From the infantile stage to the mental growth spurt exhibited in teenagehood, your parents and guardians witnessed your development every day of your budding life. As to how engaged each invested into your life though is dependent upon the parenting style administered. Ever hear one of your friends complain about an 8PM curfew on a Friday night or a close classmate whine about a family celebration just for acing another exam? As proposed by Diana Baumrind, their reactions stem from one of the four adopted parenting styles, the child rearing tactics used by parents and guardians.
Considered the most beneficial style of being raised, authoritative parents typically allow for teenagers to explore interests while implementing household rules. Let’s say you just came back home from soccer practice after a long day at school. You want to take a nap to catch up on some well-deserved “Z’s”. Almost immediately you remember you promised to finish the rest of your laundry after practice. Instead of exerting yourself further, you decide on napping still knowing your parents will understand your exhaustion.
Under an authoritative parenting style, you’re able to converse with your parents openly and without hesitation. Your personal wants and wishes are valued. This does not warrant a rule-free home though. Authoritative parents allow you the freedom to be yourself so long as you maintain your responsibilities and follow their reasonable rules. Psychologists of the University of Michigan agree authoritative parenting boosts self-esteem and increases positive self-image amongst young adults.
Take the authoritative parent and remove the understanding element. All you have left is a figure whose traits resemble the power imposed by dictators. An authoritarian parenting style does not have rules established, but laws to follow. If those laws are not followed to the standards of authoritarian parents, consequences will be administered regardless of your reasoning. Let’s take the example first used in Authoritative Parenting Style: if you come home from soccer practice exhausted after a long day at school, you will force yourself to complete the laundry and then nap. If you do not finish said task, you will undoubtedly face consequences.
Authoritarian parents and guardians do not focus on friendship but on discipline. The University of Michigan characterizes this parenting style as the “Because I said so” structure. There is little room for engaging your point with these parents regardless of your own investment in the subject at hand. Hence the common phrase “strict parents”. Inevitably, being raised under an authoritarian parent may lead to self-image issues well into your adult years. Rather than pleasing yourself, you may find yourself pleasing others as to not receive negative feedback.
Neglectful parents and guardians are considered the most harmful kind of the parenting styles since their involvement in your life is minimal to nonexistent. Instead of baring down on you, these parents are not affected by your own lifestyle choices. The reasons may vary but fall in either category: too preoccupied with their own lives or no emotional bond. Take the soccer practice example again. When you come home exhausted, your parents will neither ask if you have completed the laundry nor ask of your day’s activities. These parents are considered dangerous for your future well-being as they are distant and aloof. This may lead for you to believe you are truly alone and incapable of forming healthy relationships.
Parents and guardians engaged in permissive parenting may actually be children of authoritarian parents. Since their own childhood wishes were compromised and a positive self-image was hardly reinforced by their parents, permissive parents will be inclined to provide ultimate freedom. This includes coming in and out of the house as you wish and showcasing lazy behavior. Though this may seem favorable, this leads to a poor understanding of structure and the pursuit of betterment in your adulthood. Again, if you arrive home from soccer practice exhausted, you will have neither intention of completing your laundry for that day- nor for that week. You may have little to no responsibilities as your permissive parents or guardians will complete all duties for you.
The permissive parenting style is having the entire chocolate cake – for breakfast. Without boundaries, self-discipline is difficult to muster for yourself. You may be found questioning authority or constantly acting out without regard to someone else’s emotions. The constant affection is only beneficial if structure is in place. If not, you may find yourself expecting of deserving greatness without applying yourself.
If you do not come from a household using an authoritative parenting style, understand you are not alone. Research suggests being raised under an authoritarian parenting style in a dangerous neighborhood has benefits such as improved morale.
Should you have any lingering questions, please consult the below websites for more on parenting styles.
Darling, Ph.D., Nancy. Authoritarian VS Authoritative Parenting Style: There’s A BIg Difference Between Discipline and Punishment. 14 09 2014. 06 09 2017.
Hughes, Emily. Types of Parenting Styles and How To Identify Yours. 10 12 2013. 07 09 2017.
Trautner, Tracy. MIchicgan State Univeristy Extension: Authoritative Parenting Style. 19 01 2017. 09 09 2017.
—. MIchigan State University Extension: Authoritarian Parenting Styel. 19 01 2017. 09 09 2017.
—. Michigan State University Extension: Permissive Parenting Style. 19 01 2017. 09 09 2017.