A parenting style is an internal psychological structure representing common behavioral patterns that most parents employ in their child rearing. The quality of parenting may be more important than the amount of time spent dealing with the child. However, it does not matter how much time is spent, as long as it is shared among all the members of the family. Each member has his/her own parenting styles. Most of them follow the same pattern, but there are some variations in them.
Parenting styles that are frequently encountered include the unconditional, the responsive, the intrusive, and the permissive. In one study, people were asked to rate the extent to which they agreed or disagree with each of these parenting styles. While the majority of parents used one or the other style, most parents combined the three. The results of the one study showed that, on average, there was a five-percentage-point difference between parents who used one of the three parenting styles. However, the results of the subsequent study showed a much larger variation, with a difference of 21 percentage points.
Aside from using one or the other parenting styles mentioned above, research has also shown that behavior problems are caused by either low self-esteem or low motivation. In these instances, parents need to be more controlling. Self-esteem and motivation are influenced by the quality of relationships that parents establish with their children. Thus, researchers believe that the way children learn to cope up with problems is affected by parental control.
According to the results of another study, children of single-parent families (with at least one parent working) exhibited higher levels of self-esteem and motivation. However, these children turned out to be less happy and less healthy than those whose parent(s) were married or living together. On the contrary, children who had two parents and who were married coped better with emotional challenges and displayed greater levels of self-control. The children’s relationship with their mothers was also a factor in the happiness they experienced.
Research shows that there is a relationship between the time parents spend on parenting styles and the child outcomes. Parental involvement and interaction during the early years of child development significantly influence the emotional and behavioral adjustment of children. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to spend at least thirty minutes a day, every day, with their children.
How to identify the best parenting style that works for your family? This is something that only you can figure out. It will probably take some effort and soul searching, but it is definitely worth it. Once you have discovered which style you are most comfortable with and which parenting styles are best suited for you and your family, then go out and try them out! It is better to find a style that works and to keep trying it out for a few months than to settle on a specific parenting style and then never use it.