Do you know what kind of parent you are? This is an important question to answer because as a parent your end goal is to raise a happy, healthy, successful child and to reach that goal you need to be the best parent you can be.
The four main parenting styles are determined by the level of warmth and control that parents exert over their child. These two key factors then create four categories of parenting styles: indulgent, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved. Each of these parenting styles reflects different natural patterns of parental values, practices, and behaviors and a distinct balance of response and demand.
* Indulgent parents are more responsive than they are demanding. Nontraditional and lenient, they do not require mature behavior, allow much self-regulation, and avoid confrontation. Indulgent parents may be further divided into two types: democratic parents, who, though lenient, are more conscientious, engaged, and committed to the child, and nondirective or permissive parents.
* Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and directive, but not responsive. They do not explain orders but expect total obedience. These parents provide well-ordered and structured environments with clearly stated rules. Authoritarian parents can be divided into two types: those who are not intrusive or autocratic in their use of power and those who are highly intrusive.
* Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. They set clear standards for their child’s conduct, but their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive as they want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, cooperative, and self-regulated.
* Uninvolved parents are low in both response and demand. In extreme cases, this parenting style might encompass both rejection and neglect.
Parenting styles not only differ in terms of response and demand but also the extent of psychological control they extend over their child. Psychological control is the attempt to intrude into the psychological and emotional development of the child through use of parenting practices such as guilt, shame, and withdrawal of love. One key difference between authoritarian and authoritative parenting is in the dimension of psychological control.
Both authoritarian and authoritative parents place high demands on their children and expect their children to behave appropriately and obey parental rules. Authoritarian parents, however, also expect their children to accept their judgments, values, and goals without question. In contrast, authoritative parents are more open to give and take with their children and offer more explanation. Therefore, although authoritative and authoritarian parents are both high in behavioral control, authoritative parents tend to be low in psychological control, while authoritarian parents tend to be high.
Learning more about your own parenting style can help you become a more effective parent and raise a more successful child.