Parenting is something that usually comes naturally to people. There are no hard fast how to manuals or rules to parenting. People generally just learn as they go. Most things are just second nature, like feeding, clothing and generally caring for a child. However, as a child grows and other children are born, parenting becomes more then simply handling the child’s everyday needs. Sometimes parents feel they need some help in deciding the best way to parent their children.
There have been many people who have spoken out about parenting and offered advice and assistance to parents in need. Parenting styles are an example of something a parent can do to help them with their parenting. A parenting style is basically a way to describe how a parent parents their child or children. There are 3 basic types of parenting styles.
Some authorities on the subject of parenting will argue that there are many different variations of parenting styles, but they all go back to the three basic parenting styles. Those three styles are authoritarian, permissive and democratic.
The authoritarian parenting style is based on control. With this style of parenting the parent retains complete control at all times. Under this style of parenting there are strict rules and schedules. The parents rule the children with an iron fist. There is no exception to the rules and punishment is given in a very orderly and prompt fashion when it is needed. The down side to an authoritarian parenting style is that it usually does not allow for a lot of affection or warmth. Since children raised with this parenting style are usually not allowed to think freely or make decisions on their own they often grow up to have problems with thinking for themselves.
The permissive parenting style is the opposite of the authoritarian parenting style. The permissive parent lets the child have control. There are usually not a lot of rules and the rules that are made are often very lax. Broken rules often are not even recognized or even enforced. Parents that use this parenting style feel that their children need to be free thinkers and be able to explore the world and learn for themselves without being held down by rules and strict structure. There is often a lot of affection and warmth with this parenting styles. The downside though, is that children do not learn that rules are sometimes necessary. They learn that no matter what they do – right or wrong- that they will not be punished. This can lead to a life long rebellion against any type of rule or structure.
The democratic parenting style is a mixture of the authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. A democratic parent will set rules that are necessary and enforce them, but they will also take each situation as it comes. Punishment is usually discussed with the child. Democratic parents are most interested in making sure their children understands why rules are in place and why some behavior in unacceptable. Democratic parenting is about letting children know when they do good and when they do bad making sure they understand why it is wrong. It is a style of parenting where everyone – parents and children- work together. Children will usually grow up to respect their parents and to be able to handle conflicts and problems in a reasonable manner.
Each parenting style has its pros and cons. Obviously, with the authoritarian parenting style the children are going to be very respectful and very well behaved. The parents will have very little chaos and they will have a low stress level. With the permissive parenting style the parent is free to do whatever they want because they are not constantly policing the children. The family simply does their own thing, which can often lead to a lot of separation over time as everyone develops their own life apart form the family. The democratic parent in style requires a lot of work. Parents must constantly be talking with and dealing with their children in order to keep everyone involved in the family.
Nobody ever claimed parenting was easy. There really is no right or wrong to parent as long as children are cared for, happy and healthy. Parents can choose for themselves how they want to parent their children. Some parents simply fall into a parenting style that seems to fit their own life and their own beliefs. Others make a conscious effort to maintain a parenting style. However, a parent chooses their parent style, it is fine as long as it works for them and their children are taken care of.