In psychology, one of the main debates is nature vs. nurture. It asks the questions – which factors affect an individual more – genetics or environment? A very important concept that we study under this is the different kinds of parenting and how they affect a child.
This is a parenting style that is typically characterised by a parent that takes on a very strict demeanour. Authoritative parents are generally extremely strict and authoritative, but not responsive, in the sense that the child of this kind of parent is expected to follow certain fixed and rigid rules and guidelines without flexible problem solving or exceptions. Much of this parenting style depends on punishments in order to enforce rules.
If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that this kind of parenting style can have an extremely negative effect on your child. Children of these parents tend to have many insecurities. They grow up to be shy and fearful and have low self-esteem, which could manifest into a more severe problem in the future.
These effects may exhibit themselves in your kids, especially when you notice your little one taking less initiative in an environment where he/she is surrounded by peers. He/she may shy away from approaching other kids.
This kind of parenting style involves parents having no rules or restrictions, but they are also not responsive to their child’s social needs such as love and affiliation. It is one of the most harmful styles of parenting and involves not giving enough attention to one’s child.
A child with neglectful parents will probably develop trust issues with their own parents. These kids generally have trouble forming relationships with other people. They may also exhibit low self-esteem. One major observable effect is poor performance in school due to an overall negative disposition.
Permissive parenting is, in some ways, opposite to neglectful parenting. In this kind of parenting, you might find yourself indulging your child, with little to no restrictions or rules. A child has free reign in the house and his/her parents tend to give into all/most demands made by the child.
This kind of parenting style is harmful in the sense that it could lead to self-centeredness in the child, behavioural problems and difficulty in socialising due to them being used to having things their way. They could also have feelings of no security due to the lack of structure in their lives.
This is thought to be the most efficient form of parenting. It is similar to authoritarian parenting in the sense that parents who follow this style do enforce a set of rules and restrictions. However, the difference is that there are reasonable flexibility and logic used to reach the desired goals. Parents use punishments as well as rewards depending on what the situation requires. These parents are also responsive to their children’s needs for love and affiliation. There are open communication and a productive relationship between parents and their children.
Children who have been brought up with this parenting style are often seen having high self-esteem, good social skills, and an overall positive disposition, which also exhibits itself in spheres such as academics. Insecurities are few or none at all and they function in a more structured manner.
Many times, we may not know what kind of parents we are. However, there are certain signs that help a person understand. So, if you or someone you know points out some sign of an ineffective or negative parenting style, what must be of highest priority to you is to help fix this. The relationship you develop with your child should be one of mutual respect and one where your child knows that he/she has a decent amount of autonomy but within certain guidelines set by you. It’s also important to ensure that your child understands the reason for the restrictions and the necessity of acting accordingly.