Parenting comes in all shapes and sizes and each parent has their own strategy, that they think is best in raising their children. In the world of psychology, there are four distinct parenting styles that were identified by Diana Baumrind back in the 1960’s. The first style is authoritarian, which is a style in which parents behave in a controlling manner, hoping to guide their children in the right direction. Usually, authoritarian households have lots of rules that are to be followed and not questioned. Authoritarian parents make power dynamics clear, establishing they are the parent and the child is the child.
The second parenting style mentioned in psychology is the permissive style, where a parent will present leniency and have warm attitudes towards their children. Parents who display a permissive style often send the message that they are resources for their children, and are available when the child needs them. The rules in a permissive household are less strict and organized and have a go with the flow kind of style.
The third parenting style is authoritative, where parents try to guide their children in a logical and rational way, with open communication. Authoritative parents want their children to display the maturity that is appropriate for the child’s age, and will encourage the child to assert their independence.
The last parenting style is the neglectful style where the parents detach from the child and have little involvement with their child’s life.
Most (if not all) parents want the best for their child. Each parent and child has their own individual personality, that affects the dynamics of how successful the parent and child relationship is. Most people would agree neglecting a child is not the best parenting, if one wants their child to be not only psychologically healthy, but also successful in life.
Diana Baumrind’s parent typologies obviously have their flaws, since human beings usually aren’t so structured and might have a mixture of parenting styles. Psychologically, the parent’s presence and engagement within the first six months of life is crucial for the child to be able to develop a healthy attachment style. There are three distinct attachment styles, that John Bowlby recognized, which are secure attachment, anxious-ambivalent, and avoidant.
Parents, hopefully, should be engaged with their children when they are home, allow the children to be curious, and eventually learn independence. Instead of trying to control their children. We are all unique human beings with distinct personalities and quirks. Parents, ideally, should be open to communication, assert healthy boundaries with their children, and allow the child to explore the world and have their children be able to come back home, knowing it’s a safe and secure environment. Parenting in truth is an art that changes day by day, depending on the present situation. Sometimes the authoritative parenting style is needed, and other times the permissive style is needed. When all is said and done parenting is a judgment call