Nowadays parents are faced with countless pieces of advice and techniques on how to raise their children. There are many traditional and unorthodox methods. However, not many of them cover the aspect of the child’s emotional well-being. The line is quite thin when it comes to raising well-behaved and emotionally intelligent children. But it is important to understand the differences in parenting styles and what effects they have on children. Just like in any aspect of life it is crucial to have an aim, which means you should have an overall idea of what traits you’d like your child to have. Having that understanding will allow you to pick the right parenting tools to raise your child, not only based on a theoretical and practical level, but an intuitive one as well.
Liberal Parenting Style
Anything in life has its pros and cons and so does liberal parenting. The general notion of this parenting style is to give children the freedom to decide what they want to do. On one hand it does sound as the right path to follow. Children need liberty both in their privacy and decision making. However, sometimes that freedom can be a bit overwhelming for them. After all, they are still children. In pursuit of making their kids happy, parents sometimes forget that the child needs guidance at the same time.
According to Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, children from the age of 2 up to 7 years of age are still developing their reasoning. Their decision making is based on intuition and quite often is not fully logical.
This is why it’s crucial to provide the child with all the necessary guidance and teach them the skill of logical decision making. At this age the child should not be left alone to decide whether they want to pursue any outside activities, complete their homework or any other similar decision that might have long term consequences.
Strict Parenting Style
This is another form of parenting that has both benefits and disadvantages to it. As opposed to liberal parents, strict ones have a fixed idea of how they want their child to be. They know exactly what they want to the bone. The problem here is just like liberal parents, they forget about the child’s emotional needs and that they are separate human beings with their own emotions, dreams and personality.
Limiting the child’s freedom without a solid reason can result in a myriad of emotional problems down the road. According to John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, children are born with a need for attachment and the first years of the child’s life are crucial in developing a healthy emotional system. In the early stages of development the children want to learn and understand as much as possible. Due to this fact, parents should not restrict their child’s freedom without a concrete explanation. If the child doesn’t develop an emotional bond with the parent in the first years of his life, this can later result in attachment to material things in a form of addiction ― whether its chemical substances or intangible forms such as destructive lifestyle patterns.
Authoritative Parenting Style
This seems to be the silver lining in today’s parenting styles dilemma. The idea of an authoritative style is to provide the child with strict rules and demands, but be there for them at the same time. It’s a blend of the previously described parenting styles; it provides guidance and rules of what is expected of the child, but at the same time the parents make sure they create an emotional bond and a base of support. This way the child can be protected from any mistakes with long-term consequences, because not only are the parents there to guide, but they will nurture in case the child gets off the path.
Plan Your Child’s Well-Being Ahead
Moderation is a blessing in disguise. So many people neglect the importance of staying moderate in their decisions, whether it concerns eating habits, exercising or any other aspect of life. When it comes to raising children, the parent has to always have their child’s best interest at heart. It is essential to establish guidance and emotional support in the early stages of a child’s development. The child has to know that they’re loved and cared for, but at the same time, they have to know that there is an adult who will help them along their path in case they stumble. The parent is responsible for their child’s safety and a healthy understanding of trust, in the future. Without a strong support system at home and someone to rely on, the kid can grow up with trust issues that they might not even be aware of. Not to mention, lack of love and understanding brings another set of issues, but this time regarding attachments. An emotional attachment has to be built earlier in life. Otherwise the child will grow up trying to find that attachment in all the wrong places.