Many Ways to Parent
From Grandma Says Blog…
Back in the 60’s, a psychologist named Diana Baumrind published her research on the effects of various parenting styles on children’s behavior, and many other researchers have studied this topic since then. I discuss the ideas here for your own reflection.
The authoritarian parent tries to shape and control the behavior of the child in accordance with a set standard of conduct, believing that children should accept parental authority unquestioningly.
These parents favor punitive, forceful measures to obtain children’s obedience. Children’s autonomy is severely restricted to keep children in their place.
The results of this parenting style are children who have little self-control, since they depend only on parents to limit their actions. These children also have low self-esteem, having received such strong, negative feedback.
At the opposite extreme is the permissive parent, who makes few demands on children for orderly behavior, seeming to accept all behaviors, good or bad.
Whether from indifference, inertia, or fear of the effects of being too authoritarian, these parents avoid exercising control, leaving children to function pretty much as they wish.
Interestingly, researchers find the same results for these children as those raised by authoritarian parents: both poor self-control and low self-esteem result from parents who don’t make limits and expectations clear, and who don’t seem to care enough to have firm expectations for their children.
Children raised by permissive parents also often receive negative feedback from others, because of their out-of-bounds behavior.
The third parenting style is identified as authoritative. Here parents set standards for conduct, while affirming a warm respect for children’s abilities to learn the reasons for conforming behavior.
Authoritative parents can be described as exerting firm control without hemming children in with restrictions. They use appropriate power, along with reason and shaping by routine and reinforcement to achieve their objectives.
Predictably, the results of their children are more positive, with children exhibiting both positive self-esteem and the development of self-control. The children have received the message that limits are necessary, and their parents believe that they are capable of learning to control themselves.
Many things influence which parenting style parents adopt, including their own early experiences and examples, their cultural assumptions about the parenting role, decisions and communication between parents, and individual approaches to life.