4 PARENTING STYLES; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; How It Affects Your Child’s Growth and Development

For today, I want you to go to bed at 9 PM. But mommy, its Saturday. We go to bed at 10:30 PM. Why mommy? Don’t ask me silly questions. Just do as I say. But mommy why 🙁 ? Because I said so, that’s why… Just go to bed, P-E-R-I-O-D! ………..ooohhhhhhh……….

Is this a common scenario in your home? For us folks who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in Africa, a lot of us went through this. We had to obey without questioning.

Parenting style influences a child’s behavioral pattern. Every human being’s personality is determined by 2 factors. Nature and nurture. Nature aka genetic selection of each person (obtained from both parents) determines their traits, physical features, mannerism and many more. Nurture on the other hand i.e. environment in which a child is raised, family dynamics etc. influences and plays another huge role in the growth and development of a child. How a parent relates with his/her child, respectfully or disrespectfully, gently or aggressively or maybe doesn’t even relate at all influences a child’s personality and behavioral pattern.

Types of Parenting Styles

Authoritarian- This type of parenting style gives orders a lot. Leaves little or no room for explaining rationale behind any parental request. Home lifestyle is highly structured and there is punishment or serious repercussions for any rule broken in the home. These parents are usually very strict.

To be successful in life, one needs to be disciplined and abide by certain rules. This is no brainer but the problem with this type of parenting style is that they overdo it and this can lead to self-esteem issues for the child.  When a child is not given room to be reasonably free and all they do is constantly abiding by rules they don’t understand, constantly living in fear of doing something wrong or fear of reprimand, this can backfire on the parents and instead of having a child who is a leader in the society, end up having a timid child, maybe aggressive or hostile. Such children can easily be intimidated and does not have a voice of his/her own. They get accustomed to lying to avoid getting into trouble.

Authoritative- These types of parents have rules just like the authoritarian but the difference between the two is that an authoritative parent takes time to explain the rules to his/her child. They just don’t let the children follow the rules blindly. They take time to invest positively in their relationship with their children. These parents give reasonable consequences, they put their children’s emotion into consideration when doling out punishment. Children have a healthy communication line with their parents. They are free to discuss any matter with their parents without the fear of judgement. Children who grow up in this environment and usually happy and they end up being level-headed responsible adults. I would say that this is about the best type of parenting style.

Permissive- These are lenient parents with lax home and lifestyle rules i.e. if they exist at all. Having three children of my own, I know that rules help me keep sanity in my home and I know that sometimes these rules may be tried and tested which of course I don’t bend them for (at least most of the time unless if absolutely necessary). For permissive parents, if they have rules at all, they are easily challenged and bent. These parents do not like confronting their children but rather they explain their bad behavior away. These are the type of parents that believe that children will cultivate certain bad habits whether one likes it or not and instead of preaching against such bad behavior, they will rather say something like “all we need to do is teach them to manage that problem when it arises because it will definitely arise”. This parenting style is dangerous because it has negative influence on the child’s academics, growth and development.

Neglectful/Uninvolved Parent- You don’t know who your child’s friends are. You are not involved in your child’s school and extra-curricular activities. You don’t know anything about your child’s habits. You don’t even know your child’s teachers. A lot of children raised by neglectful parents have very bad habits that were developed due to the negligence of their parent. They also have self-esteem issues. If these describe you then, unfortunately, you are a neglectful parent and this is extremely dangerous for your child.

All said, there are some parents who generally are authoritative parents (the best type) but for some reason or the other (life circumstances etc.) find themselves falling into the categories of the dangerous ones. If this happens, please do not be alarmed. It happens occasionally where sometimes a parent due to certain life pressure, forgets about his/her child’s needs. When this becomes a norm then such a parent should worry. Authoritarians, neglectful and permissive parents have a lot of work to do. Every parent should strive to be an authoritative parent.

I am stopping here for today. So what’s your parenting style? Please leave a comment below and also, please, please don’t leave without subscribing. IT IS FREE. NO MONEY INVOLVED 😉

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Tolusworld Profile- Tolu Dairo MD. MSc.  A Life Coach (Motivational/Relationship/Parenting) and writer who uses her passion for career/self-development, positive parenting and healthy relationships to inspire people to live their dreams.


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