Modern psychologists have defined four different styles of parenting based on the quality of upbringing they give to children. The style of parenting can often predict future problems the child experiences as they enter their teens and adulthood. Upbringing can have an effect on job performance, criminal activity, and overall mental health and wellness.
The four parenting styles can be arranged on a grid according to two factors: level of care and attentiveness, and level of discipline and order. Children lacking one or both of these factors tend to have problems related to upbringing, while children with a balance of both have a better chance of growing up as healthy, successful, well rounded adults.
When a child is brought up in a home with discipline but not care or attentive, the style of parenting is called authoritarian. This is a parenting style in which the child is expected to obey orders without question, and is not listened to. Authoritarian parents do not take an interest in their child’s life or opinions, but are instead concerned with controlling their behavior and pushing them to perform better. Children in authoritarian households tend to rebel against authority as they get older, and associate authority figures with negative emotions.
Conversely, a household with abundant care and attentiveness but a lack of discipline is the result of the permissive parenting style. Permissive parents are loving, supportive, and attentive, but reluctant to impose punishments or rules. This is often described as being a friend instead of a parent. Children of permissive parents often lack the self-discipline required to get or hold a good job, and do not handle situations in which they do not get their way well. As adults, they can be abrasive, and have difficulty forming equal friendships.
Neglectful households are the result of a household lacking both care and discipline. Often parents with full time jobs will fall into this as a result of a lack of time and energy to interact with their children. Neglectful parents do not know what their children are doing at a given time, and do not impose rules about doing homework or being home before a curfew. As teens, the lack of structure also leads these children to take up drugs and alcohol with other neglected children who do not have parents keeping tabs on them.
When both care and discipline are balanced, on the other hand, the household is called authoritative. Authoritative parents require a standard of behavior from their children, but also provide for their needs and show them love and affection. Children of authoritative parents are typically well balanced and hard working adults.
When parenting, it is important to focus on being an authoritative parent. Authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful parents each inflict damage on their children in their own ways, making it difficult for them to grow up into happy, fulfilled, successful adults. Teaching children to respect authority and work hard to achieve things is the best way to achieve this.