How do you raise your children? Do you know what parenting style you have? Different parenting styles can affect children in different ways. Here are the 4 parenting styles in psychology you need to know about.
What is a parenting style?
When it comes to parenting, all of us have our own unique ways to raise our children. However, despite how different we may be as parents, there are certain aspects that all parents have in common. We all have certain attitudes and styles as parents that enable us to to raise our children the best we can.
Parenting style is a psychological concept that refers to a set of parental attitudes towards our child which influences them mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually as they grow up. Parenting styles in psychology are a manifestation of parental behavior. However, parenting styles are different from parenting practice, which primarily focuses on how you interact with your child. Parenting style creates the psychological and emotional environment for parent-child interaction. This not only has a significant impact on the child, but also on the quality of life for the whole family.
Baumrind’s parenting styles in psychology
Clinical and developmental psychologist Diane Baumrind at the University of California, Berkeley developed one of the most widely accepted categorization of parenting styles in the 1960s.
Baumrind identified four major parenting styles in psychology with specific characteristics –
- Authoritarian or Disciplinarian Parenting
- Authoritative Parenting
- Permissive or Indulgent Parenting
- Uninvolved or Neglectful Parenting
Each of these four parenting styles are analyzed on different aspects like nurturance, communication, expectations and discipline style. Although a parent might not completely fit into a specific category, they will possess adequate characteristics associated with one of these four parenting styles. Moreover, some parents may also implement different parenting styles to varying degrees depending on the parent-child relationship. Parenting styles may also vary from one child to another. It means a parent may have an authoritarian parenting style for their older child, while they may be authoritative towards their younger child.
It should also be noted that the Baumrind parenting styles are specifically focused on parents in the United States and it is somewhat unclear how the different styles may be relevant in different cultures.
Types of parenting styles in psychology
Here are the four different types of parenting styles in psychology according to Diane Baumrind:
1. Authoritarian Parenting
This style of parenting is mostly about establishing rules and being strict with little or no warmth or compassion. Controlling parents are more focused on setting rules that their kids must follow at all costs. Usually, there is no justification or explanation for the rules. Moreover, there is little or no room negotiation for relaxation.
Authoritarian parents are not interested in understanding what drives a child’s behavior and actions. Hence, these parents are mostly unresponsive to the needs of their child. With frequent punishment and one way communication from parent to child, the children tend to become hostile and lack decision making or problem-solving skills.
Some basic characteristics of this parenting style involves –
- Parents are usually not nurturing
- Stern discipline and punishment
- High expectations with little flexibility
- Less independent and unhappy children
- Children become insecure with low self-esteem
- Poor academic and social skills in children with behavioral problems
In an enlightening article, psychotherapist and bestselling author Amy Morin, LCSW, writes “Children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems because their opinions aren’t valued. They may also become hostile or aggressive.”
She adds “Since authoritarian parents are often strict, their children may grow to become good liars in an effort to avoid punishment.”
2. Authoritative Parenting
Being authoritative is very different from being an authoritarian parent. This type of parenting is believed to be the best approach to parenting. Authoritative parents set rules for their children but they also let their kids understand why these rules are important. They show both strictness and warmth. Not only they try to understand their children’s perspective, these parents are also responsive to the needs of their children. As they have realistic expectations from their kids, the children tend to be responsible as adults with excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills.