Parenting Tips

What is the “Best” parenting style?

Parenting styles in social structures

In everyday life, these clearly defined parenting styles are rarely found in their pure form . Differences in the interaction between parents and children can exist not only between cultures, but also within a culture. However, a possible influencing variable is repeatedly mentioned in sociological literature: the class affiliation. The hierarchical division of societies into different layers therefore also determines the different parenting styles. The parenting behavior is strongly influenced by the surrounding social structure and this is not always the same for different families.

Many empirical studies show that various factors create an interaction environment, especially in the lower class , which hinders the development of basic qualifications. The studies show that within these families a strict, sometimes neglecting upbringing style is predominantly used . Within these families, a strict division of labor can be observed, a lack of openness to the environment, a low willingness to conflict and a poor socialization performance of the father. It is certain that these factors have a negative impact on the development of child independence.

In the middle and upper classes, the relationship between parents and child is often of interest for the child’s constant development, whereby the control attitude of parents increases with higher education . It can then be described as accepting and egalitarian, but not as authoritarian.

In contrast, the parents of the various classes do not differ in the frequency of disciplinary measures in the form of corporal punishment . It is interesting in this context, however, that punishment differs significantly in the type of event. While the parents of the lower class punish the immediate consequences of an action, the parents of the middle and upper classes tend to assess the intentions of the offender, which ultimately lead to a punishment.

The most common effects of parenting styles

Although education does not take place exclusively in the family, but also in day care centers, schools and other social institutions, there are differences in the frequency of parenting behavior.

Authoritarian behavior

Parents who prefer this style constantly control and regulate their children. They behave less sensitively and child-centered, often restrict freedom of expression and rarely behave sensitively. The children are subject to rigid, strict rules and norms and will be punished for non-compliance, including physical punishment. In addition, they often receive only a few suggestions from suitable toys. There is often a rough, aggressive mood, there is a lot of shouting, ordering and threatening. Parents who prefer this style consider penalties to be an effective way to curb a child’s will, and do not engage in any discussion about the correctness of the standards in these practices.

Children from these families are often anxious, show little frustration tolerance outside the family, which increases behavioral problems, poor academic performance and poor social skills.

The permissive (compliant) behavior

Parents with permissive behaviors are child-centered, sensitive, and accepting. They support the individuality and independence of the child, communicate with them and ask opinions about upcoming decisions . The parents often submit to the wishes of the child.

However, within these families little value is placed on learning and following sensible rules , so that these children often have difficulty applying, observing and accepting rules and norms in communities other than the family. As a result, these children have no age-appropriate development in terms of language and social skills and show little willingness to perform or often only pursue personal inclinations and interests.

The neglectful behavior

The neglectful behavior of parents is characterized by negative, insensitive and uninterested behavior towards the child. These parents do not demand and support and do not control the child’s development. Children from these families often have poor school performance, low self-esteem and are prone to behavioral problems and aggression . This often leads to delinquency, but also drug and alcohol abuse and criminal behavior.

The authoritative behavior

Authoritative behavior is characterized by sensitivity, acceptance, demands, control and child-centeredness. Parents are loving and interested in the child, listen, allow the child’s opinions, but prescribe rules and norms and also sanction if necessary. Procedures and measures are explained, discussed and justified.

This behavior promotes better school performance, less anxiety and depression, fewer behavior problems and a high degree of independence in children . These children already have better linguistic and social skills in preschool.

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