Parenting is again in review as we begin to understand that challenges that face us in the 21st century. This age of technology has affected the way we raise our children, and has offered a more hands off approach to parenting.
The western world holds the expectation that nowadays a home needs to be supplemented by a dual income. These means parents will spend less time with their children because they have to work, and to call upon the services of third parties. The same is true to an even greater extent for single parents.
Diana Baumrind has suggested four distinct parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and uninvolved. There is certainly a relationship between a parent’s parenting style and the way in which a child adapts to their surrounding society.
This is considered to be the most desirable style of parenting. The parents in this style are both demanding and responsive. The child is given expectations for their behavior. However, they are also encouraged to develop their own personalities and are given a voice in the life of the family.
The guidelines given the child by their parent do not smother the children, which provides them so amount of independence to handle situations. So there is a real sense of support, trust, and cooperation in this style of parenting.
This is a highly demanding style of parenting, but one where parents are unresponsive. It is likened to military discipline, where the parent is mostly unfeeling, and that their word is law and not to be questioned under any circumstances.
Parents attempt to instill a sense of fear in their children so that they will obey them. Studies have shown that children raised in these environments tend to be less assertive long term, and often develop codependent habits.
Uninvolved and Indulgent
These two styles live on the other end of the spectrum. Uninvolved parents are typically unresponsive, undemanding, and sometimes even neglectful of their responsibilities as a parent. Indulgent parents are overly responsive to their children, letting the children have their way, and catering to their every desire. This style of parenting avoids confrontation with their child at all costs.
Obviously, the best style of parenting in these categories is the authoritative approach. What is needed are parents who are willing to maintain the high standards of this style of parenting even in the face of a lot of distractions from such a parenting style. Children are extremely influenced by their parents, and studies suggest that a child’s personality can be up to 90 percent developed by the time they reach the age of 7.