When you reach a certain age, your priorities in life change. To some, a stable job and career may be the focus, with the goal being obtaining financial autonomy. To those who already have a career or stable source of income, starting a family may be their priority.
It is very common to see people on the streets gushing over other people’s children, like how cute or awesome they are. Some ladies begin to be more alert to their biological clock, forever talking about how they’d want to settle down and have kids.
Men on the other hand change their dating patterns, going only for those women they consider as ideal mothers for their future children. It is the process of life and quite frankly many people go through these stages. One thing that is lost to some people is how parenting is very important in the life of a child and how that process can greatly influence the type of person he or she turns out to be in the future.
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Some people say that they can’t shout at or reprimand their kids, others say that they can’t tolerate their children talking back at them while some take a diplomatic approach, always willing to sit down and reason with their children. There are four major distinctive parenting styles.
Authoritative parents have rules that children are expected to abide by. They however allow exceptions to some of the rules. They always try to explain to their children why certain rules have been put in place and are usually more than willing to take into consideration the feelings of a child when setting limits.
Such parents tend to favor consequences over punishments. They also tend to reinforce good behavior by using positive consequences. Children raised by these types of parents mostly grow up to be happy and successful. They also turn out as responsible adults with good decision-making skills and the ability to freely express opinions.
Permissive parents are really not keen on instilling discipline. They are most lenient and only come in when there is a serious problem or gross misconduct. Such parents always excuse bad behavior by saying that “kids will always be kids”. They, therefore, provide very few consequences for misconduct. These types of parents also take on the role of a friend to their kids at the expense of being parents to them. Kids with permissive parents tend to have problems with respecting rules and authority. They are also likely to struggle academically and have low self-esteem.
In all fairness, this is the worst parenting style. Uninvolved parents are mostly neglectful, even ignoring the basic needs of their children, and may expect them to raise themselves. Some parents may be this way because of mental illness or drug and substance abuse while others are just careless and have no knowledge about what good parenting entails.
Most of these parents have no idea about how their kids are doing and may not provide any nurturing or even guidance. As such, they have very few expectations from them. Children raised by uninvolved parents tend to have low self-esteem, poor academic performance, are often unhappy and exhibit unsocietal behavior most of the time.
This is where parents establish rules and expect their children to follow them to the letter. Kids have very little or no involvement whatsoever in problem-solving challenges. Parents expect that their children will follow the laid down rules all the time. There is no time to negotiate, the rules are there simply to be followed and never to be questioned. Any question about rules is usually met with the answer “Because I have said so”. Authoritarian parents may also prefer to use punishments over consequences.
How does authoritarian parenting affect children?
1. Less ability to self-regulate
Even though children raised by authoritarian parents are relatively well behaved, they have less ability to self-regulate or morally reason because they are so used to being told what to do. Without the existence of the familiar environment of strict rules and a known enforcer, they tend to over-indulge. Because of the fear of being punished for wrongdoings, they are also less willing to confess mistakes especially to figures of authority.
2. Less resourceful and less socially adapt
Children raised through the authoritarian parenting style, as most studies have shown, tend to find it more difficult to fend for themselves or even develop new friendships.
3. Children may suffer from emotional problems
The fear of being punished for making a mistake turns such children into unhappy young people. They are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
4. Lower achievement in schools
According to studies, authoritarian parents are more likely to shame their kids for poor performance, and this further dents their confidence in performing school work and greatly interferes with the process of learning.
5. Lack of morality
Because of the lack of self-regulation for kids raised by authoritarian parents, they are more likely to engage in immoral and risky behavior. Over time they’ll also start rejecting their parents as legitimate authority figures. These types of kids also find it difficult to confide in their parents even when they are in trouble or looking for advice.
Some parents deliberately become authoritarian when they realize that their kids are difficult and the other parenting styles are not as effective as they would like them to be. Some children are inherently difficult and there may be underlying psychological issues that trigger such behavior.
Being authoritarian may not be the solution and parents must always strive to find the best ways to bring their children up. After all, good parenting lays a foundation for a good future…in most cases.