Parenting Styles and the Effects they have on Children Essay

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Parenting Styles and the Effects They Have on a Child's Behavior

February 9, 2013
Jacqueline Lance

Based on three parenting styles and the atmosphere that those parenting styles may produce, there are common effects of each style on the behavior of a child. Psychologists and researchers on parenting styles agree that in most cases authoritarian parenting style is least effective compared to the other styles of parenting. This determination was made after an observation of the character of children who have been brought up under authoritative parenting style. The most effective style of parenting was to be more in permissive parenting rather than authoritarian style. Researchers are now interested in answering the question why one parenting style has more effectiveness than another (Rathus, 2010). Getting explanations to the questions has not been easy because it is not easy to find a direct cause – effect relation on children who have gone through a set of actions and their future behavior attributes and to how they were brought up. It becomes very hard to explain why some children who have been brought up in totally different environments, but under the same parenting style, grow up having similar behaviors. Finding answers is further complicated in cases where children are raised under the same parenting style and in similar environments but end up with very different behavior patterns. Despite these observed and encountered hurdles research has taught us how to identify the various effects that result when children undergo a particular set of activities in a given parenting style while they are growing. The three styles of parenting discussed in this paper are authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive parenting. All three, as well as other parenting styles, have common dimensions such as maturity and control expectations, styles of communication, strategies of discipline, as well as nurture and warmth aspects. In authoritarian parenting, the role of the parents or guardians is expected to come up with strict rules. The children, on the other hand, have a responsibility of obeying the rules. Authoritarian parenting will always have set rules and for children that are unable to follow these set rules, there is definite consequences and punishment. The reason why each rule is important is not explained to the child, instead parents will reply with something similar to, “do it because I said so”! The rules are perceived to be too demanding and fail to be responsive to a child. Such parents have been perceived as “obedience and status oriented” and their orders must be adhered to without question or explanation. This reminds me of the new movie “Brave”, it is about a girl being raised in a royal family and being forced to be a prim and proper because she a princess. She constantly asks her mother why and her mother replies with “because it’s just the way it is”, to any human this would be very frustrating. Children brought up in this manner are generally very unhappy, socially incompetent as they find it difficult to have and to express their own opinions. Often these children grow up doing the opposite of everything their parents ever asked of them. The children often lack good sense of self- esteem because of the past failures when it came to pleasing their parents. However, while growing up these children are obedient to their parents and their superiors and show talent in whatever they do. The establishment of rules and guidelines are also there in authoritative parenting and children are expected to follow (Benson & Haith, 2010). Authoritative style of parenting differs from authoritarian style in that children have a democratic right in this style to question what they are told to obey. For example, when the parent tells the child not to ride their bike in the street, the child is allowed to ask why and expect a response from the parent such as, “you could get hit by a