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In a broader sense, the term “parenting style” refers to the way parents treat their children. In a narrower sense, it refers to the way in which certain rules and values are communicated.
Personal parenting style depends on personal norms and values. One’s own childhood also has an influence on the style of upbringing. Many parents orient themselves not least to currently prevailing, educational paradigms and social conventions.
The examination of the types of parenting styles known today helps to better understand oneself as well as one’s own handling of parenting situations.
In the following, we offer a brief overview of the different parenting styles. In doing so, we repeatedly touch on the historical background in order to gain a better insight into the origins of certain ways of thinking.
Antiauthoritarian Parenting Style
The term anti-authoritarian describes ways of acting that completely reject constraints and norms. Parents with an anti-authoritarian style of upbringing do not want to impose anything on their children. It is assumed that every child has everything he or she needs within him or her. One should not disturb it in the development of its full potential. After all, every child must gain experience on his own in order to learn.
Basically, many parents with an anti-authoritarian style of upbringing have misinterpreted the term by giving their children, even in cases of delinquency and gross violations of rules.no. Set limits. However, it is much more a matter of allowing children a certain ability to make decisions. In contrast to the strict organization of everyday life that was still common in the 1930s, anti-authoritarian education gives children more freedom without the need for obedience. In contrast to society as we knew it about 100 years ago, many corporal punishment methods gave way to more humane treatment of children in the 60s.
The politics of the 60s were marked by some opponents of authority who opposed the domestic oppression of children.
Whereas a decade ago people spoke of “anti-authoritarian”, today the term “democratic” is increasingly used.
In educational institutions such as schools or even sports clubs, the anti-authoritarian principle is applied everywhere today. Children as little people should be allowed to be creative and at the same time critical, open-minded beings.
It is interesting to note that adults who were brought up without coercion in their childhood go through life far more independently and successfully. Adults brought up in an authoritarian way, on the other hand, are more closed and subordinate themselves more quickly. This is one of many reasons why education without coercion – provided it is understood correctly – is to be given preference in principle.
However, good-natured parents must not make the mistake of radically renouncing any kind of boundary setting. If a child lacks any kind of boundary, the following character traits may develop:
Problems with hierarchical systems, e.g. at work.
Lack of acceptance of other people’s boundaries.
Lack of ability to deal with negative emotions and criticism.
Lack of empathy towards others.
This is what anti-authoritarian parenting looks like when done right:
The children becomenothing forced.
There is appreciative interaction between educator and child.
The child knows about the prevailing rules and boundaries.
These rules do not restrict the child’s development.
The child is always given the opportunity to make its own decisions and take responsibility.
Educators do not give orders, but make sensible suggestions that the child can understand.
When rules are broken, the educator responds with a meaningful consequence. This makes it clear to the child what he or she has done wrong. In doing so, the child should not be hurt physically or emotionally, if possible. This works by letting the child directly face the consequences of his or her actions (#Example).
Authoritarian Parenting Style
In authoritarian parenting style, almost the entire daily life of the child is determined by educators or parents. They decide when the child has to do what. This “parental dictatorship”, as family therapist Jesper Juul calls it, works with strict rules, punishments and rewards.
One conditions and directs the child according to one’s own ideas. In contrast to the anti-authoritarian style of upbringing, the educators here often issue commands that the child must fulfill without fail. If, on the other hand, the child disobeys, he or she must expect punishment.
Children’s needs are hardly respected by adults. Rather, the child is told exactly what to do. This not infrequently involves rebuke and reprimand.
In this hierarchical structure, the child is subordinate to the adult. He or she must obey and live up to the parents’ high expectations. The parents usually provide little emotional support. And this is despite the fact that the kidsdecision so urgently needed to achieve their goals.
Children who are brought up in an authoritarian manner find it difficult to develop a healthy sense of self-worth. They also don’t learn to take responsibility themselves. As a result, they often slip into a victim role as adults and feel helpless when left to their own devices.
Conversely, it can also happen that an authoritarian child develops aggressive behavior. He or she then tries to exclude weaker kids. Because these children crave attention, they tend to use egocentric language and behave accordingly. They feel disadvantaged and are always trying to compensate for this.
Democratic Parenting Style
Kids who are brought up in a democratic style are allowed to have a say in many things. Important decisions are discussed together. The child should have a share in them. It is guided by the parents helping it to find its way. They give suggestions and let the child choose. This allows the child to develop more initiative, a sense of responsibility and independence than would be the case, for example, with an authoritarian style of upbringing.
Acceptance and warmth are the watchwords in the democratic parent-child relationship. Because it can feel safe and secure, the child also builds trust in other people more easily. As an adult, it will be brave enough to stand by its own values and ideas. At the same time, they learn to put themselves in the shoes of others and to accept other points of view.
Children who are raised in this way often have a complex language style. Because the democratic style of education is based on constant, extensive communication, these children have a large vocabulary and know how to express themselves.
In addition, they ared they are emotionally stable, balanced, and confident. Because they feel emotionally balanced, they are usually willing to perform at a high (learning) level.
Democracy in everyday life at home enables the child to acquire social skills at an early age. Among them: Understanding, tolerance and team spirit.
Like any form of education, the democratic principle has its drawbacks.
There are often lengthy discussions between parents and child. This is difficult when, for example, there is imminent danger.
Parents who live this style of parenting have to be very patient. Because there is no hierarchical structure, decision-making and agreement can always take some time.
Other Parenting Styles
In addition to the views already mentioned, there are a number of other views in the upbringing of adolescents. We would like to summarize these only briefly in the following.
Autocratic Style Of Education
In a certain way, this refers to an intensified form of the authoritarian style of upbringing. Children would need a strong hand, strict rules and uncompromising instructions. The child is not allowed to show initiative, nor is its independence desired. Likewise, it is meaningless to the educator what opinion the child has about a particular situation.
Parents who educate their children in this way do not shy away from threats and intimidation. They punish the child for disobedience and constantly monitor the child.
Because the child has no say at all, it cannot develop creativity. It does not have the opportunity to develop self-confidence and suffers from inferiority complexes. As with the authoritarian parenting style, affected kids tend to behave aggressively towards weaker ones. In the worst case, it can even lead to auto aggressive behavior. With this outlet, the child then tries to compensate for emotional injuries and feelings of inferiority.
Egalitarian Style Of Upbringing
This way of thinking is the opposite extreme to autocracy. Here, children are seen as absolutely equal. This is accompanied by equality between adults and children. Therefore, the child’s opinion is sought and taken just as seriously as that of an adult. There is no hierarchical gradient here. In contrast to the democratic style of education, joint decisions are not only discussed together, but also made together. If the child does not agree in the end, decisions are not made over his or her head. Therefore, the egalitarian style of education is an intensification of democratic methods of education.
One advantage is that children are encouraged to develop their own initiative and independence. However, the decision-making process is very lengthy. This requires patience and time on the part of the parents. If this style of upbringing is followed 100%, the child will not learn to deal with social rules. Later, he or she will not understand that – in a job, for example – not everything can always be discussed. Rules and hierarchical structures cause him or her considerable problems in adult life.
Laissez-faire Parenting Style
Parents have a fairly passive role here. For the most part, they do without guidelines and rules. This also means that the child is left to his own devices. This means that he not only lacks boundaries, but also the security of being lovingly guided by an adult during his childhood.
As the name suggests, parents simply let their children do what they want. This goes hand in hand with the fact that they have hardly any demands on their offspring. At the same time, they are quite indifferent in disputes and do not attach much importance to the child’s opinion. With as little effort as possible, they try to do only what is necessary in terms of education. Not infrequently, affected kids are even neglected.
The distance to the parents manifests itself at the latest in adolescence. Then the child finds it difficult to maintain relationships with peers. Because they have not experienced close relationships themselves, they find it difficult to maintain a balance between closeness and distance. At school Laissez-faire children hardly adapt. Like their parents, they show little commitment. In addition, if the child has been neglected, there may be an increased tendency to delinquency.
Negative Parenting Style
In this approach, parents try to avoid influencing their children as much as possible. They are not interested in promoting the child’s development in any way. Strictly speaking, the parents do not assume any educator role here.
The parents do not set any rules. It goes without saying that in this style of parenting, no emotional relationship whatsoever can be established between parents and child. Similar to the laissez-faire style, the children are ultimately left to their own devices.
The child is educated from the time it enters school or by relatives, acquaintances and other children.
As a result, children who are brought up in this way become increasingly neglected – and not only mentally and emotionally, but often also in a physical sense. Positive attachments are not these hardly experienced by these children. Therefore, they have a severely limited ability to relate to others. In addition, there are feelings of inferiority, a lack of self-confidence and an increased tendency to alcohol and drug abuse.
Permissive Parenting Style
The permissive parenting style is similar to the laissez-faire parenting style. However, it is comparatively moderate. Parents tend to hold back in parenting. Therefore, the child must make its own decisions and learn to cope with challenges. On his own initiative, the child must define his own point of view and take care of his own needs. However, unlike the laissez-faire parenting style, limits are set for him at least from time to time.
The negative consequences are quite similar to the laissez-faire parenting style:
Problems with relationships with peers.
No appropriate closeness-distance behavior.
Lack of strategies for dealing with rejection.