Know Your Parenting Style

Do you know your parenting style? In this article, we will examine several styles, from authoritarian to authoritative, permissive to negligent, to help you identify which style you employ.

A quick glance around the playground will reveal various parenting techniques. In the 1960s, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind established three distinct forms of parenting depending on parental demands and responses to children: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Later, a fourth kind, neglectful, was introduced based on the findings of other researchers.

Learn the distinction between these four basic parenting styles and more popular subtypes such as helicopter parenting, free-range parenting, and tiger parenting.

The Four Parenting Styles of Baumrind

Diana Baumrind is regarded as a pioneer in the study of parenting styles. Her original parenting strategies included authoritarian (controlling) and permissive approaches (autonomy-granting). Authoritative parenting is seen as the ideal; it is a balanced approach between authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Subsequently, based on the findings of other researchers in the field, a fourth parenting style was added: neglectful.

1. Authoritarian

Parenting with an authoritarian approach emphasizes tight rules, obedience, and discipline. These parents have high standards and do not hesitate to discipline their children when disobeying their rules. In addition to assuming decision-making authority, authoritarian parents rarely seek their children’s advice on important matters. These parents are similar to an army drill sergeant in that they are not nurturing, lenient, or communicative.

The effect on youngsters: When reared by an authoritarian parent, children are typically well-behaved at home but may act out when surrounded by classmates or peers. According to Michigan State University, children may also experience the following difficulties:

  • Social skills.
  • Indecisiveness and difficulty with independent thought.
  • Poor self-esteem.
  • Weak character evaluator.
  • Management of anger and resentment.

Some studies also reveals that children of authoritarian parents reported greater substance abuse.

2. Permissive

Permissive parents may behave more like friends than authoritative adults. They provide for their children’s needs with little discipline. For instance, they may permit and even encourage their child to consume soda at every meal if that is what the child desires. Permissive parents are calm and lenient, with limited family regulations. This couple is the antithesis of rigorous.

The effect on youngsters: Children of permissive parents are accustomed to receiving whatever they desire, as they have a prominent position in the home. According to Michigan State University, further disadvantages of this parenting approach include:

  • Absence of accountability.
  • Absence of decision-making support.
  • Aggression and impulsiveness.
  • Lack of autonomy and individual accountability.
  • Anxiety and melancholy.

Children with liberal parenting tend to have high self-esteem but can also be entitled, egotistical, and self-centered. As they do not have to exert effort at home, these youngsters may also fail to put out effort into school, work, or social endeavors.

3. Authoritative

Baumrind considers authoritative parenting to be the parenting “gold standard.” Authoritative parents set limits for their children but also allow them the freedom to make decisions. They consider errors as opportunities for growth and have clear expectations for their children. Authoritative parents are loving and affectionate, but they also emphasize the value of responsibility and discipline.

The effect on youngsters: Children of authoritative parents are typically confident, content, and successful. According to Michigan State University, this parenting style is associated with the following favorable results for children:

  • Relationships with parents that are warm and kind.
  • Children are typically responsible.
  • Excellent self-respect and self-confidence.
  • Capable of controlling their aggression.
  • Children are forceful, self-controlled, and accountable.
  • Children are probably happy and successful.

Children with authoritarian parents may be relied upon to make the correct choice on their own, and they frequently have high expectations for themselves. In addition to performing well academically and socially, these youngsters are less prone to abuse drugs or alcohol.

4. Neglectful or uninvolved

Diana Baumrind did not first identify this parenting style, but scholars Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin later added it to her list. The children of inattentive parents must essentially raise themselves. They do not establish rules or expectations or provide direction when necessary. In extreme situations, parental negligence can be detrimental to a child’s welfare.

The effect on youngsters: Without supervision, structure, or parental participation, children of neglectful parents frequently engage in undesirable behavior. According to research, children with uninvolved parents had the worst outcomes. Specifically, they are more likely to encounter the following:

  • Substance use.
  • Rebelliousness
  • Delinquency
  • Reduce cognitive and affective empathy.

They may, for instance, encounter issues in school or with the law. In addition, they may be hesitant to build relationships with others and depressed.

There Are Six Parenting Subtypes

Obviously, there are numerous subtypes of parenting styles. Below are several parenting styles that parents should be familiar with.

1. Free-range parenting

Free-range parents permit their children to be unaccompanied or under less supervision in public. Long ago, these parents were viewed as irresponsible, and many believed their children were in danger because of the lack of supervision. In fact, some parents encountered legal issues after granting their young children independence in public.

But, more recently (and after great controversy), states such as Utah have approved laws supporting a hands-off approach to parenting. In particular, Utah altered the definition of neglect to exclude certain autonomous childhood activities, including going to and from school, engaging in recreational activities, and playing outside. Proponents assert that it can instill remarkable attributes such as self-reliance and resiliency.

2. Helicopter parenting

If you are an overprotective parent who feels the need to manage the majority of your child’s life, then you are likely a helicopter parent. Helicopter parents intervene continuously in their child’s life and obsess over his or her accomplishments and mistakes (specifically, they want to protect their children from failure).

Fear and worry typically motivate helicopter parents’ risk-assessing inclinations. Parents who meddle in this manner can hamper a child’s capacity to acquire vital life skills, self-assurance, and independence. American Psychological Association research indicates that children with helicopter parents are less likely to be able to control their emotions and behavior.

3. Snowplow parenting

Parents who are “snowplows” (also known as “lawnmowers” or “bulldozer” parents) are ready to put everything on hold to grant even the simplest of their children’s wishes and demands. They “plow down” anything that stands in the way of their child.

Parents who own lawnmowers typically have good intentions and do not want their children to endure hardship. Unfortunately, these habits do not build a foundation for long-term satisfaction and can potentially increase a child’s failure anxiety. The college admissions scandal, in which multiple prominent celebrity parents were accused of buying institutions to accept their children, is an extreme example of snowplow parenting.

4. Lighthouse parenting

The lighthouse method was coined by physician and author Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., as one of the more balanced parenting techniques. Dr. Ginsburg states in his book Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection With Trust: “We should serve as beacons for our children. Sturdy lighthouses on the shoreline against which they can compare themselves. Role models. We must keep an eye on the rocks below to ensure that they do not collide with them. We should stare into the sea and prepare them to ride the waves with confidence in their ability to do so.”

This involves striking a balance between loving, protecting, talking with, and nurturing your child.

5. Attachment parenting

A hands-on and caring approach to parenting characterizes attachment parenting. They believe that prioritizing a child’s needs promotes autonomy and mental stability. These parents appreciate physical proximity, bed-sharing and co-sleeping, prolonged nursing, good punishment, and other attachment-based parenting techniques.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discovered a correlation between sensitive, responsive parenting and children’s linguistic skills in a study. Specifically, children with responsive and warm parents had language skills that were more than twice as good as children with less responsive parents. On the other hand, when parents are less adaptable in their approach, this parenting style is demanding and may feel out of balance.

6. Tiger parenting

Tiger parents frequently exhibit severe and harsh tendencies, and they expect compliance and accomplishment. Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, popularized this term, in which she defines tiger parenting as an authoritarian parenting style prevalent in Chinese society.

Some studies have established an association between tiger parenting and anxiety in children, presumably as a result of their parents’ high demands and continual pursuit of perfection.

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