Parenting is not an exact science. Parents often learn as they go, making the decisions they feel are best for their children. Your parenting style may have an influence on the way your children behave. The parenting style descriptions established by Diana Baumrind in 1966 are still often used today. A fourth category describes less involved parents. You may fall into one distinct category or you may find yourself pulling from more than one category.
Authoritarian parenting revolves around rigid rules and expectations for behavior. Parents using the authoritarian style expect their children to follow demands without argument or explanation. The child is expected to obey simply because her parent gave the order. Authoritarian parents are often thought to rule the house with little warmth or compassion. This parenting style focuses more on punishments for bad behavior than praise for positive behavior. Children of authoritarian parents often tend to be obedient and efficient in their tasks. They may not be as happy or self confident as other people. A child with authoritarian parents may have difficulty thinking for himself because all decisions have been dictated to him by his parents. These children may not feel a strong connection to their parents.
Permissive parents allow their children a great deal of control in the rules. The child is allowed to regulate his actions with very few rules set by the parents. Routines and clear boundaries for the child are often missing in permissive parenting. Most behaviors are accepted in a loving and warm manner by the parents. Children are often given lots of choices without guidance on how to make the best decision. Permissive parenting may lead to children with poor decision-making skills. They may have difficulty with authority. These children may not perform as well in school and may have difficulty regulating themselves.
Authoritative parenting, also called democratic parenting, blends aspects of both the authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Children are given clear expectations for behavior. The parent will often explain the reasoning behind these expectations. Children are monitored to ensure they are following the standards set by the parents. Authoritative parents tend to be warm and loving toward their children. They often try to reinforce positive behaviors rather than only focusing on bad behaviors. Children are allowed to make decisions, but the options are based on the child’s abilities. The parent will take time to teach her child to make good decisions. Children raised by authoritative parents tend to have more confidence and exhibit self-control. They are often more emotionally mature and feel that they can achieve things on their own.
An uninvolved parent will likely meet the child’s basic needs but provide little else to the child. This parenting style is characterized by a general detachment from the child, her life and her interests. Uninvolved parents are often not responsive to their children and offer little communication with them. Uninvolved parenting may lead to children with little self-control and low self-esteem. They may have difficulty with relationships and may exhibit aggressive behavior.