In general, parents vary greatly in their parenting style. What exactly is parenting style you may ask. In a nutshell, it is ones overall pattern of parenting interactions. For example, some parents are very laid back giving their children great freedoms while other parents have stringent rules and high expectations for their children.
There has been a great deal of research on parenting styles. They looked at positive characteristics in children and then interviewed parents to determine if their were any commonalities in there parenting styles that lead to positive outcomes later in life. They identified two important ingredients: a) responsiveness and b) behavioral control. Out of this came the identification of four different parenting styles. I want to take some time over the next couple of days to discuss in depth the different parenting styles including the impact they have on outcome for our children later in life. In the meantime, here's a quick overview:
- Authoritarian. These parents are highly controlling. They stress obedience to authority and discourage discussion, are demanding and do not encourage give-and-take.
- Authoritative. These parents set limits and rely on natural consequences for children to learn from making their own mistakes. They are firm, with kindness, warmth and love.
- Permissive. Parents with this style are accepting and warm but exert little control. They do not set limits and do not demand the high levels of behavior as authoritarian or authoritative parents.
- Uninvolved. Parents using this style demand little and respond minimally. In extreme cases, this parenting style might entail neglect and rejection.
It is important as parents to be aware of our approach with children. I'm hoping that by discussing this you will learn more about what approach you use most frequently as well as how that approach can affect your children. Until then, have a great evening!