How Were You Raised? The 4 Types of Parenting Styles
|May 26, 2012||Posted by admin under Human Behavior, Mind, Personality|
We like to think of ourselves as being in control of our identities. But the simple fact is that there are so many things going into “I” that oftentimes we can’t control for them. Sometimes we barely know how much they are affecting us, if at all.
Take parenting. Your parents and the home environment are all you know during your most vulnerable and impressionable stages in life. When you’re a baby sucking on your thumb to when you’re a teenager getting caught cheating on a test, your parents are there reacting– in a certain way– to everything you do.
It can’t matter that much, right? It was so long ago… right?
The way you were raised as a child can have an impact on the rest of your life. It changes your view of the world and most importantly, how you go about solving everyday life problems.
Psychologists have been able to identify 4 major types of parenting styles. After learning about them, I’ve found it becomes painfully obvious when someone fits a certain mold. But it’s interesting. Very interesting. Take a look for yourself. And if you’re brave enough, take a look at yourself.
1. Authoritative Parenting
Parent’s Motto: “The world is constantly changing and one day I won’t be there to tell you what to do– so you need to figure it out for yourself.”
Child’s Motto: “I did my best and had the right intentions, I have no regrets.”
I suppose I should go about this the politically correct way and say, “No, there is no one right way to parent your kids.” … But that wouldn’t be very honest now would it?
Of the 4 parenting styles, authoritative parenting is the best and results in the most emotionally stable children. Children who have been raised with authoritative parents learn to think for themselves and how to make the best decisions based on morality and sound judgement.
What makes authoritative parents different from the others? They’ve found balance.
Authoritative parents have rules and regulations, and they expect their kids to follow them. BUT at the same time they also listen to their children. Authoritative parents are the ones who would say the punishment should fit the crime. If the kid was put in detention for laughing in class, for example, the parents would punish him way less than if he was put in detention for getting into a fight. Likewise, if the kid had an excuse for getting into a fight, like the other boy was threatening a friend, then the parents would listen to him, see his point of view, and lessen the punishment accordingly.
By listening to their children, authoritative parents end up teaching them judgement. Authoritative parents earn their children’s respect and teach them how to best deal with problems and handle different situations.
2. Authoritarian Parenting
Parent’s Motto: “Because I said so.”
Child’s Motto: “My goal in life is to be happy.”
Like authoriTATIVE parents, authoriTARIAN (they’re really similar-sounding) parents have rules and regulations that children must follow. Unlike authoritative parents, however, authoritarian parents could give a rat’s ass about their child’s opinion or what they have to say. Rules are rules for a reason, and they’re going to be followed no matter what.
You’ll see these parents every so often and say, “Wow, I feel bad for that kid,” as they blow their heads off screaming about small things like spilled candy on the floor. It’s not hard to imagine how all the punishments can affect them later on. Children need to be taught how to react to situations and deal with problems. When authoritarian parents punish their kids, they don’t explain to the kid why what they did was wrong, so they never earn their respect or learn how to regulate themselves without the parent’s help.
Authoritarian parenting will either produce children that are overly obedient and proficient, or on the flip end, children that refuse to acknowledge authority and maybe even become delinquent. In the second case, parents make their children the opposite of what they intend: In wanting their children to succeed, they push them too hard and impose too many limitations on them, making the children less likely to succeed. Oh, the splendid splendid irony.
Either way, authoritarian parenting has been shown to produce children less happy and with lower self esteem than their peers.
3. Permissive Parenting
Parent’s Motto: “Treat your children as your friends.”
Child’s Motto:“Authority? What’s that?”
The permissive parent thinks that their child is wonderful and deserves to be treated with all the love and respect in the world. They have very few rules and any rules that they DO have are not enforced properly. They treat their children as their friends and will cater to them unconditionally.
What you come out with is a child that has no discipline, no sense of right and wrong, and spoiled as all hell. When these children grow up, they’re never taught what is right and what is wrong, so they keep their “I deserve everything I want attitude” as they mature. They have simply never had to regulate themselves before, and although children can grow up and learn these things on their own, it’s not very likely.
One study found that children with permissive parents were more than three times as likely to experience drinking problems when they got to college (authoritarian parenting- 2x as likely, authoritative parenting- least likely). These children are less likely to do well academically, and they may also become reserved due to not knowing how to act around others.
4. Dismissive Parenting
Parent’s Motto: “…”
Child’s Motto: “I don’t understand what’s happening…”
Dismissive parents are much more rare than the other three types of parents. They are also by far the most harmful. Often, these parents act this way as a result of some sort of outlying problem, whether it be a death in the family, substance abuse, or a mental health problem.
Dismissive parents are completely unresponsive to their children. They show no warmth, no guidance, and are usually preoccupied or absorbed in their own troubles, leaving the child to fend for himself emotionally. The parent usually provides the child with basic necessities, like food, clothing, etc, but besides that there’s not much else there.
The results on the children are heart breaking. The child either grows up too quickly, needing to take care of himself since the parent isn’t present, or not at all, remaining immature and helpless. They often have behavioral issues in school, do worse academically, and remain socially and emotionally isolated.
When they grow up, they are more likely to have severe behavioral and mental problems. Their want of personal relationships makes them easily manipulated by others.
Carrying on the Tradition
So… what kind of parent will you be? Studies show that people tend to carry on the same type of parental style as they were raised with themselves. Children raised with the authoritarian parenting style will raise their own children with an authoritarian style, and so on.
…Does it have to be this way?
No. Knowledge is power. The first step to changing how you treat your children in the future is to understand the different types of parenting. And if you’re unhappy with how you were treated as a child, try to understand what an authoritative parent would say in the same situation, and change yourself accordingly.
It’s all up to you.