If you belong to Generation Z (1800s-1900s), you will agree with me that our parents were not our friends; they were our parents. Period. If you had visitors in your home, for example, and you made a mistake, just a look from your mother/father would make you shrink back to a corner. It would also be a tell-tale sign of the beating that was going to follow once the visitors left. It would be right to call them dictators (I have heard several my friends call theirs so anyway). You had no say at all, it was their word/decision or the highway. This does not mean that we all turned out wrong. In fact, ours was probably the last generation that listened to their parents and that did not turn out so bad, after all. But was this kind of parenting healthy?
There are many kinds of parents and parenting styles. Some parents apply their skills through their emotions, experience, state of mind, and instincts while others study the different parenting styles and actively choose to follow one. For instance; if a child throws a tantrum, one parent will spank them, another one will let them be until they are done, another will use reassuring words to calm them down, another will use a bribing technique and there is always one who will give in to their cries thus giving them what they want.
Health and Wellness is not only pegged on the right foods, exercise and avoidance/shielding oneself of illness and diseases, it also means that you must bring up your children in the right way, so they can live a happy and fulfilled life. This way, they are less susceptible to withdrawal, depression, anxieties, etc. Today, we take you through the different parenting styles to enable you pick the right fit for your children that will result in successful parenting.
Diane Baumrind in the 1960s came up with one of the most commonly referenced parenting styles which include;
- Authoritarian/ Disciplinarian
- Permissive /Indulgent
The basis of her parenting categories is that they vary in four areas namely; discipline style, nurturing, communication and expectations.
Authoritarian/Disciplinarian parenting incorporates a strict discipline style with little to no negotiation allowed. Punishment is thereby common in this type of parenting style while communication is often one-way i.e; parent to child where rules are expected to be adhered to without any explanation why. Such parents have high expectations with their children which have no flexibility and hence nurturing is less/minimal.
Permissive/Indulgent Parenting is common with parents that are more friends than parents to their children. They let their children do what they want and therefore offer limited/no direction/guidance. Their discipline style therefore is the opposite of strict where rules do not apply, and children are left to figure out their problems on their own. Communication is open with most power given to the children to make the final decision. Mostly, these kinds of parents are warm and nurturing while their expectations are inexistent or not set.
Uninvolved Parenting is where the parents are completely removed out of the parenting situation either out of choice to parent this way or are not interested in parenting/ unsure what to do. Here, children have a lot of freedom because there is no disciplinarian style used. Communication and nurturing are also limited and there are a few expectations, if any.
Authoritative parenting includes clear and concise discipline rules that have reasons behind them, frequent and appropriate communication that is suited to the child’s level of understanding, and high but realist goals in place of which children’s input is allowed. Such parents are also nurturing and reasonable which lead to children that are self-dependent, disciplined and who can think for themselves. This is mostly considered the best type of parenting.
Which is your parenting style?
It is important that we understand that you can rarely use one type of parenting style and there is no perfect fit. You should therefore think of the four styles as a continuum rather than four different ways to parent. Children will basically need different parenting styles at different times and one can be an authoritarian and nurturing in the same breath.
What therefore influences how a child turns out?
You have probably heard parents say one is the disciplinarian while the other is the more caring and nurturing one, which is possible given that parents cannot be the same. Research has shown that this helps and there are also other influences on how a child turns out such as the child’s temperaments, the relationship/ ‘closeness’ with the parents, school/peer group influences, etc. It is therefore important for parents to be aware of themselves, the environment they are raising their children in and the different parenting styles required for different situations/stages in life. This will help them to adopt healthy parenting styles. Parents should also ensure that they have ‘time off’ to ensure they are making the right decisions with their children. Conscious parenting leads to healthier children and healthier parents hence happier, and healthier families!5