The styles of parenting education refer to the set of behaviors of parents with their children to inculcate cultural norms and values.
In the scientific literature we can find a large number of studies about how the styles adopted by parents when educating their children influence, since from the second half of the 20th century it was one of the topics that took greater prominence and It is still a very important research topic today.
When we analyze the basic dimensions of the behavior of fathers and mothers, we find two main ones:
– Affection and communication . It is the importance that parents give to affection and affection in their relationship with their children. The emotional tone that directs the interactions between parents, mothers and children, as well as the level of communicative exchanges that exist in these interactions.
There are fathers and mothers who maintain a warm and close relationship with their children, which motivate them to express their emotions and thoughts. However, there are also parents whose relationship with their children carries it more coldly. There are fewer communicative exchanges with their children, less expressions of affection and sometimes hostility governs.
– Control and demands . It consists fundamentally in discipline. How much parents demand of their children, how much they control their behavior, whether there are punishments or not … and how they approach situations that pose challenges for their children.
There are parents who are more or less demanding, and this will make the children have to strive more or less to achieve the objectives. There are also fathers and mothers who establish a great variety of norms, very inflexible and with demanding punishments if they are not fulfilled, just as there are those who put punishments in the end do not carry them into practice, and those who do not directly use punishment as a method educational.
As expected, these dimensions not only govern by their extremes (nothing affective-very affective, nothing demanding-very demanding), but they are organized in a continuous line with many degrees and nuances.
When we talk about educating in the family, we refer to the process that parents do with their children when it comes to helping them develop their intellectual, moral, emotional and affective faculties.
All these faculties are essential for the development of children, although in the society of the academic degrees in which we find ourselves, cognitive development seems to be prioritized above all.
The truth is that emotional development is one of the essential elements in people, which help the understanding of the world and personality. Emotional intelligence allows us to express emotions, understand and control them, as well as understand the emotions of others.
This does not mean that norms and cognitive development are not important, but that a good emotional development accompanies an optimal cognitive development. Both aspects are fed back, and should be taken into account when educating the children.
Development of personality and emotions
The development of the personality and emotions of children depend to a large extent on educational and socialization processes. Her self-esteem is linked in large part to how she feels valued by her parents, and learning about emotions will be linked to socialization and affective processes that occur within her family.
In the younger ages of children, their family has a great weight in these processes, since children are still domocentric, that is, their parents and siblings, if they have them, are the center of their lives and what who base their reality.
In addition, the influences received by children and their families are multidirectional. For example, the couple’s relationship with the parents will affect their child, or the child’s temperament will have effects on the parents. Also the relationship between the brothers, or each child with each father, will affect the family: Everything counts.
For this reason, we must understand the family as a system of reciprocal interpersonal relationships, which is not isolated from the surrounding environment or alien to its influences: the work of the parents, the experiences that the children live in school, the Parent’s relationship with school, etc. They are also important in the development of the family nucleus and the family as a system.
In any case, the education provided by parents to their children is key in their development, since it will be what tells them how to relate to the world, what things are important, or how much they should love themselves.
The 4 parental educational styles
The dimensions that we mentioned before are the basis of the four typical parenting styles for their children. Next, we present a summary table of the four educational styles depending on the combination between the levels of the basic dimensions.
The democratic style
It is the one followed by parents who show signs of affection and explicit acceptance, they are sensitive to their needs, they encourage them to express themselves verbally, expressing their feelings and thoughts, while at the same time having a high level of demand that their efforts seek. children, they leave the clear rules making them known to their children, and they comply with the punishments or sanctions.
The relationship with their children is characterized by being warm, close, affectionate and communicative. They tend to maintain explanatory dialogues with their children based on reasoning and coherence. They use positive reinforcement, and encourage their children to continually improve.
This educational style is the most sought and recommended in general, since its positive effects for the mental health of the children have been demonstrated.
The children of democratic parents
These children are those who have the characteristics generally desired by the current Western culture. They are characterized by having high self-esteem, with confidence in themselves, that strive to achieve their goals and do not give up easily. They face new situations with confidence and enthusiasm.
They have good social skills, so they are socially competent, and have great emotional intelligence, which allows them to express, understand and control their own emotions, as well as understand those of others and have empathy.
The authoritarian style
Parents who follow this educational style give great importance to the rules, control and demand, but emotions and affects do not play a major role in their interactions with their children. They do not usually openly express affection towards their children, and they are not very sensitive to the needs presented by their children (above all needs of love, affection and emotional support).
Sometimes they have a great need for control over their children, which they express as a reaffirmation of power over them, without explanations. They do not give importance to children understanding why they have to do what is asked, so that the rules are not explained reasonably, they are imposed. Phrases like “because I say it”, “because I am your father / mother” or “this is my house and you will do what I tell you” are typical of authoritarian parents.
They tend to use punishments and threats as a way to mold the behavior of their children, which they strictly follow.
The children of authoritarian parents
These children often have low self-esteem, since their parents have not taken into account their emotional and affective needs at the same level as the norms. They have learned that external power and demands are a priority, and that is why they are obedient and submissive before external powers.
However, they are insecure children with low emotional intelligence, who hardly have self-control over their emotions or behaviors when a source of external control is absent. For this reason, they are vulnerable to presenting aggressive behaviors to situations whose self-control only depends on themselves.
In addition, they are not very skilled in social relations, since they do not fully understand the emotions and behaviors of others, ruling them insecurity.
The permissive style
Contrary to what happens in the authoritarian style, the permissive style is characterized by high affective and emotional levels. These parents prioritize the well-being of their child before anything, and it is the interests and wishes of the child that govern the father / mother-child relationship.
As a result, they are undemanding parents, who pose few rules and challenges to their children. Given the difficulty, they will allow their children to desist easily, and they will tend not to comply with the punishments and threats that they put on their children (if they use them).
The children of permissive parents
These children are characterized by being very happy, fun and expressive. However, not being accustomed to norms, limits, demands and effort, they are also very immature children, unable to control their impulses and giving up easily.
In addition, they are usually quite selfish children, since they have always prioritized them above all, and they have not had to give up things for others.
The indifferent / negligent style
This last educational style could be classified as nonexistent. Actually, parents pay little attention to their children in both dimensions, so that norms and affects are conspicuous by their absence.
Their relations with the children are cold and distant, with little sensitivity in relation to the needs of the little ones, sometimes forgetting even the basic needs (food, hygiene and care).
In addition, although in general they do not establish limits and norms, sometimes they exert an excessive and unjustified control, totally incoherent, that does not do more than dizzy to the children about their own conduct and emotions.
Children of indifferent / negligent parents
These children have identity problems and low self-esteem. They do not know the importance of the rules, and, therefore, they will hardly fulfill them. In addition, they are not very sensitive to the needs of others and are especially vulnerable to presenting behavioral problems, with the personal and social conflicts that this entails.
10 tips for being a democratic father or mother
1. Always keep in mind that your child depends on you, and that your behavior and your reactions to his behavior will determine his behavior.
2. Take into account your emotional and emotional needs, not just the basic ones. Children need affection, affection, love and patience.
3. Children need to understand what they feel. Encourage them to express the things that happen to them, and help them identify what those feelings that describe you are called.
4. Explain, if you feel sad or tired, why it is. This does not mean that you tell your children adult matters, but you can always transfer your explanation to the child’s level, and it will be good for him to know how to identify emotions in others. For example, if they see you sad, the child needs to understand what happens to his mother or father. You can tell her that it’s been a hard day for you, and that’s why you’d like her to give you affection. You will help to develop your sensitivity to the emotions of others.
5. The reasoning must be present in your communicative exchanges. Explain to your children the whys of things. Things are not “just because”.
6. Your child needs limits and rules. They should know what they should do and above all why it is important that they do what you ask them to do.
7. In addition to knowing the limits and rules, it is important that you keep your promises and threats. Do not promise a prize that you can not fulfill, and do not put a punishment on it if you do not fulfill it later. In this way, they will know that their behavior has consequences, and that these consequences are not random.
8. Your child needs to understand the importance of the effort. Encourage them to face situations that arise and not throw in the towel. Let them know that they are competent, and that with effort they can achieve what they set out to do.
9. Let your child know that if he makes a mistake or fails, you will be available to help him. It is common the case of some parents who warn their children that they are going to fall, and then, when it occurs, in addition to the crying and disgust that the child carries with his fall, his father or mother berates or punishes him. Instead, we can warn the child of the importance of being careful because if he falls, he will hurt himself. And if it falls, go (without being alarmed, that sometimes we scare the child more for our behavior) in his help.
Also Read: What is Mediation and How Does it Work?
10. Do not censor the thoughts and emotions of your child. It is good that the child does not feel self-conscious when it comes to expressing himself. Thus, he will feel that he can tell you his things, and it is always better to direct his behavior through knowledge than through his ignorance. This, above all, is more typical of adolescents, who will do what they want to do with or without the consent of their parents.