Studies indicate that there are approximately 3 succinct parenting styles including authoritarian, disconnected/detached, and permissive. And each parenting style, in its’ own way, affects child development. All children are different, and their parenting needs, therefore, are different… at different times. For example, an authoritarian parenting style communicates succinct standards and consequences for child behavior. Therefore, children have a much more structured environment, in which parents walk the fine line of being both supportive and assertive. What is being taught here is self-discipline and responsibility. Detached parenting, though may meet children’s basic physical needs, and does not fulfill children’s basic needs for bonding. Children exposed to a detached parenting style, may feel rejected and be emotionally neglected. Finally, a permissive parenting style is often lacking in discipline and heavily weighted towards over indulgence. Children exposed to permissive parenting may experience immaturity and the need for immediate gratification. This can lead to poor impulse control. Though permissive parents bond with their children they don’t create a structure in which to teach their children to self-monitor. Moreover, children of permissive parenting are often vulnerable to value confusion.
With parents exposed to so many different kinds of parenting styles, how does one know which is the right style? Is there anything like the ‘correct way of upbringing’?
The most important thing to know, in relation to parenting styles, is to know your child. Different children require different parenting skills. Also, children’s needs differ with their own development and social exposure. So, knowing your child, and their needs, can help you construct the correct approach for them. Including, strategies for discipline, nurturing, communication, bonding, and impulse control.
Should parents choose their parenting style depending on the child’s temperament? What other factors should they keep in mind while choosing a style?
Yes, parents should choose a parenting style that fits their child’s temperament and knowing the affects of the varying parenting approaches is of the upmost importance. For example, authoritarian parents seek children who are both well behaved and successful. However, those children may not have a great sense of self or social confidence. Whereas, authoritative parents often have children who are academically exemplary, socially confident, and successful. Further, the outcome of a permissive parenting style is often one of poor self-control and therefore children who are incapable of fulfilling their potential. By being unable to self-regulate and self-discipline, children raised with permissive parenting styles may be unable to use their intellectual capacity. Detached parenting may result in children who have problems self-regulating, poor self-esteem, and social incompetence.
Can you combine two or more parenting styles?
You absolutely can combine two or more parenting styles, and in fact utilise different parenting styles at different times. Knowing your child will help you know what is required as a parent. For example, if your child is in a sensitive, tender place, empathy and compassion work better than authoritarian parenting.
What do you do when one parent’s style clashes with another? How do you solve it?
You instinctively parent your children the way you were parented: you’ve been brought up one way and your partner another. This truth inevitably leads to differences in both the expectations and the methods of parenting. You bring to your marriage, your family of origin and the way your parents parented you. And even if you didn’t like a lot of what your parents did, you reach for what you know.
In our minds, we feel justified: You’ve never been a parent before so you project onto your new family all of the feelings and values from your family home. After all, that is who you are and that is what you bring to your marriage. So, when you look down that long tunnel of parenting options you pull out the familiar. Our expectations often hit a wall, called The Other Parent, and we don’t understand why our partner can’t see things our way. Conflict and child rearing not only can cause chaos in your marriage but in fact, it is one of the greatest causes for divorce. What is “no big deal” to one parent, may be a big deal to the other. But nevertheless, it is never appropriate to sabotage another parent’s discipline in front of your child.
Communicate regularly and openly with your partner. Communication is the key to everything.
Know your child. Different children require different parenting styles…at different times. For example, you would discipline a shy child much differently than you would an aggressive child.
Educate yourself. Make sure you are fully aware of what is going on with your children in this day and age rather than just guessing or basing your knowledge on your own childhood experience. Talk with other parents, and know what your children’s’ peer group are doing.
Engage in the empathic process. Set up neutral space, such as the kitchen, for you and your mate to communicate regularly about family problems. The kitchen is the heart of the house where alchemy happens. Here, you’re creating new traditions and new education styles, together… that fit your new family. Be honest and do not get defensive when your mate is speaking. This gives you chance to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of your own upbringing, and your partner has chance to do the same.
Come up with a parenting plan that will work for your family and kind of children you have. You bring to the plan one parenting item that is of utmost importance to you and is non-negotiable, and your partner does the same. Then, work together to negotiate the rest until you have a new plan that reflects your combined parenting styles.
Once you have a combined parenting plan, stick with it. Be consistent. Then kids know what to expect and they know what the consequences will be. Once you’ve settled what you’re willing to do in merging two different families of origin, then you sit down with your kids and verbally lay out the rules, together. By investing your children in the discipline process, they will be more likely to follow the rules that they have taken part in creating.
Always present a united front before your children. Do not disagree with each other or question each other’s parenting decision in front of your children; if you disagree, have that conversation with your partner outside of earshot of your children. United you stand, divided you fall.
Seek help. If communication breaks down, for example, if you or your mate sabotage one another in front of your children, you may need to explore the reasons behind your behavior. Perhaps, anger and dysfunction are being projected in your parenting roles. Then it’s time to see a therapist. Seek professional help to bring you and your partner back to a middle ground where you can learn to communicate and support each other.According to you, which parenting style works the best and why?
Studies tell us that authoritative parenting styles, that are both flexible and fluid, result in happier children who have good self-esteem, competence, and confidence. However, it is important to note, that parenting requires parents to be adaptable. And though it is important to be consistent when parenting, parents also need to be open to their child’s life experiences and history.Are parenting styles really important? Do they matter?
Yes, parenting styles are important and they do matter because they give us a framework in which to structure consistent expectations for children. This allows children to access, focus, and organize their potential. When children know what to expect and what is expected of them, they feel secure, loved, and valued. To live life successfully it is important to know the rules, this leads to confidence and competence under all situations including the extremes.