When we become parents we think it is quite straightforward how our parenting works – we just do it. We take a little bit from what we liked about how we were parented and leave out what we didn’t like.
The difficulty comes in when we have to consider that (in many families) there are two parents who are bringing their own parenting beliefs to the table and this may cause chaos. In my family it has resulted in us really discussing and deciding on how we are parenting and what choices we are making when it comes to actively raising our girls.
To better explain this I need to clarify the various parenting styles:
1) The Authoritarian Parent
The Authoritarian Parent believes that children should be seen and not heard and when it comes to rules, it is “the parents’ way or the high way”.
The Authoritarian Parent is not open to discussion and obedience and punishment are extremely important. – The Authoritarian Parent makes the rules and the children have to stick by them.
Now if you are The Authoritarian Parent some of your Pro’s might be:
- My children tend to listen
- I am in control
However, there are some major Con’s for your children:
- There is a higher risk of self-esteem issues based on the fact that your child believes “my opinions and feelings do not matter” (that makes me sad)
- They may be more aggressive in order to cope with life
- They may become good liars or avoid close conversations with you because they are afraid of punishment.
I spoke about your child’s need for recognition over here
3) The Permissive Parent
The Permissive Parent often makes rules, it is not always good at reinforcing them. The Permissive Parent believes that the children will learn and develop the best without interference from them and therefore there is little consequence. The permissive parent often uses the term “kids will be kids” and are often their children’s friend instead of their parent.
If you are The Permissive Parent, some of your Pro’s might be:
- You allow our children just to be
- It is often easier not to have to parent
BUT, the Con’s – again to your child’s detriment
- Children with more behavioural / Social problems as they are unable to adhere to rules
- They have a higher risk of health problems because there are often no rules pertaining to healthy choices.
3) The Uninvolved Parent
The Uninvolved Parent has no idea what is going on in their child’s life. They seldom spend any time with their child and never asks them about their homework or friends.
The Uninvolved Parent has no rules in the home and the children are left to raise themselves.
It is not usually not the fault of the uninvolved parents that they lack interest in their child’s life – it is usually due to lack of insight in what their child needs.
If you are an Uninvolved parent you may feel that these are some Pro’s
- You don’t need to do much
- (I can only think of 1)
However, these may be some of the results of being The Uninvolved Parent:
- Self-Esteem issues as a result of never feeling loved or accepted
- Unable to follow rules or accept guidance
- Attention seeking behaviour based their need for a sense of belonging.
I spoke about your child’s need for security over here
This is what I strive to be:
4) The Authoritative Parent
The Authoritative Parent actively parents their child. They are focussed and determined to raise well-adjusted adults.
The Authoritative parent believes in boundaries and consequences, but constantly takes the feelings and opinions of their child into consideration.
The Authoritative Parent is tuned-in to the needs and experiences of their child so as to prevent behaviour problems from even starting.
The Pro’s of being The Authoritative Parent
- Your child is happy
- Tuned-in Parents raise well-adjusted adults
- Validated feelings result in successful adults
- Boundaries make children feel safe
The Con’s of being The Authoritative Parent
- I honestly can’t think of one.
Being The Authoritative Parent is not always the easiest option. It takes consistent hard work. But the continuous hard work is the long-term investment that you make for your children and your family.
Our purpose as parents is not to raise children, it is to raise adults – well-adjusted, content, successful adults who will parent and raise the future adults of the world.