Parenting Styles and Development
1. Authoritative parents. The parents of the most competent children rate high in all
four areas of behavior (see Table 14.3). They are strict (restrictive) and demand
mature behavior. However, they temper their strictness and demands with willingness
to reason with their children, and with love and support. They expect a lot,
but they explain why and offer help. Baumrind labeled these parents authoritative
parents to suggest that they are knowledgeable sources of guidance and support
for their children but are also loving and respectful of their children.
2. Authoritarian parents. Authoritarian parents view obedience as a virtue to be
pursued for its own sake. They have strict guidelines about what is right and
wrong, and they demand that their children adhere to those guidelines. Both authoritative
and authoritarian parents are strict. However, authoritative parents explain
their demands and are supportive, whereas authoritarian parents rely on
force and communicate poorly with their children. They do not respect their children’s
points of view, and they may be cold and rejecting. When their children ask
them why they should behave in a certain way, authoritarian parents often answer,
“Because I say so!”
3. Permissive parents. Permissive parents are generally easygoing with their children.
As a result, the children do pretty much whatever they wish. Permissive parents
are warm and supportive, but poor at communicating.
Table 14.3: Parenting Styles
STYLE OF DEMANDS FOR COMMUNICATION WARMTH
PARENTING RESTRICTIVENESS MATURE BEHAVIOR ABILITY AND SUPPORT
Authoritative High (use of reasoning) High High High
Authoritarian High (use of force) Moderate Low Low
Permissive Low (easygoing) Low Low High
The above information is directly from a textbook.
When a child reaches the stage of adolescence when conflicts arise with the parents and moods start to fluctuate, a parent raised with an authoritative style will find it easier to communicate. This style of parenting provides a child with high communication abilities later on in life. Having the ability to communicate effectively makes it easier to contain each conflict with minimum intensity. The authoritative style also develops a high restrictiveness with use of reasoning and demands for mature behavior which are counter balanced with warmth and support. Children raised with this style of parenting usually achieve better outcomes in life. At the same stage of adolescence, an authoritarian parenting style may provide fuel for the fire. A parent of this style does not hold their children’s view in high respect, so a child may feel that they are never listened to. An authoritarian style uses force rather than reasoning and does not communicate the parent’s demands very well. A parent of this style demands that their child act mature but never provides a consistent regimen for mature behavior. Lack of consistency and explanation for the parent’s demands may push a conflict to intensify because of the child’s desire to understand. These parents also provide little in the ways of warmth and support, which can begin to make a child feel isolated and alone. The children of authoritarian parents see them as mean, unreasonable, and uncaring. Children of permissive parents hold the same view as those children with authoritarian parents, but this develops from a low restrictiveness. Parents of this style feel that by going easy on the child they are being nice and they fail to realize that the message being communicated is “sure, do whatever you want, I don’t care.” This message with low communication and no demand for mature behavior will cause the child to act irrationally during conflict. Conflicts will be more difficult to contain since there is a lack of communication, which causes a frustrated parent to relay that damaging message. These permissive parents love their children and just cannot understand that they do not receive the love back because of the hidden message they are communicating to their kids.