Parenting Styles

Word Count: 1417 |

RUNNING HEAD: PARENTING STYLES

Touro University International
Leslie Odoms
MAE533 – Physical Motor, Perceptual and Moral Development of Children 0-8
Case Assignment Module 4- Parenting Styles
Dr. Marilyn Lender

Parenting is a complex activity that includes several precise behaviors that work independently and together to influence child outcomes. Although precise parenting behaviors, for example spanking or reading aloud, may influence child development, looking at several specific behaviors in isolation may be misleading. Many writers have noted that detailed parenting practices are less important in predicting child well-being than is the extensive pattern of parenting. The constructions of parenting methods are most useful to capture normal variations in parents’ attempts to control as well as socialize their children. Although parents may vary in how they try to be in command of or socialize their children and the degree to which they do so, a hypothesis came up that all parents are to influence, teach, and control their children, which should be their primary role.

Categorizing parents according to whether they are elevated or low on parental demanding and responsiveness creates a typology of four parenting styles: indulgent, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved. Each of these parenting styles reflects different naturally occurring patterns of parental values, practices, and behaviors and a distinct balance of responsiveness and demandingness.

Indulgent parents (also referred to as “permissive” or “nondirective”) “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and merciful, do not require mature behavior, allow substantial self-regulation, and steer clear of confrontation. Indulgent parents may further divide into two types: democratic parents, who, are though lenient, are more meticulous, unavailable, and dedicated to the child, and nondirective parents. They also love and care for their children very much but they do not set suitable standards of behavior for them. They are often overprotective or rescuers so children do not learn to take responsibility for their own actions. Children of lenient parents are very immature, lack impulse control, are overly demanding and dependent on their parents, and show a lack in persistence on social and cognitive task.

Authoritarian parents are extremely demanding and directive, but not responsive. They are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation. These parents provide well-ordered and structured environments with clearly stated rules. They set high standards for their children but do not consider the feelings of their children. They value conformity and obedience over open communication and often believe children “should be seen and not heard.” Children of authoritarian parents are anxious, withdrawn, unhappy, and react with hostility when frustrated in peer interactions. They also tend to have lower self-esteem and often follow peers in order to feel part of the crowd. As teenagers boys show high rates of anger and defiance while girls are more dependent and fearful of challenges and new situations.

Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. They supervise and report clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive. They also have a rational democratic approach to parenting. They set high standards of behavior but are loving, warm and responsive to their children. Children of authoritative parents are lively, happy, self-confident, and self-controlled. They tend to be peer leaders and are usually less affected my negative peer influences. They are good students and make friends easily. As teenagers they are willing to take responsibility for their actions and therefore find it easier to achieve autonomy.

Uninvolved parents are low in both responsiveness and demanding. In extreme cases, this parenting style might encompass both rejecting-neglecting and neglectful parents although most parents of this type fall within the normal range, rather than punitive. They are parents who are cold and rejecting of their children and set almost no limits on behavior at all. They seldom know where their children are or how they are performing in school. Children of uninvolved parents have a low tolerance for frustration, poor emotional control, achievement difficulties in school, and are very susceptible to peer pressure. As teenagers, often pulled into delinquent activities by peers or find them involved in gangs. Social competence, academic performance, psychosocial development, and problem behavior are many of the parenting styles founded to predict child well-being. Research based on parent interviews, child reports, and parent observations consistently find that children and adolescents whose parents are authoritative rate themselves and are rated by objective measures as more socially and instrumentally competent than those whose parents are non-authoritative. Children and adolescents whose parents are uninvolved perform most poorly in all domains. In general, parental responsiveness predicts social competence and psychosocial functioning, while parental demanding is associated with instrumental competence and behavioral control (i.e., academic performance and deviance). These findings indicate children and adolescents from authoritarian families (high in demanding, but low in responsiveness) tend to perform moderately well in school and be uninvolved in problem behavior, but they have poorer social skills, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of depression. Children and adolescents from indulgent homes (high in responsiveness, low in demanding) are more likely to be involved in problem behavior and perform less well in school, but they have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and lower levels of depression. It is important to distinguish between differences in the distribution and the correlates of parenting style in different subpopulations. Although in the United States authoritative parenting is most common among intact, middle-class families of European descent, the relationship between authoritativeness and child outcomes is quite similar across groups. The child’s outcome may be due to differences in social context, parenting practices, or the cultural meaning of specific dimensions of parenting style.

Parenting style provides a robust indicator of parental functioning that predicts a child’s well-being across an extensive spectrum of environments and across diverse communities of children. Both parental responsiveness and parental demanding are important components of first-rate parenting. Authoritative parenting, which balances clear, high parental demands with emotional responsiveness and acknowledgment of child autonomy, is one of the most consistent family predictors of competence from early childhood all the way through to adolescence. On the other hand, despite the long and robust tradition of research into parenting style, a number of issues remain outstanding. Primarily among these are issues of definition, developmental change in the manifestation and correlates of parenting styles, and the processes underlying the benefits of authoritative parenting. In the Hulei et al article, Chinese American mothers reared their children based on Chinese culture and values in which they expect obedience, family integrity and discipline overall in order to become a well rounded and versatile individual. European American mothers ranked independence and self-esteem as their highly regarded asset their children must have in order to be a successful citizen. Both cultures bring good viewpoints to the table however a combination of both philosophies is what Erickson had in mind for the satisfactory completion of all eight stages of man.

References

Landy, Sarah. “My Child.” Pathways to Competence: A Program to Encourage Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children. (2002). America Online. Internet. 1 March 2008
Nancy Darling. “Parenting Style and its Correlates.” ERIC Digest. (1999). America Online. Internet. 1 March 2008.

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