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When it comes to parenting, there are no rules. That being said, parenting styles can be broken down into four main categories: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Uninvolved. Learning about what each style entails can help you improve your relationship with your kids, and bring your family closer.
It’s vital to constantly reevaluate your parenting to ensure that it’s fostering healthy growth and development. Below, we’ll go over the 4 main parenting styles.
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Spend Quality Time Together
Parenting is not always cut and dry. You might find yourself exhibiting more than one of the four styles at different times or periods throughout your parenting journey. What does remain true for all parents, is that spending quality time with your child is vital to their success. This could be settling down with a book together, playing with Legos, customizing a book together, or working together to complete a craft or project.
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Validating your child’s feelings and opinions will build trust and a great foundation for open communication. At the same time, enforcing a degree of positive restrictions can be helpful to guide your child towards beneficial choices.
4 Parenting Styles
The authoritarian parenting style is defined by a focus on obedience over anything else. An authoritative parent doesn’t take their child’s feelings into account. Therefore, usually enforces rules in a matter of fact, or “because I said so”, manner.
Authoritarian parents have a heavy emphasis on rules and focus on consequences rather than rewards. While authoritarian parenting usually leads to obedient children, it can come at a cost.
Children may be more at risk of developing low self-esteem or poor communication skills. Since their opinions are not valued in the eyes of their parents. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for children to become skilled liars. As an effort to avoid intense consequences previously set in place by parents.
Though they sound very similar, there is a huge difference between authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles. Authoritative parents have rules. They use consequences much like an authoritarian parent. However, they also take their child’s feelings and opinions into account.
While it’s clear that adults are still in charge, children of authoritative parents will still have their feelings validated. Moreover, authoritative parents will also focus on positive reinforcement and preventative measures to ensure that their child avoids pitfalls as much as possible.
The children of authoritative parents usually grow up to be responsible adults who can make thoughtful decisions and feel comfortable expressing their feelings with others.
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Permissive parents are known for being very lenient and often take on more of a friend role than a parental one. While permissive parents may set rules, they might be unlikely to enforce them. These parents will only feel the need to step in whenever there is a serious problem. Children will likely feel comfortable communicating with permissive parents.
Permissive parents are usually very nurturing and will respond more to their children’s feelings. While they may work to enforce consequences. Permissive parents are also more likely to cave or lower the extent of their discipline in practice. For example, if a child is grounded, the permissive parent would end the grounding period earlier than expected.
However, this can come at a cost. Permissive children may develop more behavioral problems. As, they do not have a full appreciation of authority. They may have trouble developing essential time management skills with a lack of structure. Kids under permissive parents are also more likely to struggle academically and report lower self-esteem.
Parents who adopt a permissive style may also be more inclined to avoid conflict in general. Which, can lead their children to develop poor communication skills.
Uninvolved parents are not very present in their children’s lives. They may have little knowledge of who their child’s friends are, what they do on a regular basis, and how they feel about certain topics. In general, uninvolved parents simply do not spend a lot of time with their children.
There are few rules if any, and children are not given regular parental guidance or attention. Children with uninvolved parents struggle academically and have low-self esteem. Unfortunately, they are also likely to exhibit more behavioral issues and report higher levels of sadness.
While uninvolved parents can be neglecting their child’s needs, it’s not always an intentional decision. Adults struggling with working, managing the household, etc., may develop uninvolved parenting styles since their attention is strongly divided.
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Becoming a balanced parent is a constant struggle, but it is certainly worth giving your kids all the love and care that they deserve. At the end of the day, parenting is a highly personal experience that takes a lot of time, consistent effort, and constant reevaluation to be successful. No parent is perfect, but taking the time to improve your parenting style is no doubt a great investment in you and your family.