So far in this series, we have discussed how to develop positive relationships with our children and how positive parenting goes hand in hand with child development. In this post, I will discuss the most effective parenting style we can adopt. How we approach parenting can have a positive and lasting impact on our children, if done correctly. This is not to say we have to be perfect, because that’s not possible. We are human and we will get it wrong sometimes. But if we learn and grow from our mistakes, we are teaching our children to do the same.
The Parenting Handbook: The Most Effective Parenting Style
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According to researcher Diana Baumrind , there are 4 types of parenting styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Neglectful.
Parents have very high expectations. There is little discussion about why certain rules are in place and harsh punishment is given when not obeyed. There is also a lack of affection. Children do not have a voice. They are not allowed to state their opinions, only do what their parent tells them. As a result, children with this type of parenting have less confidence and lack the social skills needed to interact with others. They are also more likely to develop behavior and emotional problems.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have permissive parenting. Those with this parenting style are very loving, yet reluctant to enforce rules. They give their child whatever they want to keep them happy. There are no limits and boundaries, which means children do not develop self-discipline and cannot deal with disappointment, frustration, and other big emotions properly.
Parents are completely uninvolved in their child’s life. They may provide the most basic needs, but there is little to no interaction, affection, or attention given. Due to the lack of parental support, these children must learn to provide for themselves. They will become emotionally withdrawn and are more likely to misbehave and engage in substance abuse as they get older.
Where is the balance in it all? It is found in authoritative parenting. Parents with this style have high expectations for their children, but give them the resources and support they need to succeed. Clear boundaries are in place, along with fair discipline. Parents also give the love and attention their children need and are actively involved in their lives. This is the most effective parenting style.
Authoritative Parenting Style
Many of the positive parenting strategies I’ve discussed in my previous posts come from this parenting style. Authoritative parents:
- Actively listen to their children.
- Encourage their child to be independent.
- Are consistent with expectations and discipline.
- Explain why certain rules and boundaries are important.
- Express love and warmth often.
- Allow their children to express their opinion.
- Involve their children in the decision-making process and family discussions.
Authoritative parents are also flexible. They understand that their approach may need to be adjusted as their children learn and grow. They also understand that every situation is different, and give their child a chance to explain their actions before reacting.
Why Authoritative Parenting is The Most Effective Parenting Style
Authoritative parents are positive role models. They model the behavior, actions, and reactions they expect from their children. They foster self-esteem and self-confidence by allowing their children to act independently. Consistent rules and discipline allow children to know what to expect. Children with authoritative parents tend to be happier and know how to express and control their emotions properly. They are confident in their abilities to learn new things and succeed. They also have the skills needed to interact with others appropriately.
Some people are naturally inclined to be authoritative parents. Others may have to work at adopting this style. If you would like to become a more authoritative parent, start by allowing your child to make more decisions on their own, and having regular conversations about their decisions. Praise their successful efforts and offer guidance where they need to improve. Model the behaviors you would like to see. With time, practice, and patience, you can become a more authoritative parent.
Authoritative Parenting Resources
If you want to learn more about this parenting style, here are a few resources you may find helpful. Simply click on the image to view the product:
Other Positive Parenting Resources:
Want to create a more positive relationship with your children and to learn more about positive discipline techniques? I encourage you to check out these resources on Amazon. Just click on the image to see the resource:
If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can read them here:
You can also view this post for positive discipline techniques: The Discipline Techniques That Really Work.
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