Parenting Styles

From the moment your baby is born parents feel the weight of the huge responsibility of taking care of this little being.  We know that how we raise them will play a role in their personality development, therefore a lot of thought goes into how to discipline and interact with the child. We often inadvertantly copy our parents in the way they raised us, even though as a teenager you often felt that you would never  treat your children in the same manner.

We can differentiate between four different parenting styles:
1.    Authoritarion parents: Rules are regarded as central in the interaction with their children.  The parents are in control, and there is a lack of warmth and affection.  Children do not get to make any choices, but have to obey their parents without questioning. When the child does not follow the rigid rules, he will be punished.  These parents tend to focus  on the negative and bad behaviour and do not recognize good behaviour, seeing that it is expected.

Children coming out of houses where parents acted authoritarion often have low self-esteem, are submissive and have difficulties in relating to their friends.

2.    Authorative parents: This parent clearly indicates what is expected in the house, but allow a lot of freedom within reasonable limits.  Even though they are in control, they remain warm, sensitive and patient. Children are encouraged to take part in the decision making processes in the family.  This is a democratic approach where both parent and child’s rights are respected.

The outcome of this parenting style is the most positive of all the parenting styles. These children have a high self-esteem, are able to internalize moral standards, do well academically, whilst remaining independant, open to new challenges and exhibit a large degree of altruistic behaviour.

3.    Permissive parents: These parents cultivate a climate where the child is responsible to regulate his own behaviour. Even though they provide well for the child, they do not exert any control over behaviour. Children therefore do as they please.  It is not surprising that they are misbehaved and explosive when asked to do something that is in conflict with their wishes.  They do not accept responsibility and do not do well at school.  They remain immature in their interaction with peers.

4.    Uninvolved parents: These parents do not expect anything from their children, but are uninterested and even rejecting towards the child.  They only do the minimum of what is expected from them as caregivers to the child. They do well at satisfying the short term needs of the child (food and clothing), but fail in setting long term goals for the child.

Children coming from these houses exhibit disorders in their relationships with others and tend to be impulsive and even behave antisocially.  They are not driven academically.

From the above it is quite obvious that parents should respect their childrens’ rights, give them the opportunity to make choices and most of all provide them with a warm and loving home environment. These children will grow into mature, moral and self assured adults