To soft, to hard, or Just right?

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Diana Baumrinds highlighted three major parenting styles that are can be found in most cases of child-to-parent relationships. These styles were permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative and each covers how a parent disciplines and supports their children in different ways. As "young adults" these styles are are important to recognize, that is, if you want to be a parent in the future or already are one.
Permissive parents discipline on an irregular basis, giving their children considerable freedom day to day. This is the "to soft" approach because these kids have no restrictions or boundaries that are set in place. I believe this parenting style to be one of the worst based on my own observations with friends whose parents were the permissive type. They tend to be more disobedient and spontaneous when it comes to making bad decisions. The next parenting style, Authoritarian, is the "too hard" approach. These parents set strict boundaries and are quick to punish and do not allow a child to learn from themselves when mistakes have been made. They also show little affection to their offspring which I think could cause kids to be more anxious about doing things, thinking it will never be good enough.
The last parenting style, Authoritative, is the "just right" approach, which is the parenting style that fits with how I grew up (so its obviously the best)(Just kidding). These parents are more lenient and allow their children to take action for themselves but still discipline if they think they are not heading in the right direction or if the need a hand. I think this parenting style allows for the most growth in a children because they allow there kids freedom, but help them out enough where the child knows they are their for them.
What parenting style did you come up with? Do you agree with my analysis?
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My opinion is that the right approach is somewhere in the middle of these three styles of parenting. Balance is essential as far as parents -children relationships are concerned.Great post!


I think that parenting styles differ across and within cultures in today's society. With all of the hustle and bustle we can't always adapt to the perfect style for our children and one that suits them right. I was raised with an authoritative style and I think I benefited the best from it. My parents had another boy before me so I think they had some study time to go through the best style that benefits me the most.

I agree with your description of the parenting styles. I personally was raised with authoritative parents and I believe it was the best way as well; it was "just right". My parents restricted me from certain activities that would cause harm to me later in life while allowing me some freedom. This balance allowed me to adjust very well to college because I understood how to not abuse my freedom while still enjoying my independent life. I do believe, though, that children raised with authoritarian parents or permissive parents can maintain a great balance in life as well - a lot depends on how you deal with your parent's parenting style.

I grew up with a permissive parenting style and what I have learned is that each person has their own fit to what technique would be most beneficial in their childhood. For me the permissive technique worked just fine. I never seemed out trouble and never worried my parents. This could raise the question whether or not the permissive style was always what my parents had planned to use or they decided to parent like that because of my actions. Either way, after looking back at how my life unfolded, it was a successful technique all the way through my high school years. On a contrast, my sister was also raised with the permissive approach. To say the least, it was and is not as successful with her personality. She takes advantage of the fact that she does have so much freedom and abuses the power.

Your analysis of each parenting style was in good taste. The descriptions are very accurate and I would agree with most everything you described. I grew up with an Authoratative parenting style and for me it worked great. It's a little tough to say how effectively it worked, because by nature I was always a well-behaved child and wanted to excel in school, etc. But from the research done and using plain logic, I would 100% agree that it is the only right way to raise a child.

Andrew, you write a pretty good summary of Baumrind's parenting styles and describe about what to expect from children of these parents. I thought the cartoon was quite funny as well. What type of parents do you have?

It would have been nice had you given a few more examples of what it was like for you with authoritative parents. Like how did they deal with situations when you got in trouble or needed to be reprimanded for poor behavior? What sort of expectations did your parents set for you? Did both your parents always display this style or were they permissive sometimes?

I'd say you summed those up pretty nicely! I know I have authoritative parents. They were a little more strict when I was younger but are very lenient and gave me and my brother a lot of freedom. My mom is especially lenient in comparison to my dad. That's why we always asked her for permission, because the answer was a sure "yes"! And I think I've turned out okay so far... I really don't think there is one right way to raise a child. I think authoritative is the approach I would use, but to each there own. Based on what we have read though, it would seem that authoritative produces the most effective results. But then again, there are always pros and cons to any way of raising a child.

Those categories seem to fit nicely! Although, it all depends on the family. My parents were very lenient with my older brothers until they started to get into trouble. Then they cracked the whip on me even though iI was smart enough to stand back and observe the difference between right and wrong. I was the most well behaved child yet the most watched. An example, locks on the TV, a GPS tracker on my phone (that was always used when I went out), and wasn't allowed to be even 1 minute late without severe punishments. That only made me smarter and I learned my way around their tactics. :)

Well thanks captain obvious, Authoritative is obviously the best way to parent your children. I would think it would be interesting to learn what it would be like to hear from someone who maybe grew up with two different parenting styles lets say permissive and authoritarian. If he or she was presented with these two opposite styles in two different homes, what would he/she be more likely to grow up to be like?

I would have to say that simple definitions of parenting styles don't suffice. As everyone is different different parenting styles work better on different kids coming from different parents. I don't think it's something that can be narrowed down this much.

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This page contains a single entry by laut0056 published on April 23, 2012 11:23 PM.

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