It has been a little over a year that I have taken my position as a “Deputy Parent” and ever since the first day, I have been really nervous about disciplining my siblings. I knew that it would take time to get the same level of respect that they would show to our parents, moreover, as children they could turn to rebellious behavior as a way of dealing with their pain.
I knew that I was dealing with children who are hurt and confused and who will need someone who will constantly keep in mind what they went through and consider how that could affect their behavior or how their form of discipline could affect the children. This is one of the main reasons why I was against any other relative taking them in.
Discipline can be misinterpreted as a sign of hatred by any child, let alone those who are being disciplined by anyone other than their parents. So I had to get it right because the last thing I wanted; was for them to feel alone, lost, and hated by their own sister.
In the 1960’s Diana Baumrind, who was a clinical and developmental psychologist, introduced three parenting styles and a fourth one was later introduced by two other researchers.
- Authoritarian Parenting Style: Authoritarian parenting style is the strictest form of parenting where the parent sets strict and rigid rules which should be followed without questioning. The children are not allowed to make their own decisions and get severe punishments when they break rules.
- Authoritative Parenting Style: Parents who follow the authoritative parenting style give boundaries and guidance to their children but allow them to make some of their own decisions so that they can learn from their mistakes.
- Permissive Parenting Style: Permissive parents have fewer limitations and more freedom when it comes to parenting. The relationship between them and their kids is more casual than a traditional parent-child relationship. These parents easily give in to their children’s wants.
- Neglectful Parenting style: This parenting style is exactly as the name suggests. Parents who follow this style do not provide any limits to their children’s behavior and also fails to meet their needs. This parenting style was added later on by researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin.
Many studies have been done to determine the impact of different parenting styles on the growth and development of children. I was exposed to both Authoritarian and Authoritative parenting styles and will be implementing a bit of both in disciplining my children and my siblings. I will share my view on these two parenting styles.
An authoritarian parent assumes that his experience in life is good enough to determine what is right or wrong in a child’s life. They are the type of parents who do not believe that children are capable of making ‘good’ decisions, it’s either ‘their way or the highway’. You would mostly find this type of parenting style among the older generation as they are the old-school parents. They are known to use phrases like “because I said so”.
The Effects of an authoritarian parenting style: Children grow up being followers and lack leadership and decision making skills as their parents are the ones making decisions for them. This style will make a child feel worthless and they will struggle to gain independence.
Authoritative parents, on the other hand, are the parents who would sit down and discuss things first before making decisions. This style acknowledges that children are unique individuals who need to find themselves through guidance and proper leadership, unlike being forcefully pushed into a direction their parents assume will be good for them. Children usually get punishment from the consequences of their behavior and the decisions they make and parents take time to explain these consequences.
The effects of an Authoritative Parenting Style: This style takes on a good balance between the very strict authoritarian style and the permissive style. Children will learn to follow and also lead. Moreover, they will gain the confidence they need to go into the world and be individuals who will be able to set boundaries, know their limits, love, and nurture, be responsible, and resilient.
I have to say I might not have been in the right position to be a mom and debut mom at my age if it wasn’t for some of the strict rules that my dad has set out, but it was mostly my mother’s authoritative parenting style that helped me to become confident and independent. My dad later on also became more authoritative and that’s when our relationship became better. With that being said, I truly think that the best way to raise is a child is by keeping a balance between the strict authoritarian and the permissive approach and the kids agree 100% with me. We might not be where I would like us to be in terms of behavior but I’m glad we at least agree on the same parenting style as that means that we’ll all put in the effort to make it work.