Parenting SA: What parenting style works best for children?

Hello, I am Jodie Benveniste, psychologist and a parenting author and I help parents get to the true heart of parenting In this vide we're going to talk about parenting styles and which parenting styles works best for children

We know from research that parenting is really important for children’s outcomes In fact the neuroscience literature really shows us that the relationships our children have when they are growing up, and their environment, have a big impact on their growth and development We also know from research that there is a parenting style that is best for children We can actually divide parenting styles into 4 main categories It might be that you use one or more of these different parenting styles at different times, but you also might have a dominant parenting style that you rely on, particularly if you are tired or stressed

The authoritarian parenting style offers children lots of structure and boundaries and discipline Children who grow up with the authoritarian parenting style can be quite obedient but they can also lack self-worth and not necessarily have great wellbeing, and that’s because this parenting style can be a little bit too harsh and lack a bit of warmth and love The authoritarian parenting style doesn't allow children to make their own decisions Parents really want them to obey, to 'do what I say because I told you so' They tend to focus more on punishment than guiding and teaching their children good behaviour

They can also parent based on their mood and can fly off the handle, rather than parenting based on the situation of what their child's done And at school they can really have high expectations of their children, but sometimes they don’t offer the love and support that children need to really do well at school With the authoritarian parenting style children might be obedient and they might do what you say but they also might fear you which creates a disconnect between you and your child And is that based on the loving relationship that we really want to have with them? Authoritarian parents do not take into account their child’s temperament or their child’s stage of development so they might have unrealistic expectations of their behaviour They might expect a 5 year old to do something they're not capable of doing until they are at least 12

Then they may punish the child because they haven't done what they've asked them to do, but really that child does not have the development skills they need to be able to do what their parents asked them With the permissive parenting style it's almost the opposite of the authoritarian style So parents who are permissive are very warm and loving, affectionate, very responsive to their children but they don’t always provide the guidance and the structure and the boundaries that kids really need to learn discipline and good behaviour Permissive parents might give in to their children, so if their child gets upset because they want another chocolate biscuit, a permissive parent will just give them another biscuit Permissive parents aren't always great at setting consequences and following through with actions

So they may say that a child is only allowed to have an hour of screen time but then when it comes to the end of that hour they don’t follow through Permissive parents don't always teach their child about how their own behaviour, their child's behaviour, might be impacting others So their child might hit and snatch or bite another child and they don’t intervene and then teach their child how to behave in a more appropriate way Permissive parents don’t always take into account their child’s temperament or their stage of development And they don’t necessarily realise that children really do need those boundaries and structures at every developmental stage so that they can progress through those milestones and help their growth and development

Children who grow up with permissive parents can feel loved but they can also lack self-discipline because they have never been taught discipline They can lack those social skills about how to play well with others, and they can sometimes also be a bit anxious and insecure because parents haven't set those boundaries for them When it comes to school they may lack the structure and the focus and the boundaries that kids really need to be able to do well in their education The disengaged parenting style combines the lack of love and warmth of the authoritarian parent and also the lack of discipline and structure of the permissive parent Disengaged parents take little interest in their children and they don’t really provide guidance and boundaries and structure that children need to learn

Disengaged parents might attend to their children’s basic needs but they won’t necessarily meet their child’s deeper needs They tend to be a little more engrossed in their own life and their own needs and they can sometimes be neglectful They don’t always provide the structure that children really need Like 'It's time to go to bed now', and 'It's time to do your homework', and 'It's time to cook a good meal and sit down together' They don’t always provide the love and warmth, the affection, the cuddles that kids really need to thrive

Children who grow up with disengaged parents will be socially withdrawn because they haven't learnt those social skills They can be quite anxious and insecure because they haven’t had the boundaries they need They can also be out and about, getting into trouble, hanging around with the wrong crowds, and skipping school because they don’t have someone looking out for them and supervising them, providing the guidance they really need At school their parents probably have very low expectations of them achieving, but also even attending which means that the kids may be at school or they may not be Disengaged parents aren't always there to help children with their homework, supervising how they going and really helping them to succeed at school

The parenting style that is best for children is the supportive style It’s a style where you are warm and loving and you’re affectionate but you also create structure and boundaries for your children, and you guide their behaviour You don’t focus on punishment, you focus on guiding and teaching and helping them to learn good behaviour Supportive parents really listen to their children They ask them questions, they look at life from their point of view

They explain things, they have discussions They allow their children into decision making Supportive parents also allow their kids to grow and learn themselves They let them gain independence and skills They don’t do everything for their children we need to actually help our children to learn for themselves, rather than being over protective and doing everything for them

Supportive parents set boundaries, they follow through with consequences and they do it pretty consistently or as consistently as possible Because that's how children learn, they learn much more quickly the more consistent we are Supportive parents are flexible and when they are parenting they really take into account the situation, their child’s temperament, the child’s state of development, so that they can really guide their children’s behaviour and make the right decisions at the time Supportive parents really encourage children to have a go, take risks, and even make mistakes The best thing to do to help is to let children learn from those mistakes, so go through what happened, how could you do things better and what they learn from the situation

Children who grow up with supportive parents are self-confident, they feel capable, they're emotionally mature, they've got good social skills, and they enjoy better happiness and wellbeing which really sets them well up for adulthood At school they are really well supported, loved and have a structures in place to try their best and to really achieve Our parenting does really matter We can have a really strong, positive, wonderful influence on our children’s outcomes So what's best for children? It’s about being warm and loving, setting those boundaries and guiding their behaviour

And most of all, enjoying your relationship because really that’s what parenting is all about Developing a strong, loving relationship with your child

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