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How Parenting Style Affects Child Development

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Parents can mean everything to a child. As such, a child may try to emulate their parents’ behaviour or respond well to how a parent disciplines or rewards them for their actions. Thus, the parenting style one uses on their children can significantly affect a child’s development.

A positive childhood may lead to teens empathising with their friends more and gaining an optimistic outlook on the world. Additionally, you can use your parenting styles to help your children socialize with friends and family, which you can learn more about if you click here.  

Read on to learn more about the four major parenting styles and how can they impact a child’s growth as well during their early childhood.

Permissive parent

Those in the role of a permissive parent may try to take on a friendship role with their kids rather than an authoritative or parental figure role. There tends to be more focus on love and compassion and less on discipline and rules; permissive parents rarely punish their kids.

Although permissive parenting can result in a superficially loving household, children may not feel any pressure to take control of their studies and can get into any amount of trouble because they do not understand the consequences. 

Other effects of permissive parenting on children may result in kids who:

  • Rank low in happiness and self-regulation 
  • Struggle with issues involving authority 
  • Perform poorly in school
  • Neglect rules, since their childhood did not have any boundaries

Authoritative parent

Authoritative parents understand their kids’ needs and support them by establishing clear rules and expectations, so their children understand the freedom they do possess. 

In this regard, parents are more akin to coaches, prodding their kids in the right direction, but trusting them to make the right decision that will benefit their future. 

Kids with parents who use an authoritative style can come across as more independent and intelligent. Other effects can include: 

  • Excelling in academic performance
  • Internalising what is right and wrong, leading to them making considerate choices
  • Keeping to themselves because of the pressure their parents put on them to be their best

Neglectful parent

Also known as uninvolved parenting, these parents effectively remove themselves from the lives of their children, rather than being a friend to them, as seen in permissive parenting. 

Additionally, neglectful parents rarely establish rules and may be seen as cold and uncaring to their children, which is different from an authoritative parent. 

However, a neglectful parent may be using this style because of their own issues that they do not have any help for–if you are tempted into neglectful parenting, consider working with a therapist to care for your own mental health and investigate your impulses.

The effects of neglectful parenting can produce children who have trouble forming relationships out of fear of abandonment and other risky behaviors since their parents did not establish clear rules in their childhood. 

Other effects may include:

  • Performing poorly in school
  • Experiencing depressive episodes
  • Engaging in unprotected sex

Authoritarian parent

Lastly, authoritarian parents practice tough love by establishing strict rules for their children to follow while discouraging them from asking questions about why the rules are the way they are. 

Parents following this style may often talk to their children without expecting any input or feedback, along with using discipline, not punishment, when veering their kid on the right path. Thus, parents want their children to become independent with a strong sense of self without having their kids question the parenting style. 

Children raised under authoritarian parents may express a variety of anger issues, while also being socially withdrawn and shy. 

Other effects on children may include:

  • Not functioning without a set of strict rules
  • Being unthinkingly obedient
  • Ranking lower in happiness and self-esteem 

Mix-and-match styles

Each parenting style can radically affect a child’s development. It is up to you to do your best to choose which style could best benefit your child. 

Of course, you can mix and match styles as well, in general or depending on certain situations. 

If you want to be compassionate to your children, while also establishing clear rules, then blending authoritative and permissive parenting may best help you take care of your children. 

So long as you try to understand how to best treat your children and ensure their future happiness, then choose a parenting style that feels the most right to you.  

Marie Miguel is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.

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