Parenting in Four Styles: Which one is better for your child?
We are all products our environment – the beliefs that guide our thinking, the behavioural patterns we develop, and the values we come to hold dear. For many children, their social environment is largely composed of their family members, fellow students and school teachers, with whom the bulk of their daily interactions take place. And of the three, it is the dynamics between family members – specifically parents and children – that play a pivotal role in a child’s development.
This leads us to the importance of good parenting. In general, four broad types of parenting styles can be identified: (i) authoritarian, (ii) authoritative, (iii) permissive, and (iv) uninvolved.
Take the short quiz below to find out which category you currently practice!
Parenting styles shape the kind of interactions and relationship that children have with their parents, and significantly impacts how they subsequently develop. Typically, authoritative parenting is the most recommended and adaptive parenting style, while an uninvolved parenting style often leads to the most dysfunctional qualities and behaviour in children.
Here are some typical traits of parents, and their children, that have been associated with each parenting style:
Parents are usually warm, structured and non-intrusive. Children with authoritative parents tend to be happier, have better mental health and are less likely to exhibit delinquent behaviours or be involved in substance use. They frequently achieve greater excellence in school, have better social skills, and are often less aggressive.
Parents are usually cold, structured and intrusive. Their children tend to be less happy and possess lower self-esteem, higher insecurity, and are more dependent. They are often less competent in forming and sustaining social relationships, and are prone to mental health problems.
Parents are usually warm, unstructured and non-intrusive. Children with permissive parents may encounter problems following rules, since such habits are not cultivated at home. They often have less self-control as parents tend to let things go their way. This may subsequently lead to behavioural problems ranging from challenges with social interactions to even substance abuse.
Parents are usually cold, unstructured and inconsistent in their intrusiveness. Children of neglectful parents are more impulsive and are unable to regulate their emotions, which jeopardises their social interactions. Such children are also more susceptible to mental health problems, delinquency and substance abuse, and tend to do poorly in schools.
While research has shown that an authoritative parenting style is the most adaptive to children’s growth and developmental needs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer because every child is unique. Parents may also vary their parenting styles according to situations. What is crucial is that parents find the right balance between holding their children accountable while being responsive to their emotions and needs.
Contact us at [email protected] if you have a parenting concern or challenge that you would like to talk it over with our parenting coaches. Our parenting consultations are offered free.
Written by: Tiffany Lee Yanyi
Lamborn, S., Mounts, N., Steinberg, L., & Dornbusch, S. (1991). Patterns of Competence and Adjustment among Adolescents from Authoritative, Authoritarian, Indulgent, and Neglectful Families. Child Development,62(5), 1049-1065. http://doi.org/10.2307/1131151
Masud, H., Thurasamy, R., & Ahmad, M. (2015). Parenting styles and academic achievement of young adolescents: A systematic literature review. (Report). Quality and Quantity, 49(6), 2411–2433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-014-0120-x