Raising children can drive parents nuts. From infancy to school age, parents have to deal with the sleepless nights, the illnesses, cuts and scrapes, and issues with their school. When your kids get into that "awkward age," to have to face the emotional roller coaster brought about by their hormonal surge, endless talks about "the birds and the bees," their choice of friends, the mess they make.
It is not easy being a parent. Most of us would just sigh and say, "Is this what my parents went through when they were raising me?" I must admit, I did say that phrase to myself many, many times in the past. We only want the best for our children and we strive to raise them the way they should be - a loving, responsible adult.
Studies in Psychology acknowledges different parenting styles. According to WebMd, there are three basic parenting styles - Authoritarian, Permissive and Authoritative.
Authoritarian Parenting is focused on obedience. Some people would regard this parenting style as a strict, "its that way because I said so," type. Children raised in this kind of parenting are focused, organized and goal-driven. The setback is that the children are usually withdrawn and lack the skill of deciding for themselves.
Permissive Parenting is when parents impose only a few rules for their children to follow, and an occasional behavior correction because they are afraid to upset their children. This style could be the result of one or both parents having an unhappy childhood. For them, they want to make sure that their own children would not have to "suffer" the same fate as them. Children raised in a permissive parenting household are extroverts. They may have some issues though with following rules, (because they are not used to it) and may have the tendency to grow up to be manipulative adults.
Authoritative Parenting is a mixture of Authoritarian and Permissive Parenting styles. There is a lot of care and affection, however, children are expected to follow the rules and limitations set by their parents. Families who practice authoritative parenting apply a sort of "reward system" where additional privileges are provided when good behavior or academic goals are met. However, this "reward system" may confuse a growing child by having the mindset, "I will do good today so I can ask for a new bag." This may drive consistency down the drain unless parents nip it in the bud. Children raised in this environment are more happy, responsible and open to speak their minds. Parents have to be careful though, to stick to the limitations they have set for their children, because deviating from the rules will cause confusion and resentment.
Kendra Cherry, a psychology expert, wrote about a fourth parenting style, called Uninvolved Parenting. Children raised in households where their parents are "uninvolved" crave attention. Although the parents make sure the basic needs of the child are met, there is little communication and interaction between parent and child. Kendra writes, "An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication."
I was a single mother raising three children all on my own, until eight years ago, when I met a responsible man who my children now look up to as their dad. I would admit, I am 60% permissive and 40% authoritative. My children are now grown and the life lessons from our unhappy relationship with their biological father has made them learn to value the love and sacrifice that I have given them.
We have to admit, there is no perfect parenting style. It is always a little of each. Whatever manner or style we raise our children, it is always for their best interest. Smother them with love and attention, but do not spare the rod. Put them on the right path and reap the rewards of having happy, caring, and responsible children.