Parenting Styles - Authoritative, Authoritarian, Indulgent, Detached.

Essay by BarnBratCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2009

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Psychologists have been studying how parents influence children's development since the 1920's. Most researchers rely on the four parenting styles identified by Diana Baumrind. Baumrind's concept of parenting is based on the assumption that the primary role of all parents is to influence, teach, and control their children.

Parenting styles are based on two aspects of parenting: parental responsiveness and parental demandingness. Baumrind defines parental responsiveness as the extent to which parents intentionally foster individuality, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive, and acquiescent to children's special needs and demands. Parental demandingness refers to the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family whole, by their maturity demands, supervision, disciplinary efforts and willingness to confront the child who disobeys. By categorizing parents according to whether they are high or low on parental demandingness and responsiveness four parenting styles are identified.

Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive.

They monitor and impart clear standards, are assertive without being intrusive and restrictive, and their disciplinary methods are supportive rather than punitive. Authoritative parents help children learn to be responsible for themselves and to think about the consequences of their behavior by providing them with reasonable expectations and explaining why they expect them to behave a certain way. They give choices based on a child's ability and guide behavior by teaching, not punishing, in a warm and loving manner. Authoritative parenting leads to children who are responsible, cooperative, and self-reliant. They do well socially, academically, and have healthy self-esteems.

Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and directive, but not responsive. These parents are controlling over their children. They set strict rules without expressing much warmth and affection, do not explain the reasoning behind rules, and expect their children to accept their judgments, values, and goals without question. Often, authoritarian parents...