Styles of Parenting: An Overview

Parenting styles differ from an individual to individual. Some parents follow the practices used by their parents to rear their children. Some take the help of parenting guide books or community’s advice on parenting styles. Broadly parenting styles can be classified in to three groups: Authoritarian, Permissive and Authoritative Style.

Authoritarian Style of Parenting

This parenting style is characterized by strict rules and codes of behavior and discipline. Such parents exert control over their children and rarely express their warmth and affection. These parents are critical if the child is unable to meet the set standards.

Children are not given the option to choose or decide for themselves. Instead they are ordered to follow what they are told. The children are not allowed to question a command of their parent. They are taught to blindly obey what the parent has asked.

Any indiscipline or breaking of rile by the child is met with strict punishment and scolding. Such children lack the ability to decide on their own as they are never given the opportunity to think for themselves.

Permissive Style of Parenting
Permissive parenting style is characterized by leniency and freedom. Such parents hardly lay down any rules for their children to follow. Instead they allow the children to exert their own freedom and make choices for themselves. No boundaries are laid down and the children do not have to adhere to any rules of conduct.

Parents accept their child’s choices with warmth and love. They do not judge the choices of the child as good or bad. However such parents are unable to exercise control over the child even when the child is misbehaving.

Democratic or Authoritative Style of Parenting
Democratic style of parenting entails lying down of reasonable expectations of parents in terms of behavior from the child. Such parents try to make their children responsible for their actions and explain to the child why they have set such expectations.

Such parents observe the child’s behavior to see if the child is following the set expectations or not. These parents extend much love and warmth towards their children. Good deeds of children are rewarded rather than punishing the bad deeds. Good behavior is inculcated by explaining its benefits.

Parents following this style allow children
to make choices for themselves based on the child’s maturity. Children’s behavior is regulated by teaching them rather than scolding or punishing.

An ideal parenting style is usually a blend of all these styles according to the particular situation. Parents should choose a parenting style keeping in mind that their style should not hinder the child’s mental and emotional development.