Parenting Styles: Main Features and Effects

We all care about the future of our children. But sometimes we forget that it largely depends on the climate in the family and your parenting style. In this article, we’ll talk about the aspects of upbringing and what strategy to choose for the child to feel comfortable at all stages of growing up, successfully entering adulthood. Let’s explore this with the help of our dear friends from marrybrides.com — online dating site.

What are parenting styles and which one to follow?

The parenting style in psychology is the system of standard practices that parents use when raising children: encouragement, punishment, the manifestation of love, problem-solving, care for the child’s needs, and much more. Together they form an individual style. The main ones are distinguished according to various criteria. A scientifically sound concept, introduced in the 1960s, is based on the assessment of how demanding/undemanding the parents are, and how responsive/unresponsive they are to the child’s needs. The style classification is as follows:

Authoritarian style

Authoritarian parents are usually tough and strict. They require complete obedience and make high demands but don’t react to the child’s feelings and desires. Parents who adopt this style have a strict set of rules and expectations their child must strictly follow. Authoritarian families often practice corporal punishment for disobedience. When a child fails to understand certain prohibitions, the only explanation it usually gets is: “Because I said so.” It would be wrong to assume that authoritarian parents have no feelings for their children. They’re just sure they know what’s better for them.

Key signs: excessive requirements, severe penalties, possible hyper-protection, lack of interest in the child.

What are the implications of authoritarian parenting? A child in such a family grows less cheerful and prone to stress. It’s accustomed to limitations and a lack of personal freedom. Therefore, in the future, even as an adult, it’s difficult for it to choose a profession or arrange a personal life since it isn’t used to making important decisions on its own.

Authoritative (harmonious) style

This approach focuses on the child. The parents take on a task to help it grow and gain independence. This style combines a demanding attitude with care and parental responsiveness. Parents understand what the child feels and help it cope with emotions at each stage of development. Restrictions and rules are present, but they’re reasonable and understandable. Violation of the rules isn’t punishable but is discussed in the family circle so that the child can realize the consequences of its behavior.

Key signs: normal emotional connection with the child, without deviations from hyper-care or hypo-care, the satisfaction of the child’s material and spiritual needs without indulging it.

The effect. An authoritative style allows the child to go through all stages of growing up painlessly thanks to an authoritative mentor who gives the child enough freedom and expects an adequate level of maturity at the same time. As a result, the child grows more social and successful; it’s easier for it to win the love of others. It’s prepared for adulthood and can make decisions on its own. It’s believed that children raised according to this style are generally happier and prepared for life challenges.

Liberal style

This one is characterized by a high degree of responsiveness to the child’s feelings and desires and the lack of parental requirements. In liberal families, freedom and independence are highly valued, and parents try not to set boundaries. Mainly, when conflicts arise, they try to reason with the child and explain what went wrong.

Key features: emotional connection between parent and child, leniency.

The effect. As a rule, children of liberal parents are happy and independent. This style helps to unravel the child’s talents and creativity and teach it to think outside the box. But there’s a flip side to the coin – these are possible problems in social life: such children often struggle with self-control due to lack of discipline. They may have conflicts when working in the team since it’s difficult for them to obey social requirements.

Uninvolved (complacent) style 

Parents adopt this style when they emotionally or physically distance themselves from the child and show little interest in parenting. They don’t respond to the child’s needs and have no demands; their task is limited to ensuring the vital needs of the child. This style can be formed either under the influence of the idea of ​​complete freedom in the child’s self-realization or due to indifference to its fate.

Key signs: hypo-care, lack of interest, insufficient requirements, duties, dissatisfaction with the child’s spiritual needs.

The effect. As a result, children without communication with their parents feel the need for a patron, easily falling under the influence of others and showing deviant (asocial) behavior. They suffer from social incompetence, problems of performance and behavior, and may have deviations in psychosocial development.

Other parenting styles

Parenting experts also identify other styles, such as egocentric parenting (everything for the child), anxious-suspicious parenting (constant fear of losing a child), parenting styles of certain cultures and ethnic groups (Muslims, American Indians, etc.), and more. When raising a child, it’s important to avoid chaotic (contradictory) education. Most often, this style is formed in families where there are contradictions between family members. In an atmosphere of inconsistency, a child quickly learns to manipulate the interests of adults and achieve the desired goals. However, in the future, this habit leads to numerous issues when establishing close relations with people, damaging personal life.

It’s safe to say that an authoritative style can be considered the most harmonious on the list. With it, children grow up independent, mentally balanced, and socially adapted, which are important components of a normal life.