With little effort, you can peer around the internet and find various opinions regarding parenting. And while everyone may have their opinions, that doesn’t mean that they are right. The facts don’t lie.
Of course, we could debate all day long about how different parenting styles impact children differently, but various studies all support the fact that one parenting style stands above the rest. Four parenting styles are the most commonly referenced in literature, and to understand why one stands above the rest, you have to understand how each of the parenting styles works.
Authoritarian parents thrive on control. They believe their children should be seen, not heard, and should do as they are told no matter what. They don’t often ask their children how they feel, and they hold strict rules and high expectations for their kids. Additionally, they don’t often help their kids to problem solve or overcome obstacles and challenges. Above all, they believe in making rules and enforcing them.
Permissive parents are warm and loving, but assert no expectations or rules over their kids. While the communication lines are open, they often make their children figure things out on their own. And they rarely use discipline. Think of this parent as the best friend parent, who is nurturing, but never enforces rules or regulations.
Uninvolved parents are so completely disconnected from their children that they rarely ever discipline them, if at all, and they often remain completely detached from their child’s life. They hold no expectations, offer barely any love or encouragement, and are emotionally cold and callous. In some cases, they may not even meet their child’s basic needs, making them neglectful.
Authoritative parents are warm, loving, and kind. They assert clear rules and expectations and explain how discipline works and why. Rather than using fierce punishments, they support, encourage and explain. Their children actively participate in goals and expectations, while maintaining communication with their parents.
Each style of parenting has different outcomes, according to a study published on the NCBI website that I have sourced below.
Authoritarian parents can end up with children who pay attention to the rules, but not because they understand them, but because they are fearful. They are also more likely to be shy, socially inept, have low self-esteem, and aggressive. Permissive parents end up with children who are less likely to understand healthy eating and lack discipline in the various aspects of their lives. And while they do have some self-esteem, they can be impulsive and demanding, and even at times a bit selfish. Children with uninvolved parents are less likely to be able to cope with their emotions, and also may face challenges in their social lives and academics. Authoritative parents end up with children who are the most well-behaved and have the best self-esteem. Additionally, they are better at accomplishing goals on their own and are likely to be more independent.
In conclusion, most parenting experts, scientists, and psychologists stand by authoritative parenting as the best parenting style. Not only are children raised in this way more self-sufficient (in a healthy way) but they are also more emotionally capable, well-rounded with better self-esteem.