Parenting style is a psychological construct that represent standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. There are many differing theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time and effort that parents are willing to invest. Parental investment starts before birth.
The personalities of both the parent and the child should be taken in consideration on what style to use. New studies are constantly being introduced with new recommendations on how to rear children.
Most parents use their own style from a combination of factors, and these may evolve over time as the children develop their own personalities and move through life's stages.
Parenting style is affected by both the parents' and children's temperaments, and is mostly based on the style use by their own parents and culture.
This style the parent is demanding and responsive. When this style is systematically developed, it grows to fit the descriptions propagative parenting and concerted cultivation.
Parents using this style are rational and are willing to listen to their children’s point of views. This helps to encourage independence while establishing clear expectations, limits and consequences on actions and behavior.
This style creates positive environment for raising a child. These children are happier, have control over their emotions, socialize well with their peers, and are confident in their skills and abilities.
Authoritative parenting, also called 'assertive democratic'or 'balanced' parenting, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectations of maturity. Authoritative parents can understand how their children are feeling and teach them how to regulate feelings.
In this style the parent is demanding but not responsive. Elaborate becomes totalitarian parenting.
Authoritarian parents want to control most of the aspects of their child’s life. They expect much of their child, but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries. Parents of this style stress obedience and place many demands on their children that may be unrealistic for their personality or age. They place low on responsiveness due to excessive demands.
Authoritarian parents are less responsive to their child’s needs, and are more likely to ground their child rather than discuss the problem.
Punishments often lack a reasonable explanation and parents often deny their children choices or opportunities to participate in decision-making about activities, rules or anything that directly impacts their lifestyle. The effects on children are negative since they associate obedience with love and have lower self-esteem than their peers. Children resulting from this type of parenting may have less social competence because the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself.
Some children of authoritarian parents may develop insecurities and display anti-social behavior.
Indulgent or Permissive (lenient) parenting is responsive but not demanding. It is characterized as having few behavioral expectations for the child. There is little or no discipline at all to avoid confrontation. Bribery using toys and gifts is a common way for permissive parents to encourage their children to behave. These children tend to lack self-discipline, are quite demanding in all areas of life, have difficulty sharing and may exhibit insecure behavior due to the absence of distinct boundaries.
Children of indulgent parents may tend to be more impulsive, and as adolescents, may engage more in misconduct, and in drug use. Children never learn to control their own behavior and always expect to get their way. But in the better cases they are emotionally secure, independent and are willing to learn and accept defeat. They mature quickly and are able to live life without the help of someone else.
Style in which the parent is neither demanding nor responsive. Neglectful parenting is also called uninvolved, detached, dismissive or hands-off.
They don’t place demands on their children and typically have little to no interest in parenting. While they may provide the basic needs meaning: food, housing, and toiletries or money for the prementioned, they take a very hands-off approach. Their children have to learn to provide for themselves, are afraid to depend on others for anything, are emotionally withdrawn from others, and have excessive amounts of anxiety, fear and stress. It’s also more common for children of uninvolved parents to have problems with substance abuse.
Neglectful parenting can stem from a variety of reasons, this includes the parents prioritizing themselves, lack of encouragement on the parent's parts, financial stresses, lack of support and addiction to harmful substances.
A study done by Maccoby and Martin (1983) analyzed adolescents, aged 14– 18 in four areas: psychosocial development, school achievement, internalized distress, and problem behaviour. The study found that those with neglectful parents scored the lowest on these tests, while those with authoritative parents scored the highest.