Parenting is a demanding task and it takes an aware, determined and conscious parent to be a good one. The good news is many of us can be great parents.
There are two main dimensions of parenting: responsiveness and demanding. The first indicates how warm a parent is, while the second illustrates how much control the parent wants to have.
These are the four major types of parenting styles that have different degrees of these two dimensions. The key word here is moderation:
1. Authoritarian parents: These parents are too demanding and need to have too much control. They are not much responsive and warm. They focus on obedience, physical or verbal punishment, threat and creating negative emotions to gain compliance. Children in such parenting environments are prone to being irritable, aggressive and have low levels of self-esteem. If there is a level of achievement, it may not create a sense of inner satisfaction, because they may have been pushed into that goal rather than being guided or encouraged.
2. Authoritative parents: These parents are the healthiest of all and use moderation to not only show warmth, love and affection, but to make sure their children understand that there are rules and consequences. However, their methods are mostly based on reasoning, reasonable consequences to behaviors, praise and explanations to gain compliance and they are willing to modify these depending on the child's age, personality and temperament and the situation they are in. They also encourage a healthy dose of independence at the appropriate stages. Such children are more prone to having a foundation for a sense of responsibility, self-esteem and a healthy level of goal orientation. This parenting is most likely to create children that are highly conscious and empathic to the world. They also do better in school. Overall, they are more well-balanced.
3. Permissive parents: These parents are the opposite of the authoritarian ones. While they are warm and caring, they have little demands and rules. Their children seem to be prone to being impulsive and self-absorbed, may have a low level of frustration tolerance and are not very goal-oriented. They also tend to lack self-control and self-discipline.
4. Neglecting parents:These parents are low on both responsiveness and in their demands, and may be hostile as well. They are very inconsistent and unpredictable as well as uninvolved. This type of parenting can predispose children to have issues related to impulsivity, moodiness, aggressiveness and low self-esteem.
Please note that people make changes all the time and just because a person had a specific type of parenting does not mean that they are doomed to be a specific type of an individual. These are just general themes that explain the way the foundation is structured.
And at the end, through education, learning and training, you can teach yourself to become a better parent. To be a better parent, you have to have a range of techniques that help you become content, calm and rational. Things like meditation, exercise, eating healthy, connecting to nature and reading among many others. Make sure you have resources to go to when you need help with a specific problem as in today's world, there is a lot of solid information at your figure tip. The key question to ask yourself is am I being fair, logical, reflective and open minded when it comes to my parenting skills?
Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD
A foundation dedicated to happiness and success.
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