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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Parenting Styles - What Are The Effects On Children?

By Andrew Loh

A specific parenting style is the confirmed, stable and uniform way in which parents raise their children. In almost all cases, every individual parenting style will remain consistent and uniform. All parenting styles have their own level of influences on children irrespective of the styles used. However, the most commonly asked question about parting style is also very simple - what are the possible reasons for variations among different parenting styles? Many reasons and factors affect a specific parenting style. Reasons like differences culture and tradition, children personality, family type, family environment, socio-economic status, income background, educational background and religion/race might play an important role in choosing a particular parenting style.

It is true that every parenting style is different. Yet, parents may need to mix and match all the parenting styles to get the best possible results. Parents may also need to create unique blend of differing styles. Parents may like to use two differing styles to induce subtle, yet significant changes in their children's personality. However, parents may also want to evaluate how each one of the methods work and in what way they can affect their growing children.

The impact of parenting style could be long lasting and permanent. Some changes could even be irreversible at a later stage. Here are some of the impacts of different parenting styles on the emotional and mental development of children:

Authoritarian or demanding style

  • Obedient children, who follow their parent's advice and instructions.

  • Responsive children, who spring to their attention, when their parents ask them to do something immediately.

  • Children may keep waiting for their parents' instructions.

  • Children may rank very low in the level of happiness of life.

  • Children may rank very low social skills and competence.

  • Often, such children may show very low levels of self-esteem.

Authoritative or firm style

  • Children know, when to respond to their parents' instructions and demands.

  • Children are cooperative with their parents.

  • Children are obedient and responsive.

  • Children display a proficient character.

  • Such children are happy and contended.

  • They are capable and endowed with a good spirit.

  • They could be very successful in their life.

Permissive or liberal style

  • Children, who undergo such a style may display very poor competency and capability.

  • They may not do well in their classroom studies and tests.

  • They may rank very low in happiness index.

  • They may face future problems in self-regulating their emotions.

  • Such children may also face some problems, where there is issue of authority involved.

  • They may be unruly and undisciplined.

Uninvolved or impassive style

  • Children, who are raised in this manner could face a lot of problems in life.

  • Such children lack self-control.

  • They may also lack self-image and self-esteem.

  • They could be less competent than their peers.

  • They could become unruly and un-responsive.

Parents often get confused, as to which method they should use to get the best results. Out of the above-mentioned methods, the last two could be unproductive and disadvantaged. On the contrary, the first method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The authoritarian style of parenting often involves parents' egos. Parents may use this method just to show off their authority over their children. Some of the behavioral patterns of such parents are listed below:

  • Do what I say!

  • You must do what I say!

  • Do it now!

  • If you do not obey me now, I will show you how!

  • If you do not follow my instructions, you will have it!

  • I told you so!

These words may look very simple to parents. However, they may have a long lasting effect on the psyche of the children. Now, you may ask which method is the best and how you can use it. The parenting style that works best always relies on the classic “carrot and stick” policy. Therefore, a parenting style that adopts a delicate mix of authoritarian and authoritative styles may produce the best results. With this method, parents can discipline their children quite easily, all the while, when they are giving them just enough liberty and freedom.

The recommended parenting style may work for some families, while it may not give good results for others. The style that works best will involve an interactive styled approach that takes into account, the respect for each other's views, opinions and expressions. Children are still undergoing physical and brain development in their early years. It is natural to see children display extreme emotions. Parents' primary role is to facilitate proper growth, development and orientation. At time, parents may need to punish their children for bad mannerisms and behavior. However, the act of disciplining should not be excessive and continuous; parents may need to control their excessive punishing behavior, as it may prove counter-productive in the end.

Featured Resource

The Power of Positive Parenting : A Wonderful Way to Raise Children
By Dr. Glenn I. Latham

This is a child-rearing manual that provides practical methods for working with children. This instructional book goes a long way in helping parents to resolve problems using specific strategies for dealing with inappropriate behavior of children.

In general, it's a book about child-rearing practices and how the management of consequences can be the key to creating good home environment.




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