Psychologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists and other specialists from all over the world have been analyzing for many years the impact that the type of education “at home” has on the growth and development of the child, later influencing his adult life. Parental styles refer to this very aspect, how we raise our children, how we react to the good or inappropriate behavior of the little ones, and also what behavioral patterns they will take over from the family, these being closely related to ourselves, the parents, with how our behavior is mirrored in the child’s. Specialists have studied them all and found that they can group parenting styles into four categories, which we invite you to discover.
It is important to note that a parent’s parenting style can be strongly influenced by the way the parent grew up. Basically, there is a tendency to copy the parenting model in which we were raised and pass it on, becoming the way we raise our children in turn. How many times haven’t I heard “well, I was raised like that too, and look, I didn’t end up bad.”
Here are the 4 types of parenting and what are their consequences:
Authoritative or demanding parenting
Perhaps one of the most “appealing” types of parenting for parents, the one in which the parents control the child’s every move, so the adults impose rules, usually many and often exaggerated (for example, the parents can transmit their fears to the children or limit them creativity by constraining the child’s ability to explore), and children must follow them, otherwise there will be repercussions, especially punishments.
Punishment, like any other reward, disrupts the child’s understanding of things. Why? Because a child will do an action NOT because they understand the consequences, not because they want it, but because they either want the reward or fear the punishment.
At the same time, this type of parenting, experts and studies say, leads to an obedient adult.
Another disadvantage of authoritarian parenting is, however, that in the future he will be afraid to express himself freely or, in the worst case, he will become aggressive and defensive, tired of following the rules imposed by others.
Democratic or formal parenting style
This parenting style is the balanced one, in which there are not excessive rules for the children, but at the same time they are not necessarily imposed by force (except, of course, life-threatening ones). It is explained to the child from an early age why those rules are, why a certain behavior is recommended, what the consequences may be if he does not behave in this way.
If the child breaks the rules, the consequences are discussed and, as the child gets older, he is encouraged to solve his own problems. However, the parent provides constant emotional and physical support for the child.
Children learn through their own experiences the difference between right and wrong, between moral and immoral, between the possibilities available to them to solve a problem, beyond age-specific crises.
Democratic parenting is based on a balance between these demands and the level of affection and support offered to the child. Also, this parenting style highlights the importance of communication in interpersonal relationships.
Permissive or indulgent parenting style
Many confuse this parenting style with the above, or in very modern terms, with unconditional parenting. But the differences are very important.
In the permissive parenting style, the parent pleases the child in the desire to keep him happy, but there is no order, elementary rules, explanations, and no structure regarding the child’s educational stages.
The indulgent parenting style takes the child into a zone where he understands that when he wants to get something, he just has to cry or throw a tantrum, which is not at all constructive for the little one.
In the long term, the child who has become an adult will not know how to effectively manage his needs, having a behavior in which everything belongs to him or must be done by someone else. So the social and family relationships of this adult may suffer.
Also, the management of responsibilities is more difficult to acquire by adults who have formed t in the permissive parenting style.
The uninvolved or neglectful parenting style
In this style of parenting, the parents are very little emotionally and physically involved in contact with the child. The latter is left to do what he wants, when he wants, without that necessary basis of rules. But the worst thing is that the child does not receive the affective, emotional support he needs.
A child cannot develop harmoniously only by providing basic needs (food, sleep, etc.). For the child, affection is more important than food.
Poor communication and lack of affection can create imbalances at the child’s emotional level. The child can also develop serious problems at a social level, especially in relation to others. The future adult will also face problems, both professionally and personally. He may refuse to follow society’s rules, develop self-control problems, and be generally unhappy.