Expert Articles

Different Parenting Models

Author: Scarlett Choi
Psychological Counsellor

Parenting styles have a profound impact on a child’s growth, physical and mental health, and interpersonal relationships. The family is a child’s first school, and parents are their first teachers. A child’s life begins with their upbringing. The appropriate and balanced exercise of power by parents is crucial in disciplining their children. Based on the different levels of power and the balance between authority and care, three parenting styles can be summarized: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting.

1. Authoritative parenting: discipline and affection

Authoritative parents emphasize both discipline and affection. They set expectations for their children’s behaviour and provide emotional care. These parents are confident, firm, reasonable, fair, and caring. They have certain requirements for their child’s behaviour and do not tolerate irresponsible actions. Their attitude is more open and democratic. They are willing to listen to their child’s thoughts, believing that empathy is a prerequisite for problem-solving. They provide clear instructions to their children and expect them to follow them, while also giving them appropriate space to foster independence. These parents are willing to engage in discussions with their children, listening to their ideas while also accepting their opinions. Children raised in this parenting style develop independence, responsibility, and self-confidence.

2. Authoritarian parenting: strict discipline and limited affection

Authoritarian parents are dictators who enforce strict discipline on their children but provide limited emotional care. They often use commands, threats, and high-pressure tactics to force their children to comply without much discussion of the reasons. They give strict instructions that children must follow or else face severe punishment. These parents are not inclined to negotiate with their children or give them autonomy. They lack sufficient care and understanding. Authoritarian parents prefer issuing orders, acting unilaterally, and exercising absolute control based on their subjective opinions. Children raised in this parenting style may develop extreme personalities, either becoming overly dependent on their parents or exhibiting rebellious and oppositional behaviour.

3. Permissive parenting: excessive autonomy and a lack of discipline

Permissive parents tend to indulge their children emotionally, but they lack discipline. They excessively spoil their children, lacking firmness and allowing them to behave recklessly. Permissive parents let their children make decisions, considering it a form of love, even if it is not beneficial for the child’s development and may lead to deviant behaviour. They are less likely to correct mistakes or provide guidance, giving their children excessive autonomy. In terms of discipline, these parents tend to comply with their child’s opinions and ideas, fearing rejection and disappointment. Children raised in this parenting style develop a self-centered mindset, only considering their own benefits without regard for others’ feelings, making it difficult to develop healthy interpersonal relationships.

The above information is provided for parents as a reference, and I believe it can help parents improve their approach to parenting. The influence of the family on a child’s physical and mental development is profound and significant.

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Different Parenting Models