Primary socialization plays the most significant role in shaping the personality of a child. Freud, a psychologist claims that the early years of a child’s development shape a child’s personality. In these early years, usually considered to be 0-11 years, parenting style has a very important and lasting impact on the child’s mental growth and character building. There is a total of 4 recognized parenting styles across the globe.
Different types of parenting styles:
- Authoritarian parenting
This type of parenting is typically characterized with the attitude that rules must be followed without any exception. Parents who adopt this style are not willing to negotiate or compromise on rules. The child’s opinion does not matter.
- Permissive parenting
Permissive parents are very lenient, more like a friend than a parent. They do not enforce rules strictly and allow children to break them without many consequences.
- Uninvolved/neglectful parenting
Uninvolved parents are simply ‘uninvolved’. They do not engage much with their children, rarely know or bother to check what they are doing and don’t spend much time with their kids.
- Authoritative parenting
Authoritative parenting style is characterized by a great deal of effort to maintain a good, healthy and positive relationship with their children. Rules are imposed but not forcefully and after explanation. Deviations are also tolerated through consideration of their children’s feelings.
In modern America, the ideal parenting style is authoritative. This style is beneficial for children of different temperaments. Children, who prove to be difficult and rowdy, in particular benefit from this parenting style. The question that can be raised here is that since all children differ in temperament, how can the same parenting style apply for everyone? The answer is simple. Parenting style is not the same as parenting practice.
Parenting style is the emotional climate in which the child is raised. Parenting practice on the other hand is the specific actions that parents employ when dealing with their children. So, while adopting the authoritative style, parents can change their practice to fit the temperament of their child.
Why is authoritative parenting the best parenting style?
Authoritative parents are nurturing, caring and sensitive to the specific needs of their children. They are considerate and parents therefore develop a secure attachment with their kids. Children raised in this environment therefore develop better problem-solving, cognitive skills and emotional control.
Authoritative parenting style includes active involvement in the child’s activities and school work. This guarantees beneficial impact on the children.
Baumrind conducted a study in which she concluded that authoritative parents were very consistent in enforcing rules and resulted in positive responses from the children. Children are less likely to develop externalizing of internalizing problems when raised in such environments.
This parenting style results in individuality in children because parents are open-minded and collaborative. As a result children develop good social skills.
Therefore, the best parenting style, that will be sure to guarantee successful growth and good mental development of children, is the authoritative parenting style.