The Four Styles of Parenting

There are four styles of parenting discussed in the world of psychology.

Which style do you utilize?

Are you firm yet flexible like the authoritative parent?

Is it your way or the highway like the authoritarian parent?

Do you set rules, rarely enforce them like the permissive parent?

Do you allow your children to create their own rules like the uninvolved parent?

Each style will result in different outcomes for your child’s cognitive development. The styles have also been ranked in how effective they are. The rankings are as follows: 1. Authoritative; 2. Authoritarian; 3. Permissive; 4. Uninvolved.

You may utilize one style completely, or maybe you utilize a small portion of each style. Every child is different, and therefore, a weaker parenting style may be the best parenting style for a specific child. So, don’t go off and change the way you parent simply because some guy on the internet said this is what’s best.

1: Authoritative Parenting.

Authoritative parenting is a style where you establish yourself as the one in charge yet take your child’s opinions and emotions into account. You act as an authority figure for your child, but also as a friend.

An example of authoritative parenting, is giving your child a choice of three shoes to put on that you have picked out. You control a portion of the choice, but the final say is given to the child. It shows that you are the authority figure in the situation, but that you value their opinion.

There is numerous evidence showing that this is the most effective parenting style for developing a healthy cognitive background in children. This style encourages the child to make their own decisions after being put in a winning situation by their parent. It allows the child to make a decision that leads to a positive consequence followed by positive appraisal by a parent. Through this process, the child’s self-esteem is protected while their personality can develop in a safe environment.

2: Authoritarian Parenting.

Authoritarian parenting is a style where you establish yourself as the one in charge and you do not consider the opinion or emotions of the child. You act as an authority figure and not as a friend.

An example of authoritarian parenting, is picking out a pair of shoes for your child to wear without input from your child. You make the decision for them and do not give them an option to change it. It shows that you are in control and that they must listen to you regardless of how they feel about your direction.

This is the second-best parenting style. It sets an example for how the child is supposed to hold themselves, and the type of decisions they should be making when they are able to. However, it can prevent the child from developing their unique personality. This can be harmful to a child’s self-esteem. If they are not able to express themselves in their own way, then they can become subject to cognitive dissonance.

3: Permissive Parenting.

Permissive parenting is a style where you set rules, but allow the child the choice of following them. With this style, one assigns more value to the friendship aspect of parenting and less to the authority aspect.

An example of permissive parenting, is telling the child you want them to wear the brown dress shoes yet allowing them to pick and wear the purple running shoes instead. You do not force them to make a decision, nor do you guide them to an appropriate decision except in extreme circumstances.

The major fallback of this style is that it gives the child little structure. The child makes decisions with little input on how to make correct decisions. This can lead to a child learning to make incorrect decisions. This can begin to become a problem when the child puts themselves in situations where they cannot succeed. It will damage their self-esteem and teach the child that they do not need to obey authority figures.

4.: Uninvolved Parenting

Uninvolved parenting is a style where a parent’s input is non-existent. These parents show their children that they are neither an authority figure, nor their friend.

An example of uninvolved parenting, is not saying anything to a child about their shoes. Heck, an uninvolved parent might not even notice if the child is wearing shoes.

I am unaware of any positive aspects the uninvolved parenting style has. Generally, you want to avoid this style. As a parent you are a mentor to your children. You’re supposed to give them the guidance they need to become a successful adult. If there is no guidance and you allow your child to raise themselves, then they will grow up to become a child. This style can be very damaging to the cognitive well-being of children.

Each style has its benefits and drawbacks. You need to figure out what kind of style works best for you and your children. Hopefully this can help you take your first steps into discovering and refining your own unique style.

Stay psyched



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