The way you discipline your kids now will hugely impact them tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. In the 1960s, parenting styles - the varying ways that parents use to raise their children - have been classified in four categories by Diane Baumrind: 4. Authoritarian or Disciplinarian Parenting; 3. Uninvolved or Neglectful Parenting; 2. Permissive or Indulgent Parenting; 1. Authoritative Parenting. Let's take a closer look at this topic from the worse to the best.
4. Authoritarian or Disciplinarian Parenting
Just like authoritative parents, authoritarian parents expect their kids to abide by strict rules but by giving them few or no independence. In this case, parents punish their kids if they fail to respect the guidelines, for which they don't give reasons. Their explanations are limited to "Because I told you so." Even while having high requirements, authoritarian parents don't respond to their kids' needs. They don't accept any mistakes and don't give clear instructions about what their kids should do or avoid. This kind of system engenders proficient and obedient kids, but with poor self-esteem, social incompetence, and probably a lot of unhappiness. Really frightening.
3. Uninvolved or Neglectful Parenting
Uninvolved parents communicate minimally, have very few demands and low responsiveness. Even if they fulfill their kids' needs, they are totally disconnected from them. In this category, compared to the others, parents are ranked at the bottom. Their kids are generally less skilled than their peers and have lower self-esteem and poorer self-control.
2. Permissive or Indulgent Parenting
Permissive parents attend and demand very little from their kids. They hardly discipline them because they don't expect much from them in matter of self-control and maturity and behave with them more like friends than parents. Children of permissive parents tend to have low self-regulation and are often unhappy, getting poor results at school and having problems with the authority.
1. Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parents tend to establish rules and guidelines for their kids. However, unlike authoritarian parents, they give them more independence. They listen more to their kids' questions and respond more to them. Even if they expect a lot from their kids, they are willing to offer them help, advice and warmth. When their kids don't meet their expectations, authoritative parents are more willing to forgive and nurture than punishing.
Ultimately, the authoritative style is by far the best because the parents are involved and take time to listen to their kids. In this category, parents are more nurturing, forgiving and democratic, and avoid punishment. As a result, they have happier, more competent and more successful kids. Is this not the dream goal in children education?
Picture: Afternoon at the park (ChildUp.com)