In my previous blog post, I shared some traits of four different parenting styles. Based on my years as a researcher and educator, with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Doctorate of Education, I've learned that each parenting style has the possibility of affecting children in different ways.
Children of Authoritarian Parents
The child of an authoritarian parent -- a parent who offers too much structure and too little communication -- often feels insecure, performs for approval, and connects approval with love. He may have low self-esteem and have difficulty in social relationships. Further, he may break out when away from mom and dad by misbehaving.
Children of Permissive Parents
A child who is raised without structure may have difficulty self-managing his behavior. Freedom without limits can be destructive to child development; without consequences, children don't have a sense of boundaries. As a result, the child from a permissive home will seek structure to help them feel valued, validated and secure. He may have problems with relationships, and lack the self-discipline necessary for social interaction with his peers. His school work may suffer from lack of organization and motivation. This child often lacks responsibility, has difficulty with boundaries and commitment, and is unaware of the importance of significant consequences.
Children of Uninvolved Parents
This kind of neglect can be very dangerous to a child because it affects his sense of self, self-esteem, and well-being. This impacts a child's ability to trust -- not only relationships, but also adults. It also makes him take on responsibilities far too early, robbing him of his childhood. Children of uninvolved parents often have problems with intimacy and friendship with their peers.
Children of Authoritative Parents
The optimal parenting style for most children is the authoritative parenting style outlined in my previous blog post. Authoritative parents regularly communicate expectations and potential consequences, thereby raising a child in an environment that provides both security and confidence, which helps build his self-esteem. Because of the example his parents set for him, he learns valuable social skills and is able to have healthy relationships with others.
At the end of the day, parents must parent -- you must be what you want to see. From a very young age, your child will mimic you and your behavior. We may have "off" days and we all make parenting mistakes from time to time, but always remember: your child is always watching. And, what you are teaching him through your parenting style has the potential to affect every aspect of his life -- from academics to his relationships with others.