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


Parenting Styles - Differing Styles and Common Goals

By Andrew Loh

Parenting is a tricky and challenging issue. Parents keep trying their best to find newer and better parenting methods that actually work in the real world. Some of these methods are extremely useful and beneficial, while others are not so. Some of the methods used may be smooth and flexible in approach, while others may be a bit on the harsher side. Methods those are smooth and flexible, adopt a softer approach, while parenting approaches that use harsher methods may be curt and ultra-disciplinarian.

Whatever the method parents use to raise their children, it is their choice and sole prerogative. Parents choose their methods according to their convenience, needs and requirements apart from the demands that arise from time to time. Parenting is a worldwide issue and thousands of books, articles and manuals published by hundreds of publishers try to give wonderful tips on how to raise/parent children in a holistic manner. Some of these are extremely useful, provide useful tips while others are repetitive, and give common tips that every parent already knows and understands.

Child developmental psychologists have been showing their academic interest on how parents can influence the development of their children. However, pinpointing a particular parenting method that results in assured results is often very difficult. Some of the children raised in similar environments may later grow up in significantly dissimilar personality types. Parenting is always a challenging issue that needs serious consideration from every parent.

In spite of all parenting challenges, child psychologists provide useful information on how parenting styles will affect the brain and physical development in children. A noted psychologist, Diana Baumrind, was successful identifying four important and critical issues of parenting. These parental issues are as follows:

  • Strategies that rely on disciplining

  • Strategies that rely on warmth, affection, empathy and nurturing

  • Strategies that rely on different communication styles

  • Strategies that rely on expecting a sense of maturity and control

Based on the dimensions mentioned above, Baumrind suggested four different levels of parenting styles. Most parents in the world belong to one or more of these styles. Some parents may even use all of them to get better results. These four parenting styles are given below:

Authoritarian or demanding style

In this style of parenting, parents will be the enforcers of rigid rules. Children will have to follow the rules set and enforced by the parents. Failure to follow set rules will always result in punishment. Nobody knows why authoritative parents act in such a manner. In many instances, these parents may demand too much from their parents. In addition, they might even be unresponsive to their children's needs. These parents also expect their children to follow their rules without any question.

Authoritative or firm style

Like authoritarian parents, those who try to establish rules and regulations, belong to this parenting style. However, these parents are not too rigid like an authoritarian parent. In fact, most of these parents are democratic in nature and are amenable to mutual discussion. These parents are ready to listen to their children and accommodate to their needs and requirements. They are also forgiving and easy-going in nature. They are extremely assertive, but not excessively demanding, restricting and assertive. The methods they use are supporting in nature and they rarely use harsh punishments, unless there is a real need.

Permissive or liberal style

These parents are indulging and mixing in nature, and they rarely demand something from their children. In fact, they may have very low-level of expectations from their children. They are more responsive and supporting than other parents. They are not too traditional, nor are they confronting with their children. Permissive parents are cooperative, communicative and helpful in their nature. They treat their children as their real friends.

Uninvolved or impassive style

An uninvolved or impassive parent may never demand anything from children. They show very low response to their children's needs and requirements. They readily help their children with their basic needs. However, they also display a sense of detachment from their children's life. In some case, they may remain aloof to neglect their children's needs and requests.

Whatever the parenting styles are, one thing is certain here: parenting style should undergo periodical changes, as and when needs and situations arise. In fact, parenting is a subtle combination of needs, expediency, demands and children's nature. Parents may need to adjust to the existing situations and act accordingly to get the best from their children. In fact, parenting involves an ever-evolving, two-way channel that traverses a well-chartered course with occasional instances of course correction. In the end, all parents have one common goal, which is to make their children well mannered, obedient, intelligent and smart. Continue to read Parenting Styles - What Are The Effects On Children?


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