An Interview About Parenting Styles

Author: , August 4th, 2009

Jack Sofronsky, a postgraduate student at Howard University talks about attitudes and parenting styles in his family: “…Speaking about my family, I have to say that my parents were mostly using permissive parenting style. But, at the same time, their parenting strategy included some elements of authoritative style as well, when it was necessary. That is why I am always very thankful to them for their flexibility, tolerance, trust and abilities to support or find necessary words to influence my decisions.

My mother was a teacher. She used to work only till afternoon, so usually she had a lot of time to spend with me and take care about me. When I was a kid, we used to have strict rules about the things I need to wear or to eat, but in general she was quite liberal to me. Certainly, like every little child, from time to time I was disobedient, so she had to punish me, spank or sermonize.

My father, who was a construction engineer, usually worked full day. He used to come home only in the evening and feel very tired, but he was always involved into all family matters and never tended to limit our communication. As the man of the house, he always had the last word and his decisions were undisputable. Therefore, he was more authoritative in my eyes, than mom.

I guess I was quite a typical child for permissive parenting, especially during my preschool and teenage times. I was rather calm, silent and serious kid, who was extremely interested in exploring the world and learning something new every day. I had not much time for naughtiness and was going crazy for reading books, watching educative TV programs or making toys for myself.

In my early adolescence times I was very busy with my studies and hobbies. I like cycling very much. At the weekends I used to ride to the special places I liked. Besides, I was fond of music, so I tried to learn playing guitar, making arrangements and even composing my own songs. My parents were sure that I would not waste my time on smoking or hanging around in companies with doubtful reputation. Therefore, they used to express total trust and confidence in me.

I have to add that I truly appreciate that my parents did not choose dominating parenting style, were never concentrated on negative emotions and always tried to be very open to me in everything. Being an extremely sensitive and touchy person, I would be seriously affected by authoritarian approach in parenting and, probably, develop such personal qualities, like anxiety, weakness, passiveness, and so on.

Finally, there is one more effective parenting technique, which my parents constantly used and placed importance on. In any situation and under any circumstances my parents were always perfect role models for me. They knew so well that the best way in parenting is not punishing and sermonizing, but simply being an example for their child in everything.

I truly respect and adore my parents for their hard work on bringing me up and supporting me. Their contribution into my personal development is not only flexibility in choosing parenting styles, but also creating a perfect atmosphere filled with love, care, mutual trust and esteem in our family.”

Parenting Styles

Author: , August 3rd, 2009

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, a great deal of researchers and theorists has been studying the issues of parents’ influence on the development of their children. According to E. Maccoby and J. Martin, who were exploring the problems of parent-child interaction, four types of parenting styles can be identified as the following: authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent, and uninvolved.

Authoritarian parenting style (dominating) means strict disciplining and total control of parents over their children. Parents, who choose this child rearing style, set up some severe rules and standards, and want their children to obey them strictly. Dominating parents are usually focusing on bad behaviors of their children and excessively criticizing them. They are always closed to children for communication and never explain the motifs of their orders or decisions.

Authoritative parenting style (moderate) means still creating standards and rules, but parents can play more liberal and democratic roles. Followers of this style believe that it is good for children to learn from their own mistakes. Authoritative parents usually give explanations to their children about established rules or policies, and show much more love, care and attention to their kids.

Permissive parenting style (indulgent) means much more freedom for children. Permissive approach means setting almost no guidelines or limitations and giving many choices for children. Parents, who use this style, are very democratic. They tend to accept their children the way they are and only try not to abuse them.

Rejecting parenting style (neglecting or uninvolved) means total indifference to children. In such cases parents try to minimize the time spent with the children and frequently remain unavailable for them. This style can be chosen by those parents, who are totally concentrated on making career or are drugs/alcohol dependent.

Each of these parenting styles has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, using only authoritarian style can result in developing such traits of child’s character as inability to make decisions or be creative. On the other hand, neglecting a child can completely spoil him or, on the contrary, make him feel like he is unloved, worthless and useless. That is why it is important to choose correct parenting style according to the child’s personality.