Parenting Is Love Enough

Dan Peters, in a blog he wrote for Psychology Today magazine, states that when it comes to raising children love is not enough for the children to be healthy and prepared for adult life. On the surface the question seems simple enough. However, the job of raising children is not simple. Child development is complicated and unless parents respond in ways that are appropriate, there will be problems. For example, the way a parent responds to an adolescent is different than to a five year old child. In addition to loving the child a parent must provide a healthy environment. The environment has its own impact on the development of an individual’s personality. The relationship between parents and between parents and their children matters a lot, as each person who is present in our environment contributes in modeling our personality in one way or another. Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy are available by contacting Dr. Schwartz at http://www.allanschwartztherapy.com

There are four basic types of parenting styles that deeply influence the interactions between the child and it’s parents as well as how the child learns to interact in the world.

Parenting Styles:

1. Authoritarian Parenting

In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents don't explain the reasoning behind these rules. If asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, "Because I said so." These parents have high demands but are not responsive to their children.  These parents "are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation."

2. Authoritative Parenting

Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions.

When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. These parents "monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative."

3. Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control.

Permissive parents "are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation." Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.

4. Uninvolved Parenting

An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness, and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child's basic needs, they are generally detached from their child's life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children.

The Impact of Parenting Styles

Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy are avaiable at: http://www.alllanschwartztherapy.com

What effect do these parenting styles have on child development outcomes? In addition to Diana Baumrind's initial study of 100 preschool children, researchers have conducted numerous other studies that have led to a number of conclusions about the impact of parenting styles on children.

Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.

Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful.

Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.

Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.

Why is it that authoritative parenting provides such advantages over other styles? "First, when children perceive their parents' requests as fair and reasonable, they are more likely to comply with the requests," explain authors Hockenbury and Hockenbury in their text Psychology. "Second, the children are more likely to internalize (or accept as their own) the reasons for behaving in a certain way and thus to achieve greater self-control."

If you are having difficulty with parenting issues or there is stress in your marriage, Dr. Schwartz is available for marriage and individual psychotherapy. He can be reached through his site at: http://www.allanschwartztherapy.com

Of course, the parenting styles of individual parents also combine to create a unique blend in each family. For example, the mother may display an authoritative style while the father favors a more permissive approach. In order to create a cohesive approach to parenting, it is essential that parents learn to cooperate as they combine various elements of their unique parenting styles.

All four types of parents probably love their children but provide starkly different environments for their children. Indeed, love alone is not enough to raise healthy children.

Dr. Schwartz is available for psychotherapy and can be contacted through is website: http://www.allanschwartztherapy.com

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