By: Dr. Gwen Smith
As a parent, your greatest desire is to promote the health and well-being of your child. You desire physical, emotional, academic and career success and to build prosperity and self-sufficiency. This is the dream that most parents have for their children.
Did you know, however, that your style of parenting can greatly influence your child's success, achievement in life and willingness to be influenced by their environment? It may also affect how they view themselves and their long term inter-dependence.
Now before you go blaming yourself for, or gloating over your child's achievements, it's Important to bear in mind that every child does not react similarly to the same conditions, and each child has a choice that he or she makes, to live his or her life. This is evident from the markedly different lives that two children raised in identical households can end up choosing. Their choices, evidently, can be completely independent of any training, development or trauma they experience.
Despite this it's important to know that there are research studies comparing children of parents with four identified styles of parenting. And, in particular, a comparative study of juveniles was conducted with some important findings.
Before we look at some of these results, let's look at the four styles of parenting.
1.Authoritative—Parent is generally in charge, shows high level of love and warmth, allows the child to be assertive, offers choices, is highly involved in the child's activities, and holds the child accountable.
2.Authoritarian—Parent is definitely in charge and inflexible, shows a low level of love and warmth, has a dictatorial mannerism, its do it my way or else, not involved in the child's activities, and holds the child accountable.
3.Indulgent—Parent allows unlimited freedom and gives the child whatever she wants, high love and warmth, is like a buddy and friend of the child, there are no parental lines established, is hands-off with low accountability.
4.Neglectful—Parent is mostly absent, is generally cold and detached, there is no accountability and there is an appearance of a lack of care about the well-being of the child; not present.
The Four Identified Styles of Parenting
The results of the comparative study show that the highest rates of juveniles had neglectful parents (49%) and indulgent parents, (23%), whereas the lowest rates had authoritative (15%) and authoritarian (13%) parents. This information is very insightful about the types of parenting that may yield the best long-term success for your kids.
Children who have authoritative parents fare better than the rest of the group. The child raised in a neglectful or indulgent home fare worse.
What are some of the data pointing to?
1. Academic achievement is higher for children in Authoritative and Authoritarian homes, though the latter group may display a tendency for lack of self-control, lack of personal responsibility and lower self-concept.
2.Children from neglectful homes have a greater tendency to be subjected to peer pressure than those from authoritative and authoritarian homes. They also have higher instances of substance abuse, followed by those in the indulgent homes. Those in the authoritative homes have the lowest instances.
3.Children from authoritarian homes have a tendency towards aggression and externalizing their problems, as with those in neglectful and indulgent homes.
4.Kids from indulgent and neglectful homes tend not to perform as well in school as with authoritative and authoritarian.
Overall, kids from authoritative homes seem to be better well-adjusted, exercising better self-control and restraint and having overall a better sense of well-being than the kids from the other homes.
What does that mean for you as a parent?
It's important to examine your style of parenting and adapt to a more authoritative style, where you are in charge and you allow flexibility and assertiveness for your child. It's important to hold them accountable, show them love consistently and be involved in whatever their activities are.
I've written a book that will be available within the next two weeks: Single Moms From Striving to Thriving: 101 Success Tips, which provides tips for you as a parent (even if you are not a single mom) to not only relate to and impact the positive direction of your child's life, it also provides you as a parent, directions on personally developing yourself to adapt the style of parenting that likely will have the greatest positive impact on your child's long-term performance and well-being.
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