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How Parenting Styles Psychology Can Help Parents Understand Their Parenting Ways

by Child Care

There are reasons why everyone should learn (or at least understand) about parenting styles psychology. If they are parents, it gives them insight and knowledge on how they can deal with their kids. Even if they aren’t a parent, such knowledge is helpful to help them make many important decisions in their future lives. Are they ready to have kids? What kind of parents they want to be? How was the parenting style of their parents before, and how it affects their lives now?

These things may not seem important, but it may be surprising to know that such a psychology can help parents raise their kids in a more civilized and compassionate way.  After all, parents are the one who decide that they will bring another life to this world. So, it is only logical that they have the responsibility to care for their kids. But then again, not everyone has the same (smart) thoughts about raising their kids or has the same responsibility to care for their young.

About Baumrind Parenting Styles Psychology

There is no school for being parents, and yet, parenting is one of the biggest and most important responsibilities that one can take when it comes to their young. That’s why it is interesting to see parents have different patterns or styles in raising their kids, and yet, there are times when there are similarities between one parent to another.

Parenting Styles Psychology

Based on this fact, researchers have categories parenting styles into 4 common areas or subjects. Parenting style is basically a collection of strategies (or combination of them) that everyone uses to raise their kids. The idea was generated by Diane Baumrind, who was a developmental and clinical psychologist in the 1960s. She was the one who divided parenting styles into 4 categories, where each has their own distinct names as well as the signature characteristic.

Baumrind parenting styles are the ones with Unites States centric method. Be advised that it won’t be able to describe how parents in cross-cultural background or setting can fit to the style. Each of the style also has its own areas of variations, covering nurturance, expectations, communication, and discipline style. So, what are they?

Authoritarian Parenting Style

Also known as disciplinarians, this style is dominated by strict discipline – and very little room for negotiation. In this style, punishment is quite common; and often administered by the parents. You can think of it as the dominant style where the parents are the dominant party, and the kids are the ones having to follow everything: regulations, rules, instructions, etc. Communication is often done in one way, which is from the parents to their kids. When parents set up rules, they won’t bother explaining why those rules are made or how the rules can benefit everyone in the family. In most cases, these types of parents always say ‘Just do what I say!” and that’s it. No more discussion.

Is it a nurturing type of parenting? Definitely not. Although the parents believe that they are doing their best, it is often the kids who suffer because they have to bear the burden of high expectation, and yet with very limited flexibility and even freedom. For parents, their kids are their ‘belongings’. The parents believe that they have the rights to determine their kids’ future, life path, and everything.

Permissive Parenting Style

This kind of parenting style is the opposite of authoritarian parenting. Also known as the indulgent style, the parents would simply let their kids do whatever they want without providing proper direction or with limited guidance. Instead of ‘acting’ as parents, they are more like friends. They may not apply strict discipline or rules, but they completely offer no rules setting. In most cases, kids are left figuring out their own problems with their own ways. This style offers open communication, but instead of giving direction or guidance, the parents would let go of their kids and let them make the decisions for themselves.

On the contrary to the disciplinarian, parents have very minimal expectation, even none for their kids. They can be nurturing and warm, and also friendly with friend-like vibes. Although many have believed this style of parenting is good, but the lack of discipline and guidance is often criticized by many. After all, kids still need discipline, guidance, and direction so they won’t go astray.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

This type of style will give their kids tons of freedom; in most cases, they seem like they don’t care at all. These parents would leave out of their kids’ way. Some parents do make the decision to implement this style of parenting to their kids, but in most cases, these parents aren’t really sure of what they should do. It is also common that these parents may not be interested in parenting. These kinds of people are able to procreate but they lack of responsibility to care or be responsible for other people’s lives.

This style doesn’t have any discipline or whatsoever. Since the parents are uninvolved, they allow their kids to do anything they want. They may do it because they simply don’t care or they don’t have enough information how to properly become responsible parents. This parenting style has limited communication too. Although the parents offer a lot of freedom to their kids, they also offer very little nurturing. And since they don’t really care about their kids, these parents have no expectation from their kids.

Authoritative Parenting Style

This is the type of style that combines ‘the positive sides’ of the previous parenting styles mentioned above. The style offers nurturing environment and reasonable situation. They may also have set high, but clear, expectations for the kids. Kids having this kind of parents often show positive results, where they can be independent, they can think for themselves, and they are self-disciplined. Many believe that this style would be the best (and also most beneficial) for the kids.

Although there are disciplines and rules, they are clearly set. Reasons why they are created and the offered benefits are always explained. Communication is open and frequent. Parents are able to bring themselves to their kids’ understanding level, which is great to create openness and equal treatments. Not only these parents are nurturing, but they are also able to provide flexible self-management for their kids. They can be discipline, but they can be compassionate – depending on the situation. Even with high goals and expectations, the kids understand what they can do. They may even have input into their (life) goals: what they should do? What are their best traits? What strength or flaws do they have?

Parenting Styles Psychology and Kids’ Adjustments

When it comes to implementing successful parenting, it is always better when both of the parents agree on the same style and they practice it. It’s true that both of them may not practice the style in a ‘pure’ way, but they need to agree on a parenting style. For instance, when parents agree on authoritative style, it would be difficult to keep it ‘pure’ and ‘basic’. In most cases, parents may use different styles’ combo. In some events, they may be permissive, but in others, they may be authoritative.

How Parenting Styles Psychology Can Help Parents Understand Their Parenting Ways

It’s true that some families may be okay (and they are doing fine) with only one parenting style, but in most cases, parents need to be ‘creative’ in combining different styles. It would be great if parents can view the styles as a continuum rather than 4 distinct parenting ways. It’s crucial that parents need to think about their kids, and what their kids need at certain specific points (in time). Although you may not adopt the permissive parenting style, there are times when such style is required. Or, it’s possible that you know a family with authoritarian parents who are actually nurturing – which is quite contradictive to the above description.

Kids Development Cover

And let’s not forget that the kids’ characteristics also play a crucial role in shaping their development. It’s not just the parenting style that plays the role. The kids’ development may cover these factors:

  • The kid’s (natural) temperament and how the parenting style fits with his/her
  • The peer group’s influence (of the kid)
  • The teacher’s working style while with the kid, including the matching (teaching) style to those of the parenting style

As time passes by, parenting style isn’t limited to the 4 major styles. In fact, there are new names arising. Anyone who has ever heard about helicopter parenting and learned psychology may realize that such a style is almost the same as the authoritative style, but with a little extra. It can be a little (more) involvement or even over-involvement with the kids’ lives. Or anyone probably has heard about free range parenting style, which is almost the same as the uninvolved style, but this one involves more conscious decision of (more) independent thinking for the sake of the kids.

The Effects on Kids

Different parenting styles will lead to different outcomes and results. After all, the effect of parents’ enforcement on kids will definitely affect how their kids would be ‘shaped’, grown, and developed.

Authoritarian Style

Because the parents tend to use punishments (instead of discipline), kids tend to feel sorry and regretful of their mistakes. These kids may do fine growing up with these parents, but then again, there is always a price for their obedience. They often develop problems related to self-confidence and self-esteem. It is even possible that they become aggressive or hostile. These kids often have latent anger and they focus on it. It is also possible that the kids become very good liars because they want to avoid punishment.

Permissive Style

These parents may have sets of regulations, but they don’t enforce those regulations often. Consider them as the lenient parents, where they would step in only in serious issues. They are very forgiving. For them, ‘kids will always be kids.’ For the kids themselves, they often have to struggle academically. They don’t appreciate rules and authority because they don’t learn about responsibilities and consequences.

Although the parents aren’t strict, the kids may experience tons of sadness. Not to mention that they have low self-esteem issue. These kids may grow into adults with many medical risks (such as obesity) because the parents allow them to consume whatever they want. And these parents may not enforce good (and healthy) habits, such as brushing the teeth or exercising, which may lead to the kids having other issues, like dental cavities.

Uninvolved Style

The parents don’t have many rules. In fact, they don’t really know what their kids are doing or what are they interested in. The kids don’t get much parental attention, nurturing, or guidance. It’s because the parents expect their kids to raise themselves. Parents with substance abuse issue or health problem are the perfect example of this style. They don’t devote much of their energy or time to even meet the kids basic requirements.

They can be overwhelmed with other issues or they don’t have the knowledge about raising kids properly. In short, they aren’t ready to be parents.The kids often deal with self-esteem and self-doubt issues quite seriously. Not only they have poor performance academically, but they also develop behavior issues quite frequently. They aren’t happy kids. And they have this sense of being unwanted, which is sad.

Authoritative Style

Unlike the authoritarian parenting style, the kids’ opinions and feelings are heard and considered about. Positive discipline is often used and the parents would validate their kids’ feelings. The kids themselves would grow into responsible adults. They are also comfortable enough with self expression.

In most cases, these kids are often successful and happy because they have positive self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. They develop their own self-discipline with good logic. When it comes to making decisions, they can do it well. In fact, they can assess the risks and possible outcome, making them able to make wise and good decisions.

Final Words

Becoming parents is a huge decision because it is super crucial. And to make the issue even more challenging is that there is no school or class about being a good parent. It leads to many self-doubt and also ‘parental guilt’ when something is wrong. You can’t be a perfect parent, but you can try as best as you can. It’s the efforts that matter. And it’s a good thing that there are many sources that parents can access now, if they are willing to learn more and they are willing to have an open mind about the situation.

It doesn’t hurt to learn about parenting styles psychology. There is a lot of powerful insight, information, and knowledge about many things. People can learn not only about proper way to raise kids, but they can also learn about themselves. The question is: Are they ready for the enlightment?

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