Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Authoritative parenting: promoting healthy family relationships

There are many parenting styles that parents use on their children, often without consciously adopting it. Since the 1920's, developmental psychologists are on the crusade of studying how a parenting style influences a child's well being that is based on the premise that children imitate their parents' character without questioning it – primarily because they have learned this behavior from home. Based on previous studies, experts have identified the healthiest parenting style, that is currently the most dominant style in modern societies – authoritative parenting.

Parenting is influenced by two elements: responsiveness and demandingness. Parents greatly vary in terms of responding to their children's interests, desire, including misdemeanors. Authoritative parenting is seen as the most balanced style of parenting since it balances the two elements. For instance, there may be times when parents need a child or adolescent to obey a certain rule since it is accepted as "right", while they could allow a child to commit mistakes without interference.

One of the biggest advantages of authoritative parenting is when parents enforce rules as a way of keeping their children from harm. This can be compared to guiding children on the right path and putting a clear delineation between good and bad. Authoritative parenting enforces consistent rules, but not rigid that is particularly important to show children that "bad" will never become "good", although mistakes can occur understandably.

However, authoritative parents may allow mistakes but encourage children to reason out. They are good at accepting that people sometimes make mistakes and often uses this opportunity for learning. Authoritative parents, on their part, lead by example taking into consideration how their behavior influences the children. They acknowledge committing errors to show that imperfection is real, which gives children the assurance that it is normal to make mistakes, and rising from a failure is a key to life's success.

Authoritative parenting's demandingness manifests in the parents desire for the children to become responsible citizens – the kind of individuals who are aware of the existence of limits in the midst of freedom. The key in authoritative parenting is that parents and children are seen working together in coming up with decisions, and respecting each other's differences in ideas and personality styles.

Children from authoritative families are more competent in social dealings, academic performance, and in other elements that shape a healthy individual, psychologically and emotionally speaking. The style of parenting is often a challenge for parents who want children to grow normally. The best parents are those who let their children participate in day-to-day family dealings.

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