Research has shown that parenting styles can considerably influence how kids behave and think. How much structure and discipline parents provide, how much warmth and support they give to their child, how much communication is given between parent and child, and how much independence the parent allows for their child all factor into how a child will grow in terms of cognitive and emotional development.
A nurturing parenting style that provides safe boundaries without over-controlling the child’s behavior will create an environment where the child can better explore their world while still feeling secure and developed. However, a parenting style that is too strict or sheltering can limit a child’s growth by not allowing the opportunity to learn through exploration and risk-taking.
Types of parenting styles
No two parents share the same exact approach to parenting and varying styles can have varying impacts on children. Keep reading to learn more about the different parenting styles every parent needs to know.
Authoritative parenting is generally thought of as the most effective form of parenting. It involves setting high standards for their child and providing warmth, love, and support to help them reach those expectations. Authoritative parents are strict but not overly controlling. They allow their children independence and freedom within reasonable limits.
Permissive parenting is much more lenient when it comes to rules and discipline. The parent tends to see themselves more as a friend or peer than an authority figure. They often give in to their child’s every whim without enforcing consequences for misbehavior. Permissive parents may be well-intentioned, wanting to give their children all they need with few restrictions or demands on how they should act or behave.
Authoritarian parenting is marked by strict rules, expectations, and discipline without much warmth or nurturing. This parenting relies heavily on punishment for misbehavior, often using it as the only method to control how their child behaves. Children of authoritarian parents can sometimes feel suffocated by how demanding and controlling their parents are. This leads them to become rebellious and oppositional towards their parents.
Uninvolved parenting is when the parent is largely absent from day-to-day decision-making in how their child behaves or interacts with others. The parent may provide necessities but has little interest or involvement in their child’s development or growth. Uninvolved parents aren’t necessarily neglectful; they simply lack an understanding of how their parenting decisions can affect how their child develops.
How to find the best parenting approach?
Parents should observe how their children respond to different parental behaviors and evaluate how well those behaviors accomplish the desired outcome. If necessary, parenting styles should be adjusted in importance and prominence so that children can optimally achieve their developmental potentials. So, how do you know which style will work best for your family?
Listen to your child and observe how they respond to different parenting tactics
Really listening and observing your child’s response to your parenting approaches is a valuable tool. Not only does it help you better understand who they are as a person. It will also give you an insight into how they respond best to discipline and guidance. As a parent, taking the time to see what works best for your child individually can strengthen the bond between you both, build trust and self-confidence, and aid in your child’s overall development. Research has shown that children whose parents take the time to listen and observe their needs truly, have higher levels of life satisfaction than those whose parents don’t take the time to do so.
Understand how your parenting approach fits into a broader context
It’s important to consider how your parenting style affects how your child interacts with other people and how they might fit into the larger world outside their family unit. Are you teaching them how to respect authority figures, understand different perspectives, or manage their emotions? The answers to these questions can help guide how you parent and ensure that your child is properly equipped for life outside of their home.
Acknowledge that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting
Every child is unique, so it stands to reason that there isn’t a single parenting approach that works for every family. What works for one child might not necessarily work for another, so it’s essential to be open and flexible regarding how you parent. Be bold and try something different if the current approach isn’t working.
Rely on your own instincts
It’s important to trust your instincts as a parent. If something doesn’t feel right or makes you uncomfortable, it probably isn’t best for your family. Ultimately, how our children turn out depends mainly on how we raise them. Therefore, make sure that you are comfortable with whatever parenting approaches you decide to take.
Ultimately, how our parenting affects our children’s development is something that we should take seriously. It’s important to remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches or try something new if the current methods aren’t working. The important thing is that you create the kind of environment where your little one can reach their full potential and be happy and healthy.
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