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Different Parents Have Different Approaches to Parenting

Parenting styles differ widely from individual to individual. It is particularly challenging to identify and study the exact connection between the parenting approach and the subsequent personality of the child. It is widely accepted that parents are one of the biggest influences on their children, but there are cases in which the parents take the same approach with every child, and yet siblings grow up to be completely different people. Many experts postulate that it is not just the parenting style that plays a role in the development but also the degree to which the personalities of parents and their children are compatible. All the challenges aside, there are four generally accepted elements characteristic of most parenting styles, which include communication, compassion and attentiveness, expectations of maturity and responsible behavior, and disciplinary plans of action. Drawing on these elements, there are four types of identifiable parenting styles, and those involve authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting. Authoritarian parents are very strict, but cold and inattentive at the same time. There are rules which are expected to be followed without question, while the child is not given an explanation as to why such behavior is desired. The effects of authoritarian style usually result in children who uphold traditions, are productive and disciplined, but lack social skills and self-esteem. On the other hand, while authoritative parents establish rules, they are much more compassionate than authoritative parents. If the rules are broken there is more understanding, and questioning of the parenting methods by the child is permitted. Authoritative parents are more supportive, and less likely to punish their children. The authoritative style has shown as the most constructive, yielding children who are successful in all areas of life. Permissive parents do not establish any rules, as they do not have many expectations. The children of permissive parents have problems with authority figures, tend to do poorly in school and are not very content with themselves. They are nurturing, but more as equal peers rather than authority figures. Finally, the uninvolved parents do not set any expectations nor do they communicate with their child. The child is provided with food and shelter but little human contact. Children of uninvolved parents have little self-esteem, social skills, competencies, and interests. They are withdrawn, quiet, and unmotivated.

Life Span of Children during Parenting

Parenting begins the moment individuals decide to have a child, and lasts for a lifetime. During the prenatal care, the behavior of both parents affects the child. They should eat healthy, not smoke or drink, and be as active as possible. There is also a lot of information that prospective parents need to obtain such as whether their hospital provides alternative doctors, in house anesthesia, and so on. Given the scientific evidence regarding prenatal care, unborn babies begin being able to hear sounds and detect motions around the fifth month so the style of parenting becomes effective long before the baby is born. Once the child is born, the more interactive parenting begins. The child’s only means of communication is crying, and the compassionate parents learn quickly to differentiate between the cries. Comforting the child, cuddling, and caressing are characteristics of nurturing and communicative parents. During this period in life, an infant forms an attachment with the parents which represents the foundation for all subsequent relationships in life. When it comes to raising a toddler, they are much more mobile but still unable to perform any tasks so the parents act as teachers. Parents of toddlers should also establish some simple rules, and start coaching the child about taking responsibility. Once the child grows out of the toddler stage he or she is beginning to be more independent and to socialize outside of the home. They start to apply logic and make decisions without anyone’s help. A young child is able to deal with playing alone, but the parents should encourage socialization and teach proper social conduct. Play is a big part of any child’s life and affectionate parents usually engage in it to get a better sense of their child’s personality, way of thinking, likes and dislikes, and so on. During this time, more responsibility is introduced, which includes personal hygiene, eating manners, healthy ways, and minor household chores. An aspect of a parenting approach is evident during this stage as some parents heavily engage their children in organized activities whereas others let him or her have an unsystematic childhood. During this period, a child is supposed to learn that for every action there is a consequence, whether positive or negative. Consistency plays a big role in any parenting. Once a child reaches puberty and enters adolescence he or she forms an identity, as well as interpersonal and occupational skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Although parents are not as influential during the teenage years they should still stay firm and provide discipline and guidance.

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