We all have wondered how different child-rearing practices affect children’s development, including Diana Baumrind, an American clinical and developmental psychologist known for her research on parenting styles. After studying how parents interacted with their preschool children, she identified two key dimensions of parental behaviour:
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- Warmth versus Hostility
Warm parents communicate love and affection for the child, whereas hostile parents express rejection and behave as if they are too busy to care about the child.
- Restrictiveness versus Permissiveness
Parents differ in the extent to which they design and enforce rules.
Combining these dimensions yields four kinds of parenting styles that result in different kinds of child development:
- Authoritative Parents (Warmth + Restrictiveness)
They establish rules that are clear, enforce them on a regular basis and reward the child for compliance with appreciation. They also keep some room open for the child to discuss his/her concerns regarding these guidelines. They also communicate their high expectations, caring and support for the child.
This style has been identified with the most positive outcomes. Children who have such parents have higher self-esteem, are higher achievers in school and have fewer behavioural problems.
- Authoritarian Parents (Hostility + Restrictiveness)
They establish rules but in an environment that is harsh, cold and unsupportive. All they know is how to assert their parental power over the child.
Children of such parents tend to have lower self-esteem, be less popular with peers and perform more poorly in school as compared to children with authoritative parents.
- Indulgent Parents (Warmth + Permissiveness)
They have a warm, loving and caring bond with the child but fail to provide him/her with the guidance and discipline needed to sail a little more smoothly through life. They are lax when it comes to setting boundaries and limits.
Children of such parents tend to be more immature and self-indulgent.
- Neglectful Parents (Hostile + Permissiveness)
Neither do they provide children with warmth nor with guidance or discipline. It’s almost as if they never had an offspring in the first place! This style of parenting is identified with the most negative outcomes.
The children are most likely to be insecurely attached, to have low achievement motivation and have disturbed social relationships. They are also likely to be more impulsive and aggressive.
So which of these parental style did you grow up with and which one do you follow or intend to follow? And why? Let us know in the comment section!