You want your kids to clean their rooms thoroughly and pick up their toys from the living room every day, and your spouse mentions that they don’t see the need when they will be back playing with the same toys in the same place. Or your partner wanted the kids to do every assignment for distance learning while you took a more relaxed approach.
These are different parenting styles at work.
Understanding your parenting style and working with the other parents in your kids’ lives to create a compatible parenting atmosphere can be helpful for both you and your kids. When they understand the rules and have a consistent environment in which to function, they feel more secure and can focus on growing and learning.
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What are the different parenting styles out there?
While no parent fits precisely into one box without once in a while, many parents find themselves falling typically into one parenting style naturally. This parenting style may or may not work well with their partner’s style, which can affect how co-parents interact with one another.
Your parenting style is your philosophy on different aspects of your role as a parent and how your children interact with you. Parenting styles impact things like discipline, chores, respect, entertainment, and expectations in your children. Your parenting style is formed in part by your interactions with your parents and your personality.
The four generally accepted styles first coined by Diane Baumrind are Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Uninvolved. These styles fall across the spectrum, but you will probably be able to identify different aspects of your parenting style from several of these sections.
Knowing your default parenting style may take some time to identify and self-analysis. You may want to watch your automatic reactions to certain parenting situations over the next week before deciding where you fall.
You may also consider asking your friends, fellow parents, and older kids where they think you fall, as long as you are okay with whatever the answer will be.
You may also see your automatic style and wish to alter some of the default tendencies associated with this style. The ability to select different behaviors that will work best for your family can be a challenge.
Developing your parenting style can have a positive impact on your children, as long as they are given consistent love throughout the changes.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
The authoritarian parent may be stereotyped as the “Old School” parent. Parents who use this style tend to believe the old adage that kids should be “seen and not heard.” These parents believe that their kids should listen to them the first time that they ask them something and obey the request.
The negative side of this parenting style is that parents who choose this do not naturally spend as much time listening to their children. There is no room to discuss the reason behind the child’s actions. The threat of discipline is what drives children to obey.
Children may rebel against the perceived lack of reason for rules. Children may also grow up to be more permissive parents themselves if they perceive their parents as being too strict.
Authoritative Parenting Style
The authoritative parent spends time investing in the relationship between parent and child. For a parent with this parenting style, the emphasis is not just on obedience, but upon the child understanding the reason behind the rules.
Parents who parent with this style also want their children to develop an autonomous self. They would like them to think for themselves and come to a decision of right and wrong on their own. As children get older, they have the chance to make more complex decisions.
The negative of this parenting style may be the time and energy required to explain the reasoning behind the rules. Some rules are not meant to be a topic of negotiation, and children may learn to try to argue their way out of consequences for rule-breaking.
Permissive Parenting Style
The parent with a permissive parenting style makes their parenting decisions based on love and warmth. They may feel reluctant to enforce the rules because of a desire to avoid harm to their children.
A parent who selects this style of parenting may do so as a reaction to their own childhood rearing, which they perceive as having been too authoritarian.
Permissive parents set rules and parameters in place but have a difficult time giving consequences when those rules are broken. These parents believe that their kids will develop a sense of right and wrong naturally as they develop and grow.
These parents are highly involved in their children’s lives but are lenient when it comes to rules and setting boundaries. This may lead to children breaking the rules when there is a lack of consequence for doing so.
Uninvolved Parenting Style
The uninvolved parent is just that- uninvolved in their kids’ lives. They do not know how the child is doing in school or with their friend group. Uninvolved parents do not regularly ask about their children’s’ lives and, instead, expect the child to self-govern.
Because children perceive this uninvolved parenting style as a lack of love, they tend to rebel against the authority of their parents.
One study noted that this parenting style produces the most juvenile delinquents of the choices of parenting. This does not mean that every child with uninvolved parents ends up in trouble, but this underscores the importance of parental involvement.
Whatever the style of parenting you may recognize from this list, some things can be learned and adjustments that can be made. It is important that your parenting style works in connection with your children’s other parents as well as their personalities.
Interacting with your kids in helpful ways is essential no matter what parenting style you tend towards. Check out our tips on how to talk to your kids so they actually listen here.
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