Parenthood is a status that is anticipated with much excitement and trepidation. When it happens, a mix of instincts, childhood experiences and ideas acquired from fellow-parents, friends and other sources meld to form a distinctive style of parenting, unique to each parent and family. As parents, we may respond to the actions of our children with affection and encouragement and offer sensitive guidance. Alternatively, we may use commands, negative comments and threats to ensure that our children meet our expectations.

Parenting and its Various forms

Different types of parenting are:

 

1) The Authoritative Parenting Style

Authoritative parents have strict expectations of their kids, but will explain why, rather than just expecting the child to obey them because they said so. People who ascribe to this parenting style are willing to explain their decisions using logic and reason, but these parents aren’t interested in their children’s desires or opinions when it comes to making parental decisions. For example, an authoritative parent might explain to a preschooler that she needs to wear a matching, coordinated outfit to a family event because dressing nicely is a sign of respect. If the child still didn’t want to dress how the parent wants her to, an authoritarian parent would enforce their expectation and make the child change into an appropriate outfit

2) Uninvolved Parenting Style

 The uninvolved parent combines low levels of warmth and low levels of control, and does not utilize any particular discipline style. He or she often displays little interest in being a parent.  Communication is limited, nurturance is low, and the child, generally, has an excessive amount of freedom. Because the uninvolved parent is neither demanding, nor responsive, and because young children are highly dependent on parental structure and support, uninvolved parenting has been associated with behavioural problems and depression in children.  Additionally, adolescents who are exposed to uninvolved parenting practices often perceive high levels of rejection and tend to exhibit more externalizing behaviours, aggressive behaviours, delinquent behaviours, hostility, and attention problems.

3) Authoritarian Parenting

The authoritarian parenting, can be characterized by both high demands and low responsiveness. This means these parents focus on strict rules and harsh discipline. Authoritarian parents believe that children are, by nature, strong-willed and self-indulgent. They value obedience to higher authority as a virtue unto itself. Authoritarian parents see their primary job to be bending the will of the child to that of authority. However, the lack of the guidance offered by authoritarian parents takes a toll. The children of authoritarian parents, however, tend to be somewhat more depressed and have lower self-esteem than those of authoritative parents. There are also studies that show these kids are more likely to become bullies, too.

4) Permissive Parenting style

The permissive parent attempts to behave in a nonpunitive, acceptant and affirmative manner towards the child’s impulses, desires, and actions. Such a parent will consult the child before taking decisions and explains family rules to the child.  However, a permissive parent makes few demands of the child regarding household responsibility and orderly behaviour. The parent presents himself/herself as a resource for the child to use as he/she wishes, not as a role model or a healthy disciplinarian. The child is allowed to regulate his/her own activities as much as possible without being forced to obey any rules. Such a parent may use reason and manipulation, but not overt power to accomplish his/her ends. Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.

 

There are several reasons for differences in parenting styles amongst families such as culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level and religion. A mother and father within a family could often have contradictory parenting styles which could lead to confusion and conflict in their child-rearing strategies. There is no single model of parenting that is suitable to all families. Hence each family needs a unique blend of parenting styles to fulfil the needs of the child and the parents and foster a good relationship between them.

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