Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles

Parenting: Your parenting style is reflected in the behaviour of your teenage adolescent child

Parenting Tips Parenting Styles Discipline ADHD

Uninvolved parents are, detached, dismissive or hands-off. They have little or no involvement with their children. They are usually detached from their child’s life because they are self-involved with other interests that are more important to them and consequently they are neglectful of their parental responsibilities. The uninvolved parent has no expectations, little communication, and few if any rules.

This parenting style produces very unhappy children and the least ready to deal with the pressures of life. Why? An uninvolved parent produces a very self-oriented child because the child is left to himself, which insures that the child will become what he or she is by nature, selfish.

Children whose parents are Uninvolved develop the sense that other aspects of the parents’ lives are more important than they are. Many children of this parenting style often attempt to provide for themselves and  appear independent and mature beyond their years. This is actually not desirable,  friends and relatives of the parents may be proud of their “maturity”.As they grow older, the Parents, and  their children, may begin to display contradictory behavior. The teen may start “cutting school”, “hanging out” with friends, and indulging in “gang behaviour” and may become emotionally withdrawn from social situations. This disturbed attachment impacts relationships later on in life.

Controlling, perfectionist, overindulgent, and avoidant parenting styles create frustration in the parents and will bring little peace in the home.

Controlling parenting, is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between parent and child. Controlling parents always try to be in control and exert their control on the children. These parents set strict rules to try to keep order, and they usually do this without much expression of warmth and affection. They attempt to set strict standards of conduct and are usually very critical of children for not meeting those standards. They tell children what to do, they try to make them obey and they usually do not provide children with choices or options.

It is a restrictive, punitive parenting style in which parents make their children to follow their directions and to respect their work and effort.A controlling parent will be overly strict and will many times use anger, yelling, threats, and harsh discipline to gain control. However, anger and yelling only prove to the child that you are out of control. The parents use  control to teach right from wrong and are quick to act upon a discipline issue. They are less responsive to their children’s needs, and are more likely to scold or punish a child rather than discuss the problem. 

Controlling parents don’t explain why they want their children to do things. If a child questions a rule or command, the parent might answer, “Because I said so and will usually give little or no explanation or reasoning behind his or her rules.
– The authoritarian parent has a “my way” attitude. He or she makes all the decisions for their children.Parents tend to focus on bad behavior, rather than positive behavior, and children are scolded or punished, often harshly, for not following the rules.

Consequently, the children are usually quick to react and learn how to get around the parents’ excessive control by lying and manipulative behavior. Controlling parents expect much of their child but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries.  Children with controlling parents usually do not learn to think for themselves and understand why the parent is requiring certain behaviors.

Children with controlling parents turn out to have less social competence because the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself.If the demands are pushed too forcefully upon the child, the child will break down, or rebel, or want to get away from home, taking the earliest opportunity to escape such as a love marriage or a course in a college in another city. They also tend to get depressed and give up easily. 

If you are a controlling parent, anger and yelling makes your children loose respect for you. So you may think that you are in control, but in reality you are losing everything that is really important in your family. A controlling parent only produces behavior modification through fear, but does not affect real change in the heart of a child.

Perfectionist parents emphasize that the parent is perfect and strive to be perfect at parenting and have the perfect home by following all of the rules and advice they can find and pushing themselves and their teens to look perfect to those around them. For the perfectionist parent, parenting is fraught with insecurity. The perfectionist parent is more likely to research how to parent by reading all the latest books and theories or follow a particular strategy supported by his/her peer group. If anyone dares question the perfectionist’s parenting ability, the perfectionist parent can simply recite all the research supporting a particular parenting strategy. Perfectionist parents may also be taking on too personal a role in their children’s lives and have difficulty accepting any criticism of their children as anything less than a criticism of their roles as parents or internalizing the child’s failure to achieve as the parents’ failure. They attempt to shield their children from pain or embarrassment the parents experienced over their lifetime by preventing the children from making the same mistakes.

The perfectionist parent bases most if not all of their decisions on fear. They prevent their children from trying new activities – sports activities, social activities, anything that has a risk – all because of fear. They live by an inner commitment to never let whatever has happened to them ever happen to their own children. Protecting your children from evil and harm is natural, but the overprotective parent is overboard with fears concerning what might happen. Perfectionist parents usually fail to see that they are living out their own fears through their children. This parent has usually been abused or deeply hurt growing up. They have usually been raised by another perectionist and fearful parent.

Perfectionist parents might not be such a huge problem if their focus is just on wanting to be perfect when it comes to their children. The problem is the perfectionist parents tend to be a little more invasive and focus on areas of life that are complex, personal and difficult. These areas generally involve the parent’s greatest insecurity and biggest regrets that they have about their lives such as Romantic relationships, Family relationships, Education, Career, Finance etc. They are obsessed with the child’s appearance, weight, education, athletic ability, talent, manners,  friends and so on. If the parents are high achieving individuals, then they may be more prone to wanting to correct these regrets in their children and become intrusive and interfering. They therefore tend to push their children to do things that they themselves could not do, being totally oblivious to the child’s needs and capabilities. As a result children of perfectionist parents may turn out to be obsessive perfectionist personalities who do not tolerate the slightest mistakes that they make, with low tolerance, depression, and anxiety. Perfectionist parents produce a fearful child who is confused, resentful, and oppositional and take on relationships and careers just to “show their parents how wrong they are”. Or they may end up in courses and careers that do not suit them, resulting ultimately in achievement frustration, and depression.

After learning about the impact of parenting styles on child development, you may wonder why all parents simply don’t utilize a balanced style. After all, this parenting style is the most likely to produce happy, confident and capable children. What are some reasons why parenting styles might vary? Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level and religion.

Overindulging parents use love as their primary style, and consider love to be more important than limits. These parents believe that if they just love the child enough, the child will love them so much in return that things will go smoothly. They also use attachment and their bond with their child to teach right from wrong.

Overindulging parents give up most control to their children. Parents make few, if any, rules, and the rules that they make are usually not consistently enforced. They don’t want to be tied down to routines. They want their children to feel free. They do not set clear boundaries or expectations for their children’s behavior and tend to accept in a warm and loving way, however the child behaves.

Overindulgent parents give children as many choices as possible, even when the child is not capable of making good choices. They tend to accept a child’s behavior, good or bad, and make no comment about whether it is beneficial or not. They may feel unable to change misbehavior, or they choose not to get involved.

An overindulgent permissive parent may say something is wrong to a child, but will do little or nothing to correct the mistakes of their children. Such parents usually do not like the idea of discipline nor do they want to discipline. They usually set few boundaries to their children. The overindulgent parent gives in to most of the whims of a child and usually if the child screams long enough and loud enough, the child will get his or her way.

The children of overindulgent parents argue and talk back to their parents and are usually very disrespectful. If an overindulgent parent gives any warning to a child, it is only followed by more warnings that are not enforced, and then usually the parent angrily explodes in frustration after being pushed to his or her limit. Consequently an overindulgent parent will feel like a slave to his or her own children because of the constant disrespect, manipulation, and confusion this parenting style brings into the home.

This may result in creating spoiled brats. In the better cases they are emotionally secure, independent and are willing to learn and accept defeat. They mature quickly and are able to live life without the help of someone else having higher self-esteem, better social skills and lower levels of depression. However, in worse cases the teen from a permissive home is more likely to be involved in problem behavior and perform less well in school, He/she may tend to be more impulsive, and as adolescents, may engage more in misconduct, and in drug use. These children never learn to control their own behavior and always expect to get their way. 

Balanced parenting, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectations of maturity. They are both demanding and responsive. The parents are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive. The goal here is to raise children who are assertive as well as socially responsible, self-regulated and cooperative. Balanced parents participate in a give and take relationship with their children, and explain more about behavior and limits. Balanced parents can understand how their children are feeling and teach them how to regulate feelings. They often help their children to find appropriate outlets to solve problems and  encourage children to be independent while, at the same time, still placing controls and limits on their actionsThey allow the child to explore more freely, thus having them make their own decisions based upon their own reasoning and do not discourage the child from asking questions or trying to debate their view point. At the same time they try to set clear limits and standards and monitor the limits that they set in a warm and nurturant manner.

Balanced parents help children learn to be responsible for themselves and to think about the consequences of their behavior. Parents do this by providing clear, reasonable expectations for their children and explanations for why they expect their children to behave in a particular manner. They monitor their children’s behavior to make sure that they follow through on rules and expectations. They do this in a warm and loving manner. They often, “try to catch their children being good” and reinforcing the good behavior, rather than focusing on the bad.

Balanced parents do not want to control, but guide his or her children. They are assertive, but not intrusive in their children’s lives. They instruct, guide, counsel, and discipline in love. They  want their children to think through and make reasoned choices. Their aim ins to bring their children to a self-disciplined lifestyle.

Balanced parents  allow children to develop autonomy and expect mature, independent, and age-appropriate behavior of children. Punishments for misbehavior are measured and consistent in discipline, not arbitrary or violent.When punishing a child, the parent will explain his or her motive for their punishment. Balanced parents are attentive to their children’s needs and concerns, and will typically forgive and teach instead of punishing if a child falls short.This usually result in their children having a higher self esteem, self-reliance, self-confidence and independence. This parenting style usually produces congenial and compliant children, with a sense of self-reliance. They have fewer behavioral problems and are socially adept.

Last but not the least we must remember that what works for one child may be a disaster for another. We are all unique people and being a little imperfect in some area is what makes us interesting.

For the perfectionist parent, it may be helpful to remember the following:

  • My child will inevitably make mistakes. It is not my role to prevent all of these mistakes but rather to help my child pick up the pieces and reiterate my love for my child even in times of failure.
  • Someone will always criticize the job I am doing as a parent. I will selectively listen to these criticisms but won’t let them destroy my confidence in my own parenting.
  • My child may have vastly different interests and opinions than I do and my job is to encourage those interests rather than impose my own.