Monday, August 2, 2010

Effective Parenting Style

Family researchers have identified four styles that parents use to interact with their children: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. Although some families fall between the styles, most families use one of the following approaches:
  • Authoritative parents are demanding and responsive, controlling but not restrictive. This child-centered pattern includes high parental involvement, interest, and active participation in the child's life; open communication; trust and acceptance; encouragement of psychological autonomy; and awareness of where children are, with whom, and what they are doing.
  • Authoritarian parents are demanding, but not responsive. They show little trust toward their children, and their way of engagement is strictly adult-centered. These parents often fear losing control, and they discourage open communication.
  • Permissive parents are responsive, warm, accepting, and child-centered,but non-demanding. They lack parental control. 
  • Neglectful parents are neither responsive nor demanding. They do not support or encourage their child's self-regulation, and they often fail to monitor or supervise the child's behavior. They are uninvolved.
Different parenting styles yield different outcomes for children. Social scientists find that parenting styles affect children's psychological well-being, their school achievement, and other aspects of their social and psychological adjustment, including adolescent problem behaviors such as aggression and drug and alcohol abuse.

The Authoritative Parenting Style without physical punishment produces the most positive results and the fewest problems for children in today's world. Children who have been raised in authoritative homes score higher on a variety of measures of competence, social development, self-perceptions, and mental health than those raised in authoritarian, permissive, or neglectful homes. This is true not only in childhood, but also during adolescence, as evidenced by higher academic achievement and psychosocial development, and fewer behavioral problems.

The authoritative parenting style sends several messages to the child. It says: We trust you to make good decisions, we are behind you, we will be there if you need us, you can talk to us about difficult situations, we will help you as you learn, and we expect you to do your best.

As parents, we should strive to guide our children in age-appropriate ways. Mistakes are normal, and we need to give the child alternative ways of learning and handling problems. The bottom line is that an authoritative style of raising kids leads to competent kids, and is fun and rewarding for both parents and children.

The following information was taken from the following article:
Ballantine, Jeanne "Raising competent kids: The authoritative parenting style". Childhood Education. FindArticles.com. 02 Aug, 2010.
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