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Essay: Parenting styles

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  • Subject area(s): Psychology essays
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  • Published: November 23, 2019*
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  • Words: 1,062 (approx)
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  • Tags: Child Development Essays
  • Parenting styles
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Parenting style:

The term “parenting style” focuses on how the parent acts and reacts to their child. This includes expectations, beliefs and values surrounding how parents support and punish their children. These run the range from unsupportive and controlling parents to warm, democratic mothers and fathers who let their children lead the way. Parents may or may not have a sense of awareness when it comes to their own style and how it affects their children. Diana Baumrind (1966) found in her research what she considered to be the two basic elements that help shape successful parenting: parental responsiveness and parental demandingness.


Through her studies, Baumrind identified three initial parenting styles: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting. Maccoby and Martin (1983) later step up Baumrind’s three original parenting styles by adding the uninvolved or neglectful style, which has the most pervasive negative effects across all areas. While not every parent falls neatly into one category, these parenting styles generally relate with the type of discipline a parent decides to use with his or her child or children. These different styles have different consequences on child or children.

Authoritarian parenting:

Parents that follow authoritarian parenting style demand total collaboration from their children and have no acceptance of questions or breaking rules. They also demand blind obedience and control their children through punishments. This parenting style expects high degrees of maturity from the child with low levels of parent-child communication. Children disciplined by authoritarian parents stay away from difficulty and make good grades, but their social development is depressingly affected due to not being motivated to have opinions, being shy and always worrying about their parents’ disappointment.

Authoritative parenting:

The authoritative parenting style assists in ensuring healthy development, more than any other style, because children are trained to follow rules, ask questions and have their own views, judgments and opinions on different situations. Research conducted on how parenting styles manipulate cognitive capacity, by Betsy Garrison and colleagues for Louisiana State University, found authoritative parenting in both fathers and mothers to be optimistically linked with cognitive development in children. Social development also benefits from this parenting style, because communication is encouraged and children feel more relaxed with peers and in other social circumstances.

Permissive parenting:

Permissive or indulgent parents focus more on being their child’s friend than a disciplinary body. Maturity and demands are required in very low amount by these type of parents. Communication level is very high between parents and child. Children of indulgent parents have advanced self-esteem, better social abilities and lower levels of depression, which helps in positive social progress. The lessened maturity and autonomy associated with parental permissiveness ills a child’s emotional development because he is not encouraged to grow in these areas.

Uninvolved or neglectful parenting:

Parents who are uncertain to their child’s wants and needs are referred uninvolved parents. Often, this parenting style is linked with overlook and abuse. While there are no demands or regulations to follow for the child, there is also no communication and no support from the parent. All fundamentals of development are negatively affected when parents are psychologically or bodily unavailable to their children. Social development is underdeveloped because the child is never trained how to act around people and, consequently, feels uncomfortable in social situations. Because of the absence of emotional and psychological associations between the parent and child, cognitive progress also suffers.

Disagreement of one parent:

Some people wonder about constancy. For example, if one parent claims on being permissive, should the other agree with? Or are children successful having at least one authoritative parent?

When Anne Fletcher and colleagues asked this question in a study of American high school students, they found that children were commonly well off having at least one authoritative parent even if the other parent was indulgent or authoritarian.

Two basic elements of parenting and their involvement in parenting styles:


The extent to which parents intentionally promote individualism, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being accustomed, supportive, and compliant to children’s particular needs and demands is called responsiveness in parenting behavior.


The claims parents construct on children to become incorporated into the family whole, by their maturity demands, regulation, disciplinary efforts and readiness to resist the child who disobeys is called demandingness in parenting behavior.

• These both qualities are enviable; therefore, authoritative parenting is considered the most favorable style because this contains both these qualities.

• In others three styles, either one missing or both. In authoritarian parenting, demandingness is present while permissive parenting style is responsive but not demanding.

• In uninvolved parenting, both these qualities—responsiveness and demandingness—are missing.

Positive influence:

While every parenting style affects the child’s growth, authoritative parents are likely to have the most positive effects when it comes to their children. The stability between a compact structure of rules and a warm, supportive environment permits children to develop with a suitable amount of leadership. While authoritative parents do exert power over their children, this style does encourage a more democratic, or often child-centered, type of development in which the child may establish her own sense of independence. Authoritative parents have children which may show healthy symbols of social progress when communicate with peers and other adults, and have a higher level of emotional self-control than children who have parents who apply other approaches of parenting.

Negative parenting styles:

The other three styles mean authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved parenting have a less than positive outcome on child development. This does not mean that every child who has a parent that follow to one of these styles is completely deprived of developmental progress. But these styles may not have the optimal developmental consequences or effects in contrast to more authoritative parents. Authoritarian parents may encourage abilities such as self-control through their high expectations for compliance, but will normally not give their children the chance to expand self-expression. In comparison, children of permissive parents may have broad chances for self-expression, but lack the structure of rigid rules to build emotional power, control and regulation. Children with uninvolved parents may bear developmental problems from a lack of interest, concentration and affection.

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