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Parenting styles: What do you do?

All parents have one thing in common: we love our kids beyond measure and we ultimately want what’s best for them. Of course, we all have different ideas of what constitutes good parenting – which is why nothing stirs up a conversation quite like discussions to do with child rearing!

From choices to do with how our kids should behave and how they should be disciplined, to discussing the pros and cons of organic nappies, we make parenting decisions each and every single day that reflect our parenting style.

Psychologists have long studied the links between different parenting styles and the impact they can have on children. So what do your parenting decisions say about you — and which of the following categories do you most closely identify with?

Authoritarian Parenting

As the title suggests, this style of parenting is all about respecting those in a position of authority, such as your parents. These are the parents who, when questioned, will offer no explanation behind their decision. When they tell their child to go to bed, for instance, and their child whines, “Why do I have to go to bed at 7 oclock? It’s early!” an Authoritarian parent will simply reply, “Because I said so.” Under this regime, children are expected to follow the rules — or else.

The result? This style of parenting leads to obedient children, but they’re usually less spontaneous and curious — and they often rank lower in the areas of happiness, social skills and self-esteem.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents, also called ‘balanced’ parents, establish rules and guidelines, and children are expected to follow along. However, these parents are usually more responsive to their kids and more willing to listen to questions and negotiate. They are distinct from Authoritarian mums and dads as they’re more forgiving and nurturing, particularly when their children fail to follow the rules or meet their expectations.

The result? Children of Authoritative parents are the happiest, most capable and successful of the bunch!

Indulgent Parenting

Remember when you were a teenager, and your friend’s mum was just so cool? She’d let you throw parties or stay out really late, and felt more like a big sister than a parental figure? These folks are known as Indulgent parents — also referred to as Permissive parents — as they make very few demands of their children. They have low expectations of maturity, they’re impossibly lenient and they generally prefer to avoid confrontation at all costs. Indulgent parents often take on the role of a “friend” rather than that of a parent, and they’re very nurturing.

The result? Children of permissive parents are impulsive. As a result, they’re associated with riskier behaviours as teenagers, such as misconduct and drug use. These kids are less likely to respect authority and often perform poorly in school.

Uninvolved Parenting

An Uninvolved or Negligent parenting style is exactly what is sounds like – the parent is involved minimally in their child’s life. The parent has few demands and communicates poorly with their kids, and while they fulfill basic needs — such as food, shelter, warmth and clothes — they’re generally fairly detached from their child’s life.

The result? Uninvolved parents produce children who lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are generally less competent and confident than their peers.

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