Parenting Experts have concluded that there are at least three parenting styles.
Effective parenting styles can vary according to culture.
The three main parenting styles are authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting and the permissive parenting style. These parenting styles are all very different in their parenting approach.
Authoritative Parenting has been found to be the most effective style of parenting in western culture. Authoritative parenting is consistent and enforces boundaries.
Authoritative parenting is characterized by the parent giving reasonable demands, setting consistent limits, expressing warmth and affection and listening to the child’s point of view. American children raised by authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem and social skills. Whilst the authoritative parenting style is the style that is most encouraged in modern American society, this is not necessarily the case in other cultures.
In contrast, Authoritarian Parenting which is characterized by parents placing high value on conformity and obedience, tightly monitoring their children, and expressing less warmth, is seen as more beneficial in other cultures. For instance, in a 2010 study by Russell et al, first-generation Chinese American children raised by authoritarian parents did just as well in school as their peers who were raised by authoritative parents.
Many parents today adopt a Permissive Parenting style which has few guidelines and rules. Permissive parenting, however, can lead to undisciplined children as they develop.
No new parents would want to regard themselves as bad parents. And no parent wants to be accused of excessively permissive parenting but, on the other hand, few parents would want to be regarded as “the world’s strictest parents”.
In raising happy children, parents need to be vigilant, active parents but not “helicopter parents”, hovering and rushing to meet their needs at every turn. Parents of happy children are active parents who foster care, nurture and warmth, whilst at the same time demonstrating and setting examples to their children.
Positive parenting is a child-centered approach that ultimately leads to Raising Happy Children.