Existingin the same physical place with children does not constitute parenthood. Investingemotions and control in such a way that leads to a well-seasoned,psychologically and mentally stable offspring. The degree of demandingness andresponsiveness; hence, defines the various parental styles, and means aprofound difference between the type of parenting offered. This paper shalldiscuss the characteristics of three parenting styles based on the howdemanding and responsive parents are in each one of them, and highlightconnections between these parenting styles and emotional stability and socialbehavior in early and adolescent developmental stages, where authoritarianstyle tends to lead to high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem andpermissive style to dependent aggressive behavior, while authoritative styleleans positively towards producing emotionally regulating and confidentbehavior. A brief discussion will follow to cover the association betweenparenting styles and mental disorders. Parenthood could bebroadly thought of as the practice of securing the health and safety of one’sown children, and preparing them for life. The amount of detail that parentingentails is inconceivably large, because a child is born with a mind and a psychethat is tabula rasa; void of any innate or preconceived ideas or goals, and itis up to the parents to consistently fill that clean slate with meaningful andpurposeful motives. It has been observed; however, that certain practices aremore important than others in bringing up a more active, socially successfuland emotionally stable child, and based on the valuable research presented byProf.
Diana Baumrind in 1967, the concept of parenting styles was firstintroduced. She identified three major parenting styles based on the degree ofcontrol, responsiveness and socialization parents naturally offer to children;authoritarian, authoritative and permissive styles. Ever since thatcategorization was developed, a debate has been sparked off about the efficacyof each style in terms of bringing up emotionally stable children. Availableliterature suggests a strong correlation between authoritative parenting styleand high levels of emotional perception and management.Parenting StylesDefinedA systematic analysisof parent-child dynamics as of pre-school stages throughout adolescence renderstwo major parental dimensions of behavior: demandigness and responsiveness(Baumrind 1991, P. 62), and based on the implemented intensity of those twobehavioral patterns, three sets of parental values and practices cancharacterize three major parenting styles.Authoritarian ParentingAuthoritarian parentsare demanding, directive, intolerant to unbecoming behavior and irresponsive tochildren’s emotional needs. (Farrell, 2015, P.
20). Spera (2005) maintains thatparents showing the authoritarian characteristics are strict,obedience-oriented and power assertive. They communicate unilaterally throughimposing rules and orders, and typically expect compliance to what they saywithout any explanation of intentions or purposes. And since that style isbased on rigid disciplinary rules (Farrell, 2015), a child failing to adhere tothe set order of affairs by practicing any form of self-will is to be punished.Authoritative Parenting Authoritativeparents show much more balance between demandingness and responsiveness. Theyare characterized by being warm and responsive (Sepra, 2005); assertive, notintrusive or restrictive (Baumrind, 1991). It is clear that these parents tendto establish and develop a close relationship with their children, set highexpectations of them and then nurture them to meet these expectations.Bidirectional verbal give-and-take is encouraged in that parenting style, andmay result in granting more independence on the part of the parents to thechild.
An authoritative parent retains control at points of disagreement, yetdoes not place the child under constant tight restrictions. Parents implementtheir view as adults, yet recognizes the unique interests of the child(Developmental Psychology.org, n.
d., Para. 3). Permissive ParentingBaumrind (1991)describe permissive parents as being more responsive than demanding andlenient; they permit significant self-will and avoid confrontation. Spera(2005) asserts that they are tolerant to misbehavior and have a rather laxmature expectations of their children. They present themselves to the child asa resource that he/she can exploit at will, and they tend to use manipulationrather than disciplined control and overt power to reach their parental goals.
Communication with the child may take the shape of casual verbal exchanges likethe ones prevalent among friends and peers, and they often use bribes withtheir children to encourage or reward positive behavior rather than instillproper values and expectations.Parenting Styles Impacton Emotions and BehaviorThe emotional climateof a household is determined by the degree of stability of parents’ attitudestowards their children, and the nature of the interaction between the parentsand the children. The typological parenting approach discussed above (the threeparenting styles) has a major role in children’s early emotional development.On the one hand, and according to Zarra-Nezhad et al. (2015), coercing childreninto not freely expressing their emotions and/or punishing them to expressopinions or feelings that are not consistent with a given streamlined rule(characteristic of authoritarian style) inevitably leads them to be moreemotionally reactive. They tend to experience and manifest dissentious feelingssuch as lingering anger and guilt or constant fear and anxiety. And becausethey were not given enough opportunities to freely express their thoughts, theytend to be unable to display a wide range of emotions or become emotionallyflexible (Farrell, 2015, P.
54). On the other hand it is difficult to overlookthe remarkable correlation between the authoritative style and social andemotional competences such as empathy and striking a balance between conformityand independence in later life stages. Authoritative parents tend to exhibitbalanced attitude of control and understanding, an attitude that the childinternalizes and exhibit it later on in his/her own life. As for the permissivestyle, Baumrind (1966, P. 900) asserts that it emphasizes high degrees ofautonomy with no rational objections from parents which “frees the child fromthe presence and the authority of the parent”, and accordingly increasesaggression in early developmental stages. The excessively relaxed demeanor ofthat style leads to less understanding or and control over emotions, especiallyat times when what the child wants is unattainable. It is safe, after examining the body ofliterature available; seminal or modern, to associate parents’authoritativeness to higher emotional stability and better psychologicalpreparedness for adult autonomy. Mental DisordersAssociated with Certain Parenting Styles The relationship between parentingand mental disorders is quite self-evident.
During the fifties of the twentiethcentury, connections were made between schizophrenia and faulty mothering. Yetmore recently (Sharma, Sharma & Yadava, 2011) assert that parentalover-control is directly associated with higher levels of depression. Authoritarianparenting style was found to have strong associations with adolescentdepression and antisocial behaviors as they are constantly deprived of warmth,caring and affection. Clinical anxiety has also been proven, in longitudinaland observational studies, to have an association with children who receivedover-controlling or coercing parenting.Parentingstyles vary depending on the guarding and with such the methods to discipline eachchild. Most parent are run down the clock trying to pin point the bestparenting style, but in reality each no two child even when born at the sametime are alike. Parenting styles are not a one size fits all kind of thing;after all we are talking about the future here. Instead each parent shouldfocus on the parenting styles that complement the family dynamics at home.
Eachparent is unique and so are their children, the perfect parenting style foreach lies with their personality and their parent-child dynamics. Some childrenrequire a severely stricter and controlling parenting style than other. Middleground is the key to everything, or so I was taught.
Whatever it is along as itis beneficial to the child and not just convenient for the parent.