Parenting Styles: The Main Types and Outcomes
It is well-known that not all parents are alike. I’m sure when you look back on your childhood years, you remember the parents that were so “cool” and the ones you knew not to cross. But what is the real difference between these parenting styles and which one (if any) is the best?
It is difficult to lump all parenting styles into broad categories. However, psychologist Diana Baumrind identified four overall parenting style
The Four Main Parenting Styles:
These are the parents that are extremely strict. Compromises are not usually options and the phrases, “Because I said so” and “Do as I say” are pretty common. These parents tend to emphasize their power and instill a sense of obedience over their children. Authoritarian parents are also typically emotionally distant, with clear distinctions that they are parents, not friends
Since children raised in an authoritarian environment had little control or say in the situation, they may grow to be fearful of freedom as they grow up. This can result in quite a bit of apprehension as they grow older, and can also lead to resentment of their parent
These parents may be the ones that children see as the “cool” parents I mentioned earlier. Rules and punishments aren’t much of an issue. Children are given the freedom to do as they please, with very few guidelines or limits from their parents. Permissive parents, however, do tend to be very loving of their children.
Children raised in a permissive environment have grown to follow their own rules--not the rules of someone else. This can lead to a lack of self-control as the children age, as well as a lack of self-reliance, as the child may have never learned important skills taught in childhood.
These parents are overall removed from their children’s lives. They do not enforce any limits or rules nor do they provide emotional support to their children. Uninvolved parents can range from extremely caught up in other priorities to spend time with their children to outright abusive or neglectful.
Children raised with uninvolved parents may grow to hold negative relationships with others due to a lack of exposure to positive and supportive relationships. These children may also grow to lack the desire to achieve goals, as they were not provided with support or guidance. Moreover, their relationship with their parents may be strained due to the nature of the relationship.
These parents are almost a blend of the two other parenting styles. Authoritative parents are firm in their limits, but allow for open discussion and compromise. Moreover, these parents explain the reasoning behind their rules. So instead of “Because I said so” these parents are more likely to say, “You are not allowed to do that because it is dangerous and I do not want you to get hurt.”
Children raised with authoritative parents typically have the most positive outcomes when moving forward toward adulthood. Due to the supportive, yet nurturing role of their parents, these children tend to grow to be more independent, confident, and well-adjusted as adults.
Parents play a huge role in the development of their children, with parenting styles having a significant interaction with the later outcome of the child. However, this relationship is not exact. While there are generally negative outcomes associated with some parenting styles, there are many children raised in these styles that grow to be well-adjusted and successful. Likewise, children raised by authoritative parents may still struggle and face challenges as they grow.