Diane Baumrind’s Parenting Styles Theory
In Diane Baumrind’s theory on parenting styles, there are four types. Authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. The authoritative parent is nurturing and responsive, yet there are strict boundaries set for their children. They have healthy boundaries set, which are sometimes negotiable and explain the reasoning behind their actions. Their viewpoint is heard, but not always accepted. Children raised with this type of parent are typically friendly, energetic, cheerful, self-reliant, have a significant sense of self-control, have a healthy sense of curiosity, are cooperative and achievement oriented (American Psychological Association, 1).
Unlike the authoritative parent, the authoritarian parent uses strict forms of discipline with little to no negotiation. Punishment is typically used, and corporal punishment may be executed. Communication between the parent and child is only one way, and rules are not explained. Parents who use this type of style are typically not nurturing, their expectations are high with little to no flexibility (Bright Horizons,2018,1). Children who are raised under this type of parenting style are typically withdrawn, unfriendly, and antisocial. In contrast to children raised with the authoritative style.
Dealing with Autistic Children
In stark contrast to both the authoritarian and authoritative styles, permissive parents set next to no boundaries for their children. However, they are warm and nurturing (American Psychological Association,2018,1). They do not monitor their children closely or establish appropriate behavior and expectations from them. Children raised with this parenting style tend to rebel, are impulsive, lack direction, are domineering, harbor a significant amount of aggression, lack self-reliance and control (APA,2018,1).
Like permissive parents, uninvolved parents do not set boundaries for their children (APA,2018,1). However, unlike permissive and authoritative parents, uninvolved parents are not responsive, emotionally unavailable, and reject their children (APA,2018,1). Children who are raised with this parenting style have low-self-esteem and tend to look for this figure in other people. Since I grew up as an atypical child, my experience and upbringing were quite different in comparison to neurotypical children like my older sister. I was closely watched by my parents and did not have a lot of friends.
My parents had different parenting styles and commonly fought about who was right, and who was going to do what with each child. My mother was a mix of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive, but was more authoritarian/authoritative in my earlier childhood. Having a child on the spectrum put a strain on the entire family. My parents could not take me to certain events because of my hypersensitivity to noise. This ironically upset my father. It’s ironic because my father and both of his brothers are most likely on the spectrum amongst other mental disorders.
Having an autistic child is not easy, being autistic is harder. I have a learning disability along with OCD and a mood disorder. My mom was extremely protective of me growing up, and still is. I would spend countless hours studying and doing homework, but it never quite sank in. My mother would get out of work and help me study for hours on end. It took a very long time, but I eventually learned.
Darkest Moments of Parenting
My father was a mix of an authoritarian, an uninvolved, and permissive parent, but he was predominantly an authoritarian, if not abusive (I am aware that abusive is not a parenting style). My father had some “paternal” moments, he would take my sister and I to Disney World almost every day after school and ice-skating practice Wednesdays and weekends. Sometimes when we did not do that, we would have the friends over and he would entertain us. However, he was extremely controlling.
My father dictated everything we did, as he was our primary care-taker at home. His most famous quotes growing up being, “children should be seen and not heard”, and “do as I say, don’t do as I do”. At his darkest moments, my father was emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive. My relationship with my father was, and sometimes still is tumultuous. After I had turned eleven, my father wanted total control over our family, where we went, what we did, who we talked to, etc). My father started to become more violent than usual, he started harassing me and insulting me.
As a teenager, my mom and dad started to become less involved with things I needed (because I was able to get them myself). After I started puberty, my dad and I pretty much stopped spending time together and my mom took over all “parenting responsibilities”. Through all of this, I really wish that my dad was a different type of parent. I understand that my dad lacks the emotional stability that the average parent is supposed to have, but that does not mean that my mother, my sister, or I deserved to go through what we did.
The journey of life consists of constant curve balls that challenge us as individuals. Through these hard times, we fall on our parents for their support. In Kübler-Rosses five stages of grief theory; the five stages consist of the following: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Denial in which the person in question rejects their fate, anger in which the person lashes out at others to mask their fear and pain, bargaining in which the person tries to change their fate, depression in which said person grieves their fate, and the final stage acceptance, in which the person accepts their fate. This commonly occurs when someone is left to face their own death. However, this can occur as a reaction to any negative news.
Speaking of dying, our perspective on dying has changed throughout time. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, doctors and patients adopted a never-say-die stance in reference to illness (denial). As doctors were ill trained on pain management, amongst other symptoms. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s, On Death and Dying challenged the status quo on dying at the time. In a time where there was so much stigma surrounding death, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross actually takes the time to sit down, talk to her patients about death, and listens to what they have to say (Byok,2013,1).
Personally, I have been faced with grief constantly throughout my life. I have suffered loss of relatives, pets, and different people exiting and leaving my life. Sometimes people are put in our lives just to teach us something. When that lesson is over, they exit our lives as quickly as they came. A few months ago, my friend and I volunteered in the Windermere Town Hall for a club he used to be the president of called Diamond life. At the event, a restaurant owner gave us her business card and offered the entire club a job and congratulated us on a job well done.
After I finished my second semester of college, I went to her restaurant to get an application from John, the manager. After filling out several applications and dropping them off with the other store manager, I awaited my first call-back. Low and behold, the other restaurant manager with whom I left my application with called me the following Tuesday to schedule an interview. When I got there, she asked me several typical interview questions, to which I answered to the best of my ability. After that, the manager and I bonded over Yorkshire Terriers and I asked her what to expect on my first day.
Getting Support from My Mother
After discussing what my first day of work would be like, I went home and waited for the next two days to come so that I could start my shift. My first day could not have been much worse if I had actively tried. It was like Murphy’s law was in play, anything bad that was going to happen would. It was so bad that I had a panic attack in the bathroom. Not only did I have a panic attack in the restroom, I fell and hurt my back, and my boss was extremely hostile.
On my second day of training, as soon as I felt as if I was starting to comprehend how things worked around there, the head chef and the general manager, John took me to the back of the restaurant and fired me. After I heard the phrase; “We’re going to have to let you go”, I tuned out. It was like I was in a time warp. Everything started to sound like the adults in the Charlie Brown show. I never even got the chance to tell my superiors that I had an intellectual disability that affects the way I worked and communicated with people.
After the conversation we had in the back, I asked if they would need me for the rest of the day, they said no. I did not even bother to sign out. I just walked out of the front door and never looked back. I had no idea where I was going, I just knew that I had to get out of the mall complex before someone saw me. I had trouble processing what had just happened. I walked for about half a mile before I started to cry about the news I had just received.
I tried to walk home from work, but there was too much traffic, I was not in the mood to try to cross the street. I decided to go to the nearest building, call for a ride, and wait inside. I called my mom to come get me. After a few minutes of waiting, my mom came to pick me up and asked me why I was crying. After I had told her about losing my job, she was infuriated (I had told her about the way my boss had been treating me). I take my work very seriously, and before this job, I had never been fired before. I started to question my work ethic and my competence.
Parents Teaching Us Life Lessons
I would say things to myself like; “am I good enough,” “this is all my fault”, or “I should have told them about my disability”. Development and the five stages of grief are both important because for us to have the ability to function in the real world and handle what life throws at us, we must understand how our parents prepare us for this task and give us the strength to handle it in the first place. I am so grateful to have had my mother to support me through times like those. I am not sure where I would be today without her love, support, and superb parenting. Without our parents, we would not be strong enough to handle the real world. Our parents teach us important lessons about life.
In conclusion, Development plays a crucial role in making sure we get the tools necessary to function in the real world, positive development plays a crucial role in having the ability to handle the five stages of grief with poise, and development plays the crucial role in determining who exactly we will become through our experiences throughout life. To have the ability to function in the real world, we must understand how our parents prepare us for this.