Pluses of Authoritative Parenting Style

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Parenting Styles

Spend a day observing families, and definitive patterns can be easily tracked. Diana Baumrind, a scholar from UC Berkeley, formulated three different styles that highlight parenting approaches throughout our society. Permissive, Authoritarian and Authoritative are the titles used to describe her observed three patterns. With each style, one will find that there are positive, negative and neutral effects on children from each style. Parents can flow from one style to another or possess just one.

Permissive parenting can be defined as indulgent, exactly as the name sounds. One who is permissive has high responsiveness towards their children, meaning one would give off lots of emotional support. This approach is one that is very nurturing and soft on children. This style would also have parents low on control and demandingness. Typically, there is a huge lack of structure due to the imbalance of extreme emotional support. Rules are usually not enforced and at times not even established. The effects of this style of parenting on children can often lead them “unhinged” but may also leave them with more freedom to explore and express and individuality as well more likely to be honest with their parents. An example of permissive parenting would be from the film Parenthood, with one of the main protagonists, Helen Buckman.

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Helen Buckman was single mother with two children in her household and no father figure in the picture. Also, she struggled to have structure as a parent, as well as other aspects of her life. She had trouble in intimate relationships as well as with her children, Julie and Kevin Buckman. Julie was in a relationship with Tod, where they had sporadic altercations, being one of the on and off again couples. Kevin, a bizarre kid who was often seen carrying a mysterious brown bag, had trouble connecting with his mom, Helen, and even declared wishes to lived with his father at one point.

Authoritarian parenting styles can be considered the exact opposite of Permissive. This approach of parenting is considered the draconian behavior, like for example “Do it my way or the highway!” One will often find that a parent exhibiting this behavior has little to no emotional support and is strictly harsh on rules and restrictions. Also, this parent will indulge in practices that focus on punishments not consequences. This leads to children having a lack of self-control and even at times, lacking a self-identity. Many also lack self regulation and ability to reason. An example that illuminates this style of parenting is Nathan Huffner, the husband of Susan Buckman, with their child Patty Huffner. Nathan enforced many rules as well as micro-managed Patty’s daily activities. Patty was constantly occupied, often leaving Susan to feel left out from the family. Susan lacked individuality and found it hard to connect with other children her age.

The last style of parenting presented by Baumrind was Authoritative. While it sounds eerily similar to the latter, it actually encompasses practices from both. This style is referred to as the balanced one, “firm, warm and fair.” This consists of rule-making and restrictions that are fair and with the kid’s intentions at heart. Also, one who models this will often have a more trusting relationship with their child due to this balance. The child that experiences this parenting style will also have a better sense of individuality, where typically, they will be very independent but they will also be greatly aware of their weaknesses. One parent who exemplified this practice in the film was Gil Buckman, another member of the Buckman family. He was a father of three and was married to Karen Buckman. As parents, they did encounter a few obstacles, but he carried out discipline and nurturing in very neutral ways.

No parent or parenting style is perfect, but some will argue that Authoritative is the most successful. These styles have allowed me to view parents in different ways and also has caused me to see the results of this. In my own parents, I see hints of all styles, and how that has constructed me to be the individual I am today.

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