An examination of the three styles of parenting as proposed by Diana Baumrind
Becoming a parent is one of the most common experiences in human existence, and yet it parenting is one of the most difficult skills to learn, and even more difficult to master. In looking at the way in which parents respond to their responsibility as a parent, developmental psychologist, Diana Baumrind defined three different parenting styles from which the relationship between the parent and child is developed. These three different styles are then affected by a myriad of cultural influences that support the methods from which the parent adapts the developing relationship. In the search for effective parenting, there are three basic styles that will then be adapted to the relationship between the parent and the child. The first type of parent defined by Baumrind is the authoritarian parent. The authoritative parent is characterized by plenty of rules, but (they) rank low on child centeredness, stressing unquestioning obedience. In this style of parenting, the concept of obedience comes above all other values, the nature of the relationship between the parent and the child strictly enforced as the child is submissive to the dominance of the parent. This means that discipline in the form of strict rules and rigidity in adhering to those rules is the primary focus of the nature of the relationship. Authoritarian parents do love their children, but often this style of parenting will seem detached and cold, the rules being more important than any other aspect of the relationship.
Parents who are permissive are usually very loving, but they center their world on their children in such a way as to respond to all of the child’s demands and expectations without setting limits and defining boundaries. This type of parent is very conscious of every need and want a child will express without balancing out that set of desires with rules to frame their disciplinary tactics. In this type of home, the most consistent aspect of the relationship between the child and parent is the inconsistency with which life is managed. The third form of relationship between a parent and child is the more ideal version of how parenting should be accomplished. This form of parenting is the best possible child-rearing style in which parents rank high on both nurturance and discipline, providing both love and clear family rules (Rossman, 2007, p. 105). Authoritative parents know how to set limits and to structure the life of the child through appropriate discipline, however, they also have flexibility that allows for communication between the child and the parent to have a responsive quality. Children have a modicum of input on how the rules are defined, but the parent remains in control of the limits and the answer ‘no’ is balanced with a healthy number of ‘yes’ responses when that response will have little harm on the nature of the disciplinary education of the child. An example can be used when a bedtime is set for 9pm, but once a week a program that the parents deems appropriate or at least, not harmful, begins at 9pm, thus permission is given for that one night to stay up until 10pm. In this example, the parent is giving the child the ability to make a choice that proves that an exception can be made. Researchers have found that