high demands but low responsiveness. Authoritarian parents are cold and aloof from the child’s emotional needs and require their children to meet high standards.”

These parents are highly demanding and often have high expectations for their children. However, they tend to ignore their children’s emotional needs as well. The rules they set are to be followed no matter what, and sometimes the rules aren’t even explicitly given. Certain rules are just implied, which can create some confusion, especially among younger children. Regardless of whether or not a rule is broken due to a genuine mistake or defiance, authoritarian parents do not tolerate it.

Unfortunately, authoritarian parenting can often border emotional abuse/neglect. Even if a child seeks to be nurtured, an authoritarian parent often will not give it to them. Often times a child will not be shown love if they do not meet the expectations of an authoritarian parent. These parents are also highly controlling and do not value their child’s independence. They do not involve their children in decision-making processes. It’s their way or the highway. These parents often use fear to control their children.

In the long run, this form of parenting can have severely negative effects on your child. Not only may they come to resent you as they get older, but it actually can create social and psychological problems for them as well.

Children with authoritative parents tend to have lower self-esteem, more issues with social interactions, they tend to be less independent, and they may be more aggressive in their own social situations. Often times, the children may project their experiences at home onto their social interactions in the real world which can result in negative consequences for the child.

Attachment Parenting

According to WebMD, “Attachment parenting focuses on the nurturing connection that parents can develop with their children. That nurturing connection is viewed as the ideal way to raise secure, independent, and empathetic children.”

This type of parenting method is divided into eight principles. These different principles are meant to solidify the bond between a parent and their children from birth. Attachment parenting often focuses on the closeness between a parent and a child.

This includes physical closeness from the point of infancy which is said to promote a feeling of safety for the child. The philosophy behind this type of parenting is based on the notion that creating healthy emotional connections from a young age can set an example for the child into the future.

Free-Range Parenting

Free-range parenting is a bit different than other forms of parenting. It promotes independence in decision making as well as autonomy in everyday tasks. For example, a free-range parent may allow their child to commute on their own to and from school using public transportation. It’s viewed as the opposite of helicopter parenting. These parents do set rules unlike those who practice permissive parenting.

There is a focus on teaching their children how to solve problems on their own, so when they get older they’re able to handle things better on their own. Parents take on a role where guidance is prioritized while also maintaining a balance by teaching that there are repercussions for their actions.

With that being said, it is important to be knowledgeable of the laws of your state regarding certain practices (children riding public transportation by themselves, etc.).

Parenting Styles: Which is Best?

Parenting is not easy and there is a wide variety of ways someone can raise their child. Often times taking positive qualities from different parenting styles can have the best results for both you and your child.

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