Existing permissive styles. Ever since that categorization was developed,

Existing
in the same physical place with children does not constitute parenthood. Investing
emotions and control in such a way that leads to a well-seasoned,
psychologically and mentally stable offspring. The degree of demandingness and
responsiveness; hence, defines the various parental styles, and means a
profound difference between the type of parenting offered. This paper shall
discuss the characteristics of three parenting styles based on the how
demanding and responsive parents are in each one of them, and highlight
connections between these parenting styles and emotional stability and social
behavior in early and adolescent developmental stages, where authoritarian
style tends to lead to high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem and
permissive style to dependent aggressive behavior, while authoritative style
leans positively towards producing emotionally regulating and confident
behavior. A brief discussion will follow to cover the association between
parenting styles and mental disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenthood could be
broadly thought of as the practice of securing the health and safety of one’s
own children, and preparing them for life. The amount of detail that parenting
entails is inconceivably large, because a child is born with a mind and a psyche
that is tabula rasa; void of any innate or preconceived ideas or goals, and it
is up to the parents to consistently fill that clean slate with meaningful and
purposeful motives. It has been observed; however, that certain practices are
more important than others in bringing up a more active, socially successful
and emotionally stable child, and based on the valuable research presented by
Prof. Diana Baumrind in 1967, the concept of parenting styles was first
introduced. She identified three major parenting styles based on the degree of
control, responsiveness and socialization parents naturally offer to children;
authoritarian, authoritative and permissive styles. Ever since that
categorization was developed, a debate has been sparked off about the efficacy
of each style in terms of bringing up emotionally stable children. Available
literature suggests a strong correlation between authoritative parenting style
and high levels of emotional perception and management.

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Parenting Styles
Defined

A systematic analysis
of parent-child dynamics as of pre-school stages throughout adolescence renders
two major parental dimensions of behavior: demandigness and responsiveness
(Baumrind 1991, P. 62), and based on the implemented intensity of those two
behavioral patterns, three sets of parental values and practices can
characterize three major parenting styles.

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents
are demanding, directive, intolerant to unbecoming behavior and irresponsive to
children’s emotional needs. (Farrell, 2015, P.20). Spera (2005) maintains that
parents showing the authoritarian characteristics are strict,
obedience-oriented and power assertive. They communicate unilaterally through
imposing rules and orders, and typically expect compliance to what they say
without any explanation of intentions or purposes. And since that style is
based on rigid disciplinary rules (Farrell, 2015), a child failing to adhere to
the set order of affairs by practicing any form of self-will is to be punished.

Authoritative Parenting

            Authoritative
parents show much more balance between demandingness and responsiveness. They
are characterized by being warm and responsive (Sepra, 2005); assertive, not
intrusive or restrictive (Baumrind, 1991). It is clear that these parents tend
to establish and develop a close relationship with their children, set high
expectations of them and then nurture them to meet these expectations.
Bidirectional verbal give-and-take is encouraged in that parenting style, and
may result in granting more independence on the part of the parents to the
child. An authoritative parent retains control at points of disagreement, yet
does not place the child under constant tight restrictions. Parents implement
their view as adults, yet recognizes the unique interests of the child
(Developmental Psychology.org, n.d., Para. 3).

Permissive Parenting

Baumrind (1991)
describe permissive parents as being more responsive than demanding and
lenient; they permit significant self-will and avoid confrontation. Spera
(2005) asserts that they are tolerant to misbehavior and have a rather lax
mature expectations of their children. They present themselves to the child as
a resource that he/she can exploit at will, and they tend to use manipulation
rather than disciplined control and overt power to reach their parental goals.
Communication with the child may take the shape of casual verbal exchanges like
the ones prevalent among friends and peers, and they often use bribes with
their children to encourage or reward positive behavior rather than instill
proper values and expectations.

Parenting Styles Impact
on Emotions and Behavior

The emotional climate
of a household is determined by the degree of stability of parents’ attitudes
towards their children, and the nature of the interaction between the parents
and the children. The typological parenting approach discussed above (the three
parenting styles) has a major role in children’s early emotional development.
On the one hand, and according to Zarra-Nezhad et al. (2015), coercing children
into not freely expressing their emotions and/or punishing them to express
opinions or feelings that are not consistent with a given streamlined rule
(characteristic of authoritarian style) inevitably leads them to be more
emotionally reactive. They tend to experience and manifest dissentious feelings
such as lingering anger and guilt or constant fear and anxiety. And because
they were not given enough opportunities to freely express their thoughts, they
tend to be unable to display a wide range of emotions or become emotionally
flexible (Farrell, 2015, P. 54). On the other hand it is difficult to overlook
the remarkable correlation between the authoritative style and social and
emotional competences such as empathy and striking a balance between conformity
and independence in later life stages. Authoritative parents tend to exhibit
balanced attitude of control and understanding, an attitude that the child
internalizes and exhibit it later on in his/her own life. As for the permissive
style, Baumrind (1966, P. 900) asserts that it emphasizes high degrees of
autonomy with no rational objections from parents which “frees the child from
the presence and the authority of the parent”, and accordingly increases
aggression in early developmental stages. The excessively relaxed demeanor of
that style leads to less understanding or and control over emotions, especially
at times when what the child wants is unattainable.  It is safe, after examining the body of
literature available; seminal or modern, to associate parents’
authoritativeness to higher emotional stability and better psychological
preparedness for adult autonomy.

Mental Disorders
Associated with Certain Parenting Styles

            The relationship between parenting
and mental disorders is quite self-evident. During the fifties of the twentieth
century, connections were made between schizophrenia and faulty mothering. Yet
more recently (Sharma, Sharma & Yadava, 2011) assert that parental
over-control is directly associated with higher levels of depression. Authoritarian
parenting style was found to have strong associations with adolescent
depression and antisocial behaviors as they are constantly deprived of warmth,
caring and affection. Clinical anxiety has also been proven, in longitudinal
and observational studies, to have an association with children who received
over-controlling or coercing parenting.

Parenting
styles vary depending on the guarding and with such the methods to discipline each
child. Most parent are run down the clock trying to pin point the best
parenting style, but in reality each no two child even when born at the same
time 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 should
focus on the parenting styles that complement the family dynamics at home. Each
parent is unique and so are their children, the perfect parenting style for
each lies with their personality and their parent-child dynamics. Some children
require a severely stricter and controlling parenting style than other. Middle
ground is the key to everything, or so I was taught. Whatever it is along as it
is beneficial to the child and not just convenient for the parent.

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