Parenting styles

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 28 October 2016

Parenting styles

Child development has been a topic of interest of most developmental psychologists, especially in terms of the relationship between a parent and a child (Eisenberg et al. , 2009). There has been considerable effort in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between a particular approach that a parent employs and the resulting behavior in a child. Unfortunately, the precise connection has been quite elusive, as there are yet a number of factors that could influence the impact of a parental action towards a child.

There are also other external factors that may modify the impact of a specific parental action, thus generating a modified response in a child (Jackson et al. , 2008). Another complicating factor to consider in this type of analysis is the observation that children show varied responses to a specific parental approach despite the utmost similarity in the characteristics of the child’s immediate environment. There are also twin studies that depict variations in the personalities of children despite their growth and development in the same location.

One widely recognized association between parenting styles and the impact on children is that established by Baumrind (1967). In her study involving approximately 100 children who were at their pre-school age, four dimensions were identified to be strongly associated with parenting. Among these were the type of strategy that was employed in instilling discipline in a child, the degree and method of providing care and warmth to a child, the mode of communicating to a child and the amount of maturity of a parent towards his child.

These dimensions could thus characterize a specific parenting style, of which could be easily identifiable among parents. This essay will present the four parenting styles that were described by Baumrind (1967), as well as analyze the impact of each style on the general well being of the child. The four styles of parenting according to Baumrind (1967) The term parenting pertains to a complex action that is strongly associated with a particular behavior that influences a child’s growth and development.

Parenting can thus become a positive or a negative factor on how a child with turn out. It should be understood that parenting is a complex behavior because it is often difficult to directly associate one behavior to a specific outcome in a child. For example, the physical infliction of punishment, such as spanking, does not automatically result in the creation of a juvenile delinquent. Moreover, reading a story to a child does not directly indicate that the child will turn out to be a well-disciplined young individual.

The combination of all activities of a parent in relation to a child thus comprises the holistic concept of parenting. The main mechanism behind the adaptation of a parenting style by a parent is to control, as well as to teach their child to interact with other individuals. There are two general points that need to be understood with regards to the concept of parenting. Firstly, a parenting style may have variations that would create a unique and personal touch for each parent.

In addition to the personal style of every parent, it is also common to observed parenting styles that have hints of cultural, religious and ethnic characteristics. For example, Asian parents are usually more protective of their children than parents from Western countries. It is therefore common to see families that are comprised of three generations living under one roof. A Catholic parent may also have slight differences in their parenting style, as this would include teachings of regularly going to church and in more conservative Catholics, recognizing days of fasting and abstinence.

A parenting style may also be slightly modified based on the gender of the parent, wherein a male parent may perform such action using a masculine approach and a female parent would employ a feminine style. Another general point regarding the concept of parenting is that despite the variations in the approaches and styles that parents assume over their children, the main goal of parenting is still focused on the subject of control. Children, especially during their formative years, are highly malleable to external factors and thus every parent attempts to teach their children of the proper ways of going about regular activities in life.

Since children are too young and immature to understand the principles and facts of life, parents thus take responsibility of teaching their children and in most instances neglect to explain every situation that comes by their children’s way. The simplest and effective method for a parent to prevent their children from experiencing any harm is to provide rules that would ultimately control their actions towards getting into trouble. Parenting is also related to two essential elements, namely responsiveness and capacity to demand.

Parental responsiveness pertains to the degree to which a parent supports individuality and assertion on the part of the child. This element thus allows a child to perform actions that he wants to engage in, as long as these are still acceptable and proper. On the other hand, a parent’s capacity to demand pertains to the claim made on a child in order for this young individual to be integrated into the family. In addition, a parent’s level of demand is also associated with a parent being capable of confronting a child when he disobeys the established rules of the family. Authoritarian style of parenting.

This parental approach is generally characterized by establishing rules in the household, of which the children are expected to follow. In any case that these rules are not followed, the parent then imposes a punishment on the child. One unique feature of this parenting style is that most parents do not provide any opportunity to explain to their children when a certain rule has been established in the home (Williams et al. , 2009). The child, on the other end, is thus unaware of the principle behind each rule, yet he would follow the rules in order to avoid getting any punishment from his parent.

A strong correlation with the authoritarian style is the quality of having high standards, as well as great expectations on the part of the parent. It is quite unfortunate to see that despite the strict rules in the home, an authoritarian parent does not respond to the inquiries of the child. In addition, authoritarian parents are generally focused on the concepts of obedience within the family, as well as maintenance of the status of this social unit. Authoritative approach for parenting. In the authoritative style of parental behavior, the same rules are established in the household.

This may be similar to what is observed in the authoritarian style of parenting, yet the authoritative approach also provides some unique features. Firstly, the authoritative style recognizes democracy in the family, wherein the children may express their concern and engage in discussions with their parents about a particular rule. On the part of the parent, there is also some extent of responsiveness towards the children, as the parent permits the opportunity for discussions and possibly, debate with their children.

The authoritative approach to parenting also provides a nurturing environment to their children, including instances when the child has broken a rule that was established by the parent. More importantly, the authoritative parent also forgives a child when he is unable to fulfill the expectations that were described to him for delivery. Despite its similarity to the authoritarian approach to parenting wherein there are rules that have been established in the home, the authoritative style involves regular monitoring of the child, thus directing this young individual as he progresses through his childhood.

In addition, the authoritative approach also employs clear and distinct rules that would result in an acceptable standard to both the parents and the children themselves. Permissive approach to parenting. Permissive parenting generally involves an indulgent approach to children, wherein only a few expectations are expected of the children. In addition, permissive parents seldom punish their children because there are no rules to follow at home. The parents also do not demand any signs of maturity, as well as self-control, from their children.

In terms of comparing the predominant feature in permissive parenting, the parents are described to be more interactive and responsive, than the feature of being demanding of their children. Using this approach, the children thus sense a nurturing effect from their parents, as they are given the opportunity to communicate to their parents. It is also possible that children feel that their permissive parent is more of a friend than a strict parent. The uninvolved style of parenting.

The uninvolved parent is often associated with having only a few expectations, as well as a low degree of responsiveness to their children. In this parenting approach, there is seldom any interaction between the parent and the children. However, it should be understood that despite the silence between the two parties, the basic needs of the child are still met, although the parent maintains a detached personality towards the child. There may also be cases wherein the uninvolved parent is unable to care for the child.

The effect of various parenting styles on the child Every parenting style is destined to generate a specific impact on the recipient child. However, it should be understood that the total effect of a parenting style on a child could have inter-individual variations because the environment, genetics and other external factors will also contribute to the entire condition of the child. In general, the authoritarian approach to parenting generates children who are obedient. These children are commonly observed to be proficient in most of their activities.

However it is also common to find that their children carry a low degree of self-esteem and often describe themselves to be unhappy. Children of authoritarian parents also find difficulty in interacting with other people (Williams et al. , 2009). Children of authoritative parents, on the other hand, are usually happy, as well as highly capable of producing their expected results. In addition, these children often result in successful lives during their adult year. Children of permissive parents are often unhappy, despite the freedom to perform any activity of their choosing.

It has been reported that children of permissive parents are more likely to encounter problems due to illegal activities, as well as result in poor academic performance. The uninvolved approach in parenting generally results in the lowest quality of childhood, wherein children have been found to lose any sense of self-control. In addition, children of uninvolved parents often carry a low degree of self-esteem and are usually less competent that other children of the same age range (Eisenberg et al. , 2009). Variations in parenting styles are mainly due to the differences in the cultures and religious principles of parents.

There are also other external factors that influence the predominance of a particular parenting style, such as the size and the socioeconomic status of the family (Jackson et al. , 2008). The educational level of the parents is also instrumental in the parenting style that would be adapted by a parent. Another factor to consider in parenting styles is that each parent may adapt a different approach and thus the child generally results in a specific personality that is the resultant effect of two different parenting styles.

For example, the father could employ an authoritarian parenting style, while the mother engages in the permissive approach. The child thus adapts a personality and attitude that adjusts to the presence of both parenting styles. Conclusions There are four general parenting approaches that have been described by Baumrind (1967), resulting to distinct outcomes in a child. The authoritarian style is characterized by a strict set of rules, while the authoritative approach shows more lenience in house rules.

Permissive parents often lacks monitoring and self-regulation of children, while the uninvolved parent is often distant to children. The variations in the growth and development of a child may be influenced by the parenting style that a parent employs and thus it is important to constantly monitor the progress of a child’s development in terms of the external influences that surround him. References Baumrind, D. (1967). Child-care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75:43-88. Eisenberg, N. , Chang, L. , Ma, Y. & Huang, X. (2009).

Relations of parenting style to Chinese children’s effortful control, ego resilience, and maladjustment. Developmental Psychopathology, 21(2):455-477. Jackson, A. P. , Bentler, P. M. & Franke, T. M. (2008). Low-wage maternal employment and parenting style. Social Work, 53(3):267-278. Williams, L. R. , Degnan, K. A. , Perez-Edgar, K. E. , Henderson, H. A. , Rubin, K. H. , Pine, D. S. , Steinberg, L. & Fox, N. A. (2009). Impact of behavioral inhibition and parenting style on internalizing and externalizing problems from early childhood through adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(8):1063-1075.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 28 October 2016

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