Parenting styles and consequences on children

Developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind first identified and divided parenting styles into three distinct, basic categories: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. (Photos: Shutterstock)
There is no hard-and-fast manual to parenting, it is something that usually comes naturally to parents and they learn as they go. Basic things such as feeding, clothing, and other ways of generally caring for a child come as second nature. The challenge comes when caring for the children goes beyond simply meeting their everyday needs. اضافة اعلان

As the child grows up, it becomes increasingly necessary for parents to choose a parenting style that best suits the child’s character and needs.

Parents will find themselves at some point making decisions that are either stricter or more indulgent than their usual, but for the most part, they fall into a general parenting style.

While there are many ways and different variations of parenting styles, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind first identified and divided parenting styles into three distinct categories: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive.

Parenting styles in Jordan

A study carried out by the Jordan University of Science and Technology aimed to look at the impact of parenting style on the well-being of Jordanian adolescents in the north of the country. In a sample of 500 student aged 13—16, it found that the most popular style adopted by Jordanian parents is the authoritative, followed by permissive, then authoritarian; however, percentages were in close proximity of each other. The study concluded that Jordanian parenting style had a positive impact on adolescents’ self-esteem, but a negative impact on their mental health.

Another study done at the Michigan State University, which aimed to look at parenting styles used with preschool children in Jordan, showed the same results. It also found that Jordanian fathers tend to be more permissive than mothers, and that both mothers and fathers used an authoritative parenting style more with their sons than with their daughters.

Authoritarian parenting

Authoritarian parents tend to go by one main rule, “my way or the highway”, and answer usually with “because I said so”. They tend to be strict and inflexible, and their rules must be followed with no exceptions. They value discipline over communication and believe that being in control of every aspect of their child’s life will benefit the child, without taking much of their inputs or feelings into consideration, as they expect them to be obedient.

Parents who follow an authoritarian parenting style tend to use harsh discipline methods with strict rules and schedules for their children to follow. Most of them set rules without explaining the reasoning behind them and impose their own consequences with no pre-emptive warning whenever a rule is broken. Punishments in this style of parenting tend to be harsh, and can even be physically and emotionally abusive.

Instead of using discipline to teach their children how to solve problems or learn from their mistakes in order to make better choices, they are more invested in making their children feel sorry for their mistakes. And while many of those parents believe that this is the best way for them to raise well-behaved children, their choice of parenting comes at a price.
Parents who follow an authoritarian parenting style tend to use harsh discipline methods with strict rules and schedules for their children to follow.
Research has shown that authoritarian parents who believe in adherence to authority rather than valuing their children’s input and teaching them self-control and how to manage their behavior can lead to their children growing up to be unable to act on their own or make any decisions for themselves. They often have trouble expressing themselves and have self-esteem issues because they grew up with parents who did not value their opinion.

Children who grew up with authoritarian parents may even become aggressive or hostile, focused on releasing their pent-up anger toward their parents. Many say that strict parents make sneaky children; such is true for many of the children who become good liars in order to avoid punishment.

Permissive parenting

Permissive parenting is the exact opposite of authoritarian parenting, with parents tending to let their children have most of the control. Permissive parents tend to set rules, but rarely ever enforce them and do not follow through with consequences, as most broken rules are not even recognized. They tend to be very lenient and only interfere when there is a major problem.

With permissive parenting, there is a lot of affection and warmth; they are usually kind and loving, but might get frustrated when their child is defiant, yet still choose not to interfere. They forgive easily and believe that “kids will be kids”. They believe their lack of interference will help their children become self-reliant free thinkers who should not be held down by strict rules and structure, but be allowed to explore the world on their own.

They also fear that placing rules and consequences will interfere negatively with their child’s development. Permissive parents aim to become their children’s friends, rather than their parents, and encourage their children to talk to them about their problems yet do not offer any substantial solutions nor discourage them from making poor choices.

However, rules are necessary and the downside to such parenting style is that children who grow up with permissive parents tend to exhibit behavioral problems, as they do not respect authority, rules, or consequences. That is because they grew up not being required to have good manners, did not have many responsibilities, and believe that no matter what they do, they will not be punished for it.

According to research done at Cornell University, children with permissive parents tend to remain egocentric and lack self-control. They are more likely to struggle academically and are at higher risk of developing health problems such as obesity, as parents tend to struggle with limiting junk food intake. Studies have also shown a link between permissive parenting and increased alcohol use and higher rates of school misconduct among teenagers.

Authoritative parenting

Authoritative parenting is the mixture of authoritarian and permissive styles. Authoritative parents are kind and loving, but they are also firm, with set boundaries that their children are expected to abide by. They are neither overly strict nor overly indulgent, and their expectations are realistic. According to research done at Cornell University, children who grew up with authoritative parents display social competence, a high sense of responsibility, and independence.

Authoritative parents understand the importance of allowing their children to make age-appropriate decisions, and validate their children’s feelings while allowing them to be vulnerable and negotiate the rules where it makes sense. They also understand the importance of open communication and the amount of support required in order for their children to grow up successful, confident, and well-mannered.

This style of parenting usually involves having reasonable expectations through providing meaningful experiences and a certain level of freedom that grows with age. It is also necessary that they understand when parental intervention is required and when they should allow their children to figure it out by themselves with minimal guidance.

Parents who understand that making mistakes and failing is a normal, expected, and even necessary part of life will ensure that their children grow up to be emotionally mature. Their children will know how to handle frustrations and hurtful experiences that will allow them to become independent and turn to their parents for advice only when needed. Authoritative parents focus on teaching their children how to label their feelings, as well as understand and regulate their emotions in order to become balanced and ready to handle any situation with maturity and grace. Most importantly, they are role models to their children and exhibit all the values that they wish to instill.

Through consistent discipline and consideration of feelings, this parenting style can have many positive effects on the child, starting with a nurturing relationship while still providing clear and consistent guidelines, as well as consistent rewards and consequences.

Children with authoritative parents are more responsible and are able to manage their aggression while maintaining high self-esteem and self-confidence. They are also more likely to be more responsive, assertive, self-regulated, and cooperative with those around them. They are, most importantly, happier.

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