How Parenting Styles have a Significant Influence on The Well-being of Children
Parenting is a process of nurturing the physical and mental well-being of a child. The well-being of any child is dependent on the kind of parenting style he receives.
How one can be referred as a good parent varies from one culture to another. A good parent is sensitive to the needs of their child from infant stage until adulthood. Furthermore, raising children who are disciplined and uphold good morals is not as easy as chewing a gum. It requires hard work and patience.
In general, many of our children’s emotions are often overlooked, as parents tend to focus more on how they are behaving rather than their feelings. On the other hand, maintaining an awareness of our children’s psychological needs we can be more attuned to our children and make efforts to raise them in a way that will help them emotionally.
To demonstrate this fact, let me use the analogy of a ‘gardener’ to describe positive parenting. Let’s look at a parent as a ‘gardener,’ whose garden has beautiful well-nourished flowers. In the same way she has tendered her garden, she should recognize the child’s personality traits and nurture them.
Below I will discuss 4 types of parents and the impact they have on the well-being of children.
1 Authoritarian Parents
Authoritarian parents believe in their children completely submitting to their parents. They do not expect their children to answer back or question when rules are set out for them.
Authoritarian parents do not usually take into consideration of their children’s feelings. It’s either you take it or leave it; without a negotiating platform.
Authoritarian parents like to use punishments as a way of chastising their children. Thus, the focus is based on making their children suffer for the consequences of their mistakes. In this way, the children never learn to make good choices, but rather focus on being obedient.
Children raised by authoritarian parents may end up being hostile and sly. Studies have shown that such children are prone to telling lies, so as to avoid punishment.
In the same way, children who grow up under authoritarian parents tend to have a lower self-esteem tinted with timidity. That is to say, such children lack self-confidence and are not able to express themselves. These children are more prone to suffering depression.
2 Authoritative Parents
Authoritative parents strive to maintain a positive relationship with their children. They are friendly and communicate, unlike the authoritarian parents. According to researchers, children of authoritative parents are better balanced.
For every rule they make, the authoritative parents tend to explain the reasons why, they have come up with such rules. They offer flexibility, unlike authoritarian parents who maintain a rigid and uncompromising stand.
Authoritative parents encourage freedom of expression which translates to a child being assertive and socially responsible. This autonomy makes the child to develop good social skills.
Authoritative parents do reward their children when they have exhibited good behavior and praise them for it.
3 Permissive Parents
Permissive parents are warm and put less pressure on their children. They tend to be less demanding and careful not to injure their children’s ego. The permissive parents, want to give their children what they want, with the hope that by doing so, they will win their love. Their permissive nature always say, “Ok you can have it but be careful you…don’t burn your fingers.”
Besides, these parents may be acting so because; they want to compensate for what they may have lacked in their own childhood. Perhaps, these parents grew up from poor backgrounds, where they lacked most of the basic necessities; and/or their parents may have raised them with an iron-fist, by being overly strict. Thus, they would not wish to adopt the same hardline stand on their children.
Too much permissiveness is bad for the children in that, it has its own cost, because it can amount to neglect.
At the same time, researchers have come up with findings that suggest, children from permissive parents are likely to be rebellious. Because they are used to getting what they want, they do not take a “no” for an answer. This may happen if their parents begin to exercise control, which they may perceive as power struggle, hence they are more likely to fight back.
4 Uninvolved Parents
These kinds of parents demand nothing and give nothing. They give almost 99% freedoms to their children. For that reason, uninvolved kind of parenting is detrimental to the child’s emotional and physical wellbeing. Studies have shown that children of uninvolved parents end up being social misfits. Without doubt, such children rarely do well in school.
Besides, they are more likely to fall victims to bullying by their peers in school, and drug abuse. Therefore, these parents can only reap what they have sown. Havoc!
What kind of a parent are you? Viewing the above parental styles, where can you honestly say you fit? Obviously, one of the parental styles explained above is better than the other.
We have seen that the authoritarian style of parenting for example does not help children to make good choices. Furthermore, their children suffer low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence; hence, they are unable to express themselves well.
On the other hand, authoritative parents mind the feelings of their children; hence, they maintain a positive relationship. This kind of parental style is helpful since the children are encouraged to express themselves freely. This element of autonomy brings out children who have good social skills.
The permissive parent’s effort to please and give their children whatever they want only molds children who are spoilt. This parenting style backfires when the parents realize that their permissiveness has only done their children more harm than good. And now when they try to shift and exercise control, the children perceive it as power struggle; hence they are likely to fight back.
The uninvolved parents do not give anything of value to their children. Their children are like sheep without shepherds. They depend on the world to teach them, which eventually leads to learning the bad habits like drug taking, alcoholism and hooliganism.
Good parenting requires parents to adopt good parenting skills. Your child will only become what you have made him/her to be.