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Parenting style

The quality of all relationships in future is determined by the type of relationship that evolves between parents and children from birth onwards. Temperament of the child, communication pattern between parents, pattern of interaction between parents and children, and the parenting style practiced establish the personality of the child. A positive secure attachment with the child can be developed by being available, loving and giving with genuine interest in the development irrespective of the temperament of the child. An assertive parent would be able to make the child understand the rights and responsibilities of the child with love, care and compassion.

Most often parents never even consider to discuss the parenting style they would adopt to raise their child. Parents just do what seems natural to them based on their cultural background, their surroundings and the way they were raised. However, having an effective parenting style is very important and understanding how you can parent can help you raise a happy and successful child.


Traditionally, 4 main parenting styles have been identified. These are the authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and negligent. Before considering any of these styles, it is essential to understand the impact that they can have on your child’s development, as well as on his behavior.

The authoritarian parents are highly demanding and emotionally less responsive. They make rules and expect their child to abide by those rules. It is a style that does not allow for any input from the child. It is very inflexible in its outlook and in fact, can hinder a child’s ability to think for himself.  Parents, who adopt this style, do not take the time to explain their expectations, and as a result the child does not understand why certain rules are imposed. If the rules are broken, the punishment is usually strict. As a result, children feel belittled and insecure.

The authoritative parents are highly demanding but emotionally very responsive. Parents communicate their expectations to their children, while setting rules and guidelines for them. They take the time to explain the reason for particular rules being put in place. Also, children know that there will be consequences if they fail to comply with those rules. There is two-way communication, as the child is allowed to express his feelings and opinions, and the parent takes the time to listen. As a result, children enjoy happiness and are self confident.

Permissive parents do not have expectations but are very responsive.  Permissive parents operate with very few, if any rules, and prefer to allow children the freedom to do whatever they want. In other words, discipline is nonexistent, and wayward behavior goes unpunished. Without rules and structure, children learn to resent authority, misbehave, and display anti-social behavior. Children, whose parents are permissive in approach, usually tend to be out of control. Also, children feel insecure as they feel the absence of an effective parent.

Negligent parents are neither demanding nor responsive. It is a completely hands-off approach to parenting where the only needs of the child that the parent meets are basic needs for daily living such as food, clothing, shelter and perhaps money. This is the least effective of all the parenting methods. Children are unhappy and lack direction.

Now that you understand the basics of parenting styles, it is important that you and your spouse or others who are helping to raise your child, recognize the differences you might have in your parenting ideas. Discuss these differences and try to work together to come to a conclusion as to how you will parent together. It is very important that whichever style you choose, you are all on the same page and work together as a team.

It is highly likely that you will decide on a mix of these styles and not any one in particular. Effective and successful parenting requires a parent to be both firm and gentle. They must set rules, but must also be flexible enough to make adjustments where necessary.  Authoritative parenting style if practiced with consistency by all members of the household promotes the emergence of a self confident and independent child.

With authoritarian parents, children will become timid and unwilling to speak out, consequently, they tend to be introverted and suffer from low self-esteem. The permissive style of parenting usually tends to cause children to exhibit disruptive behavior, show signs of aggression, and possibly violence.



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