Remember the time when our parents used to punish us and we started hating them at that time but some adults would say, “Once you grow up you’ll realize what they are doing is actually good for you.” We never understood it back then, but now when we are having our own kids, it is even more important to be sure that your parenting style is the best for your children.
Contrary to popular belief, being too harsh and strict with children can emotionally scar them and they grow up with low self-esteem and social anxiety issues. On the other hand, being too permissive can spoil the children where they forget about respecting other people’s personal space and turn out to become an unhealthy part of society. So what are your options? Which is the best parenting style? What if you are a new parent with no parenting experience and you are figuring out how to raise your first child? Should you be strict with your children or not? We have all the answers here!
Classification of parenting styles
Broadly there are 4 different parenting styles, every one of them has its own pros and cons. But some parenting styles are obvious recipes of failures, and the best way to avoid them is to understand how it works.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
This is the type of parenting that is most hated by the children and is counter-productive at its best. Parents who follow the authoritarian parenting style tend to be very strict and lack proper warmth towards the children. They have a lot of demands and uncalled-for limits for their children.
They don’t allow the children to discover themselves and be their own person. This is an old style of parenting but it is widely discouraged by new researches. It can turn a child into a rebel or leave a scar on their personality that stays with them forever.
Authoritative Parenting Style
This is the most widely accepted style of parenting and our winner for today. Authoritative parents would try to explain everything to their children, tell them about right and wrong, and set certain limits for the child.
The limits on children are mostly in the form of punishments for misbehavior. These punishments are mostly meant to make the child repent what they did instead of making them feel like they are paying for the bad things they did.
This is by far the most time consuming and difficult but most productive form of parenting. Such parents have warmth and love for their children but at the same time, they don’t let their children do whatever they want.
Despite all the good things, this form of parenting is advised only during the early years of the child. Strong authoritative parenting can become counterproductive especially for teenagers. During the teen years, a child needs an amalgamation of authoritative and permissive parenting until they are legally an adult.
Permissive Parenting Style
Permissive parenting is the most fantasized form of parenting especially for children and the people who haven’t become parents yet. They believe in loving the child, giving them direction and teaching them right and wrong. But at the same time, permissive parents never stop their children from doing anything.
A lack of proper boundaries can make a child rude, self-absorbed and self-righteous. This parenting style can be harmful especially during the early years of the child as they misuse absolute freedom and forget how to respect people’s personal space. Permissive parenting is best only when your children are legally adults.
Uninvolved Parenting Style
Just like authoritarian parenting, uninvolved parenting is counterproductive at its best. Such parents do not interfere with their children’s life at all. They lack warmth and proper love for the children. Uninvolved parents are mostly not there for their children and this can turn children hostile and rude.
Uninvolved parenting can also scar a child’s personality and expose them to mental health issues; this is the worst thing that could happen to a child. This is why uninvolved parenting is discouraged all the time.
Is the Authoritative parenting style suitable for the modern age?
Since the practice of strict parenting that was carried out for a long time has produced bad results, people have started opposing the whole idea of parents punishing their children and setting boundaries. But after careful analysis, we can understand that Authoritative parenting is the best parenting style, especially for young children.
The modern age is especially against harsh punishments and scolding that can develop and trigger self-esteem issues. But this does not mean that there should not be any limits. There needs to be a clear cut boundary even for the parents and they should understand what types of punishments are okay. Once they have a good understanding of acceptable and unacceptable punishments, there is nothing better than an authoritative parenting style.
What are the “Right” boundaries and punishments?
The idea of punishments is very broad and a lot of education and research is needed before you can choose the right kinds of punishments for your children. You also have to decide a clear cut protocol for the children to get exonerated from the punishment while making sure that they do not take their apology for granted.
Here is an example. If your child misbehaves with someone, you have to tell them how they were wrong for the first time. Once you make them understand their mistake, they should be free to go without any punishment. If they repeat the mistake and the situation was easy enough for them to understand that they were wrong, they should get punishments like canceling their playtime.
Once the child apologizes after they get the punishment for the first time, they should be given the playtime back. However, if they repeat the same mistake again and apologize after getting punishment, they must have to face the punishment with regret and it should not be canceled immediately. This is how parents have to follow all the stages instead of starting off with punishments.
Many children will understand and obey during the first few stages. Similarly, appreciating and rewarding them when they do something good or when they remember what you taught them is a very positive parenting strategy. Reward them every time they behave obediently. Appreciation will make them want to obey you. It takes time and effort, but this is the only safe and effective way to discipline the children.
Benefits of Authoritative parenting
- Authoritative parenting makes a child obedient without damaging their self-esteem.
- It can make a child responsible.
- Children will understand why their parents are setting boundaries for them. They won’t have to assume what is happening to them.
- Children will learn to respect others and their personal space.
- Children won’t be afraid to share things with their parents and the parents can easily guide them and prevent anything bad from happening.
In a nutshell, authoritative parenting is the most effective and acceptable parenting style in modern times. But this style should be mixed with permissive parenting at times. Also, one should take the age of the child into account. Young children need authoritative parenting but older children need freehand as well.
Rewarding children for good behavior can be an easy and positive way to make them choose right from wrong. If you are inculcating the idea in your child’s brain that their good deeds will bear fruit, they would come out to be better people as they grow up.
There are no hard and fast rules for parenting. It is a constant job and you have to be creative at times and trust your better judgment. Understanding your options and figuring out the best strategy for your child’s well being is the key to becoming a good parent.