While not all people fit exactly into any set ‘boxes’ or styles of parenting, I find it interesting seeing the general differences between the styles of parenting out there, rated according to high-low warmth, and high- low control. It’s also interesting seeing how you and your partner parent differently, as well as how your parenting styles can complement each other’s.
I think boys need a healthy balance of firm, understood boundaries and a home filled with love, relationships and guidance. What do you and your partner value in your home?
Take a look at the 4 Parenting Styles and see where you and your spouse lie:
HIGH CONTROL HIGH WARMTH: AUTHORITATIVE PARENT
These parents are nurturing and discipline through guidance. They are warm and affectionate, and value open communication with their kids. They are responsive to their kids in general and value a close relationship. These parents expect a lot from their children and are flexible, assertive, have high standards and are democratic.
Authoritative parents set expectations, yet are reasonable. They are willing to discuss things and reason with their children, and act as guiding forces for their children to make decisions. The children of these parents are balanced both in behavior and responsiveness in educational and social structures; they are moderate in their responsiveness to levels of depression and problem behavior.
HIGH CONTROL LOW WARMTH: AUTHORITARIAN PARENT
These parents have high expectation of their kids. They are interested in strict obedience and are highly demanding. They lay down strict rules and are generally inflexible, and punish rather than discipline. The relationship is controlling, power-assertive and high in unidirectional communication. These parents expect a lot from their children and are rigid, have high structure, are autocratic and are ‘the boss’. Their rules are never to be questioned, with them stating their expectations and consequences very clearly. Children of such parents suffer from low self-esteem, poor social skills and do moderately well in studies, with some suffering from high levels of depression.
HIGH WARMTH LOW CONTROL: PERMISSIVE PARENT
These parents are affectionate and nurturing, but have few, inconsistent boundaries. They take role of friend rather than parent. The relationship is indulgent, and low in control attempts. These parents are non-directive, over-involved, lenient and have blurred roles. These parents expect little from their children. This style is the opposite of the authoritarian style; these parents are highly indulgent and flexible and act more as advisors and not decision makers for their children.
Children of such parents have a high self-esteem and a strong sense of personal identity, as well as good social skills, but these children could be involved in problematic behavior and may do less well in schools.
LOW WARMTH LOW CONTROL: UNINVOLVED PARENT
These parents are emotionally detached and self absorbed. They have inconsistent or no boundaries and little interaction with their children. These parents are unsupportive, rejecting, distant, passive and parent-centred. This style is also referred to as ‘negligent parenting’ and in extreme cases is parenting that does not encourage or demand behavior from children, as parents are very poor in responding to or initiating contact with their children. Punishments are negligible in this parenting style, with lack of basic understanding and support, making these children poor performers socially and academically, as well as exhibiting poor performance in choices and decisions.
As a parent, it’s interesting looking at these styles and seeing where you stand. You probably fall into two categories, not strictly just one. It’s also interesting seeing what style your spouse has, and how you can work together to complement each other’s styles – covering each other’s weaknesses, and highlighting each other’s strengths.
All 20 chapters of Raising Boys is available to download and read right here.