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Why parenting style matters when raising children

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Mangaluru: Bringing up a child is not easy, and it is very confusing for a parent how to bring up a child
when a lot of information is available on the internet and also feedback and suggestions are
given by elders on bringing up a child in a certain way. I will be discussing different
parenting styles and their pros and cons.

What is Parenting Style?

When a couple becomes parents, they see a need to follow a parenting style, either their
parents’ way of upbringing or quite the opposite for their kids. It mostly depends upon how
they as kids were brought up by their parents.
For instance, I have been brought up in a very strict household, and I decided to adopt the
opposite for my kids. I promised myself that I am going to be lenient and friendly and allow
them to chase their dreams with freedom. They are free to choose their likes and dislikes
but with our guidance. Likewise, every parent has their own parenting style, depending on
how they use certain approaches, attitudes and behavior when interacting with them.
There are different styles or types of parenting, and it is suggested that as the child grows,
the parent has to adapt and change the styles accordingly to suit their needs. It depends on
the child’s reactions to the parent’s actions and vice-versa.
It is also important to understand these parenting style classifications and parenting
practices that are different. Parenting practices are how a parent uses specific practices and
help children socialize, and parenting style is how the parent raises their children
emotionally.

Theories of Child-Rearing:

Many researchers have researched extensively on the types of parenting styles. Some of the
famous books by these authors include John Locke’s SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING
EDUCATION, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s book titled Emile: or, On Education. Jean Piaget’s
theory of cognitive development describes various developmental stages. Erik Erikson
proposed eight life stages, through which each person must undergo.
Baurmind’s parenting style: Diana Baurmind is a researcher who described three parenting
styles – Authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting.
Macoby and Martin expanded on this and placed the parenting styles in two categories
namely demanding and undemanding. The demanding category includes authoritative and
authoritarian, and undemanding includes Indulgent and neglectful.
The Four Types Of Parenting Styles

 Authoritarian Parenting Style:
In this style, the parent is very demanding and not responsive. The parent is very
restrictive and punishes the children if they fail to follow their orders and directions and no
explanation and feedback is acceptable. The parent is too much concentrating on the
children and family’s perception and status. The parent uses corporate punishment,
spanking, and yelling as forms to discipline the kids, as the main goal of the parent is to
teach the child to behave, survive and thrive in society. The logic behind this is the child
will be able to adapt to society and will be able to handle the outside world, as they are
already sensitized at home to both acute and chronic stress imposed by parents.
Effect on children:
Children are more susceptible to mental illness when they grow up. They may have anxiety
and aggression issues. They act fearful or overly shy, display prosocial behaviours, struggle
with self-control, and have negative symptoms like hyperactivity.
The best example would be the famous Bollywood movie DDLJ, Simran’s father stands
against her affair with Raj and takes her back to India to get her married against her
wishes. Now that is Authoritarian parenting. Because she has to abide by his rules, whether
she likes it or not.
Authoritative Parenting Style:
The parent is demanding and responsive and characterized by a child-centred approach.
These parents teach the children how to regulate their feelings and expect the children to
show maturity. They often help their children to solve problems, help them be independent
and still place limits on their actions. They promote their children to make their own
decisions and be independent and reliant. They set clear standards, monitor the limits, and
help children to develop autonomy.
Effect on Children:
The children are well-adjusted and have appropriate developmental outcomes. They
develop to be independent, successful, and well-behaved. They also have good social skills
and emotional control.
Example:
The movie “Lion King” is an excellent example of authoritative parenting. The relationship
between Simba and his dad displays a high level of warmth, control, and involvement in the
child’s life by his parents.
Indulgent Parenting Style:
The parent is responsive but not demanding. The parent is permissive, non–directive, and
has fewer expectations from the children. They try to be friends with their children and
help them make decisions as a friend. These parents compensate for what they missed
during their children and give their children freedom and materials as they demand.
Effect on Children
The children may have worse academic performance, as there is no one to regulate them.
They do not know their limits of acceptable behaviour and may indulge in crimes and
substance abuse. They have worse social skills and antisocial behaviour.
Example:
The movie “Mean Girls” is an excellent example of this type of parenting. There is low
control by parents and high warmth which is the opposite of authoritarian parenting. The
children are in total control and run the show. This is very clear in the movie, Regina’s
mother when says she is not a regular mom, but a cool mom.
Neglectful/ Uninvolved Parenting Style
The parent is neither responsive nor demanding. They don’t respond to their child’s needs
or desires, and they are detached from their child’s needs. They don’t set rules, nor offer
guidance or expectations for behaviour. This is one of the worst parenting styles.
Effect on children:
The children are often lonely, sad, immature, and have low self-esteem, and emotional
neediness. They are anxious or stressed due to a lack of family support. They may have an
increased risk of substance abuse and exhibit more delinquency during adolescence.
Example:
The best example would be Matilda’s movie, in which her parents are rarely interested in
her. They are so neglectful that they don’t even know how old she is. They don’t even care
for her interests.
These are the major 4 parenting styles, there are a few minor ones as well namely
attachment parenting, child-centred parenting, positive parenting, narcissistic parenting,
nurturant parenting, overparenting, affectionless control, slow parenting, toxic parenting,
pathogenic parenting, dolphin parenting, ethnic minority parenting style, alloparenting
style, unconditional parenting, gentle parenting, helicopter parenting.
Summary:
Each type of parenting style is unique, and sometimes we feel we belong to a particular
kind of parenting style. I would say it is usually the mix of these parenting styles. When we
read about these, we think, “Oh yes, I am doing this a lot, so I am a bad parent or toxic
parent”. But rest assured, our intentions for our kids are good, so I would say, do not be
hard on yourself, be kind. In some situations, some kind of parenting styles work, but
overall, the growth and development of the child are more important than the ego clashes
with the parent.
I would say, a mixed parenting style which favours the child and helps in the overall growth
and development of a child is the best. Please pick wise battles with kids, do not
micromanage them or leave them out of the picture. The best balance is possible by trial
and error only, so work it out with your kids and see what suits you and your kids the best.
Live and let live and enjoy being a parent.

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