There are several types of parenting style that parents can use to bring up their children. These include authoritarian, neglectful, authoritative, indulgent and permissive. I recently interviewed two of my friends in order to learn how they interact with their parents. One of them narrated a personal experience that indicated that his parents are authoritative. The parents expected him to demonstrate a high sense of maturity. They have set rules and regulations that they expect all their children to observe. They allow the children to enjoy freedom and independence and occasionally engaging in constructive dialogue concerning the in house rules. They are quite demanding due to the high expectations for the children. The parents allow the children to make their own decisions and offer guidance where the children seem to have gone wrong.
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The children make their own decisions depending on the limits that the parents have set. They try to make sure that the children understand the reason for punishment. They give standard punishment that is meant to instill discipline in their children but not insensitive punishment. This friend had once disagreed with his parents at one time when he wanted to accompany a relative for a holiday abroad. Upon his parent’s refusal, he declined to take meals for a whole day. His father gave him several thrashes on the back and explained to him that it was important for him to take his final exam first and then the family could go for the holiday together. Later, he felt guilty and apologized for his inconsiderate behavior. His parents are usually concerned about their children’s needs and always listen to their views concerning their daily activities. This friend performs well in school and is liked by fellow students as well as teachers.
The second friend narrates an experience that is quite different from the first one. His story indicates that his parents exercise authoritarian style in bringing him and his siblings up. His parents have set strict rules that each of the children in the family has to conform. The children rarely engage in dialogue between them and their parents. The parents do not offer any explanation on the rationale for their strict family rules. The parents usually do not pay much attention to their children’s point of view or their specific needs. For them, there is a convectional way of bringing up children. They assume that all children have generally the same needs.
Authoritarian parents give their children punishment that will most likely leave the child feeling neglected or hated. They do not bother to offer explanations on the reasons for the punishment (Brooks 1997). This friend once disagreed with his parents because of arriving home late in the evening from school. His father caned him severely until he left the home without the kno1wledge of his parents and slept in his grandparents’ home that is five kilometers away. He could not eat or go to school the next day. His grandmother intervened and talked to the father to be a bit lenient. He feels that if he gets such a beating another time he will run away from the home for good. The children are not allowed to make their own decisions. From my observation, this friend is usually socially withdrawn and in our open conversation he showed a sense of disgust towards his parents’ conduct. He mentioned that he longs for the day that he will be able to settle away from his parents.
The authoritative parenting style has a high potential of producing successful individuals in the society. A child grows up with encouragement and will most likely work hard to please the parents. On the other hand, authoritarian style denies a child the right to choose what he feels best fit for him. It may end up causing permanent conflict between children and parents especially where discipline is concerned. The child can not perform well in school due to the stress exerted on him by parents. Authoritative parenting style is the best (Ranga & Denise 2006).
Brooks P. (1997). Consequences of Growing up in a Poor Family: The Impact of Insensitive Parenting, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Ranga, R & Denise M. (2006). What Affects Parenting: The Problems are Organizational. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(7), 45-83.