Parenting Styles

Karen Guo

Imagine a child standing right in front of you. What are they like to you? Are they a social, ongoing child? Or are they a shy, anxious child who keeps to themself? Parenting style is a concept that explains parents’ attitudes and behaviors toward their children. Different parenting styles result in various types of children. As kids develop, they heavily depend on their parents’ opinions/responses. Psychologists use four types of parenting styles – authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and neglectful – to describe the relationship between children and parents.

To begin with, authoritarian parents are highly demanding but have low responsiveness. They set high expectations for their children without much explanation. When asked why, their responses are usually “because I said so…” Authoritarian parents are often viewed as strict. They are more likely to use compulsive behaviors to punish undesired behaviors from their children. Children of these parents are likely to distrust others, are more socially withdrawn, and lack decision-making skills.

Secondly, authoritative parents also set standards for their children. However, unlike authoritarian parents, these parents set consistent rules and explain them to their kids. They guide their children through open discussions to teach values and reasoning. When their children fail to meet their expectations, authoritative parents are usually forgiving and use this opportunity to let their children reflect and explain what they learned. Kids who come from these parents are more social, have high self-esteem, are more independent, and perform better academically.

Thirdly, permissive parents are parents that have high levels of responsiveness but low levels of control. They set expectations but rarely enforce them. Permissive parents avoid conflicts and often appeal to their children’s pleas. The children of these parents are seldom punished, and parents view themselves as a friend to their kids. Kids from these parents are more dependent, are more likely to have emotional control problems, and are not good at accepting responsibility.

And finally, neglectful parents are also considered as “uninvolved parents.” They are indifferent to their kids’ needs. Neglectful parents offer little nurturance, guidance, and attention, causing their children to figure everything out by themselves. These parents often struggle with their own issues and are often viewed as cold or uncaring. They set little to no rules and have low demands. Kids who come from these parents tend to lack social skills, be more impulsive, have low self-esteem, and are more prone to mental health problems.

In short, parents have a significant influence on their kids. They are a guide to their children in succeeding in their life. Having a good parenting style (authoritative parenting style) is what sets up a child for a thriving adulthood.


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