Positive and healthy parenting matters. What it all comes down to is that the way you parent today will definitely make a difference in who he or she becomes tomorrow.
Being able to co-parent even when you have different parenting styles is essential.
Without a healthy front the child will learn to manipulate and “work the system” with an early understanding that he or she can go from one to the other to get her way. This can lead to conduct issues, a disregard for authority and even have long term effects well into adulthood leading to legal issues, addictions, poor academic levels, poverty, abuse and so much more.
Not all parents who think they are doing it right really are!
Child psychologists specializing in developmental aspects of children say that parenting has the most significant impact on a child and for the longest time developmentally, emotionally and psychologically. The actual link or the cause-and-effect connecting very specific actions of the parents to a child’s behaviors later in life is difficult, but they do exist.
Many times it takes years of counseling and reconditioning for the negative effects to be erased and for the individual to be reconditioned to a healthier place. Children raised in extremely different parental environments may never fully overcome the damages that unhealthy parenting may cause.
Note that unhealthy parenting is not always what you picture it to be. One parent overriding or undermining the others authority, arguing or discussing adult issues in front of the child or being a friend rather than the parent are all samples of unhealthy parenting.
Parenting styles differ for many reasons be it culture, parental background, family size, socioeconomic status, religion and educational level just to name some. These styles combine to make a blend unique to your family and lifestyle hence shaping your child and his or her future.
In the early 1960’s, Diana Baumrind, a child psychologist studied 100 preschoolers. She used only “naturalistic observation” couples with interviews and observations finding that there are in fact 4 parental dimensions. These are warmth and nurturance, disciplinary strategies, expectations of maturity and control and communication styles. All are very important, but there must be a healthy balance. Too much or too little of any of these can lead to a lifetime of difficulties for your child.
What kind of parent are you, really?
In authoritarian parenting you will find that strict rules are in place, and children are expected to follow them diligently. Harsh punishments re in place for these children, and mistakes are rarely tolerated. These are considered the “Because I said so” parents. They feel they have nothing to explain to “a child.”
The authoritative parent is also rule oriented, but they are settled into a more democratic nature. These are parents who are responsive and they listen to their children. There is more understanding for, communication with and acceptance for the child. These parents forgive and nurture while offering structure and consequences for negative behaviors. There is a bit more balance in these homes. Because they support and encourage their children while guiding them these children oftentimes are cooperative and self-regulated children who are also socially responsible.
The permissive parent are known as the “indulgent” parents. They make few demands and often try to be their friend or over compensate for something they feel is missing in their child’s life. You often hear them say that they want their child to have more than they did. Because these children rarely have discipline they are normally the ones you later see having little self control, while also being immature and demanding. These children (and the children of the uninvolved parent) often fall into the category of bullying or being bullied.
The only thing as damaging to a child’s psyche as the permissive parent is maybe the uninvolved parent.
The uninvolved parent also have little communication with their children. They have low responsiveness and they have few demands. They see to a child’s basic needs and little else. Sometimes these children are even neglected. They go on to seek acceptance and love, become people pleasers and often run into a lot of trouble down the line and overall in life. This is one of the most destructive parenting styles, and even the permissive parent cannot overcompensate to make up for the damage that an uninvolved parent leaves behind.
Authoritative parenting style and co-parenting, whether you live in the same home or not, is the best way to make sure that you are not damaging your child because of your parenting styles.
Agree to disagree behind closed doors, but always maintain a united front in front of your child.
Listen, communicate and try to understand, leading by example and gently guiding your child. Finding the balance is the key to raising a healthy and well rounded child who can go ob to be successful on many levels in life.