So what kind of a parent are you? This question may make you raise an eyebrow and actually start thinking. It got me thinking too.
It was our son’s induction day programme at school. We were at the school auditorium, attending a parenting workshop conducted by an experienced and eminent speaker, Mr. Rishabh Khanna, Director, Les Transformations. Mr. Khanna is an experienced educator and L & D expert. He helped us break a few parenting myths and focus on vital areas which we tend to neglect. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. We all learn things on the go with inputs from our parents and of course, the society which is more than ready to interfere.
Coming back to the workshop, Mr. Khanna asked us the same question. Many were either interested, thinking or plain bored till he went ahead, telling us of the different parenting styles that exist and the pros and cons of each. This got everyone back on track.
The different types of parenting styles play a vital role in bringing up a child. They affect the self esteem, happiness and academic performance of your child. His physical and mental development is also influenced by your parenting style. The way you discipline your child can have a major impact on your relationship with him over the years.
Different Parenting Styles- Effects On Children
Do you put across a set of rules and expect your children to follow them without asking any questions? If yes, you belong to this category. Here children have no say in any decisions that concern them. Parents may decide everything from the food the child should eat to the extracurricular activity the child should choose. Whether a kid hates eating salads or hates to swim and would prefer doing something else, will not matter to such parents. In case the child asks, “Why should I do this?” the answer is usually “because I want it that way” or “You don’t know what is good for you!”A ‘No’ may be met with corporal punishment instead of informing the child of possible consequences of not doing the task.
Now here is what happens. Kids depend on their parents for everything which affects their decision making capability. They have low self confidence.
Now comes the most startling aspect. Such children are more than likely to become targets of CSA or child sexual abuse. They do not report it to their parents for fear of being scolded. Since they have been taught to follow orders without counter questioning, they do not retaliate when someone tries to abuse them.
If you are an authoritarian parent, it is time to change your parenting style.
All of us set rules when it comes to parenting. However, some parents consider the likes and dislikes of a child before setting these rules.
My son, for instance, hates milk. I tried several health drink mixes and natural fruit shakes but to no avail. Punishing him for such a futile reason was totally out of question.
Finally I tried milk with Pediasure and mashed bananas on alternate days. The only reason why he drank this was that it was served chilled. It took me a long time to find this out. But now I have no problems. This avoided so many endless arguments that usually have mothers throwing their hands up in the air.
Authoritative style of parenting believes in praising and rewarding good behaviour. To reinforce discipline and disapprove bad behaviour, parents do not resort to corporal punishment. For instance, my child often raises the TV volume to very loud levels. After two warnings, if he does not listen, I turn down the volume and tell him that I intend to skip his 4 pm snack. I also refuse to speak to him for the rest of the day. This works and he does not repeat it.
However, this may or may not work for every child. The parent needs to know in what way they can make their child understand without raising their hands. Parents who follow this style spend quality time with their children, by engaging in extracurricular activities together, for instance.
Such children are happy and successful in their lives. They take decisions in consultation with their parents. They turn out to be good leaders and speakers. They love and respect their parents.
This kind of parenting has parents being friendly with their children, but beyond permissible limits. They give in to their kids demands and buy them whatever they want. Permissive parenting lacks discipline which is very important in raising children. Kids behave as they wish to. They do not have a set time table for studying, playing or eating.
Many a times, in nuclear families, both the mother and the father work and usually have less time to spend with their kids. By the end of the day, they are too tired to spend time with their child. Usually the kid is in left in the care of a maid or a day care centre. To compensate for the lack of time they spend with the child, the parents take them to shopping malls and splurge on toys, food, theme parks etc. to make them happy. Barring weekends, children hardly get to be with their parents. This may make them sad. They may not share their daily experiences with their parents. As a result parents will never know if the child is coming under any negative influence till it is too late to mend ways.
Ideally the parents must spend quality time with the child ona a daily basis, even an hour will suffice. But at that time, they should solely focus on the child and keep away from smartphones and laptops. If possible, leave the child in their grandparents’ care instead of a day care centre.
And yes, discipline matters. Do not give in to unreasonable demands of your child.
Sometimes parents may suffer from medical problems or marital issues like a divorce etc. Or the parent maybe uneducated and unaware of basic parenting skills. In such dysfunctional families, nobody is really worried about the welfare of the child. They do not have any inkling of what the kid does at school or when he is out at play. Discipline takes a backseat here. Such kids can easily fall in bad company. Academically, they tend to lag behind. They also exhibit behavioral problems.
So which type of parenting style do you follow?
As I said earlier, no one is a perfect parent. We all have positive and negative sides. The trick is to be a good friend to your child without compromising on discipline. Discuss parenting issues with your friends who have children, share your experience with them. You will come across newer, better ideas or you may help others facing a similar situation.
Do let me know what you think in the comments section below.
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