Parenting is probably one of the most challenging experiences in one’s life. But one of the interesting facts about parenting is that every parent is different in how they raise their child and there is no set-in-stone way.
There are several factors because of this; one being that your personality dictates what your parenting style will be, but it is also based on your experience around other parents and the parent that you want to be.
In the 1960s, Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley came up with 4 main styles of parenting. This has been redefined and remodelled by Maccoby and Martin in the 1980s, but the basis of the 4 is still the same.
Parenting is identified in 4 main styles:
Authoritarian parents: tend to lay down strict rules with little input from the child.
Authoritative (or supportive) parents: have firm expectations, but they also listen to their child and are more nurturing and forgiving.
Permissive parents: struggle to say ‘no’ and set boundaries. They are more likely to treat a child as an equal.
Uninvolved parents: are disengaged and emotionally detached from their child’s life.
Let’s break them down:
Children of authoritarian parents may be obedient and successful at school, but they may develop low self-esteem and poor social skills.
Authoritative (or supportive)
Authoritative (or supportive) parents want their children to be assertive, happy and socially responsible — and they usually are.
Children of permissive parents often have good self-esteem and social skills but are more likely to have poor self-regulation and may have problems with authority as adolescents and adults.
This form of parenting has an overall negative impact on a child’s life, with poor outcomes in emotional wellbeing, social skills and academic achievement.
What parenting style is right for you and your child?
The key to effective parenting is to develop respectful relationships with your children so that their challenges and problems can be resolved calmly and fairly. As a parent, you need to show a respectful authority nature, by always listening and telling them nicely what needs to be done.
The most popular choice for parents is the authoritative (or supportive) style as this allows parents to be supportive parents, but also is about giving your children clear guidance of what is right and wrong. It is often that parents with this parenting style have children who are more open to communication with their parents.
This parenting style also creates a structure within the household, and the children can manage risk and explore the world with caution without pushing the limits.
It’s the role of parents to set limits and create boundaries, but you want them to explore the world without having a fear that they will get into trouble or fear that they are doing something wrong. For example, when they are in the bath, encourage play, but tell them that splashing all over the floor is not ok or they are allowed to go to the shops with their friends, but you will need them home before 1pm.
Here are some practical tips to use the authoritative (or supportive) style of parenting:
- Build your connection with your children and spend time with them.
- Show them your love with time or hugs and kisses on the forehead.
- Talk and listen, and give them your full attention
- Encourage and inspire achievement
- Give guidance and support by letting them know what is OK and what is not OK.
- Be a positive role model by behaving in ways that you expect your children to do
- Remember your children are a mimic of you, so have habits or values that you want them to have.
How WAYS can help?
At WAYS Youth & Family, we provide pathways to success for young people and their families. From Monday 15th November 2021, WAYS is hosting a parenting seminar that focuses on how to talk to your teen about difficult issues. This course will assist parents to build stronger parent-child relationships and better manage and understand their adolescent’s behaviour.
Visit our website to learn more or sign up for the event.