Essay on Parenting Styles

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 711

Baumrind’s theory of parenting is widely applicable in modern psychology. According to the developmental psychologist, parenting differs on four significant dimensions, which classify parenting styles as authoritarian, permissive and authoritative. Sternberg later developed neglectful or uninvolved parenting. Authoritative parenting style is the most appropriate for a parent who wants to ensure that his/her grow happy and prosperous (Bench, 2019). With this type of parenting, a parent can monitor their kids and listen to them when they have issues. Parents set the limits of behavior for their children and observe them to see whether they are adhering to what they are taught. Moreover, such parenting style allows for flexibility of parents to understand issues that are affecting growing children. Communication is an essential aspect of bringing up straight kids who are happy and prosperous. Failure of a parent to bond with his/her kids might lead to unhappy and unsuccessful children in the society. Baumrind’s approach to classifying parenting styles has proved to help determine the best way that parents should bring up their children. The behavior of children speaks volumes about the parenting style that the parents applied in their up-bringing.

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Diana Baumrind’s research has also attracted criticism that renders it questionable in explaining parental styles appropriately (Oden, 2019). First, the theory is based on an original sample that had little diversity in terms of culture, ethnicity and the economy. Lack of diversity in the sample that the psychologist used to conclude makes the theory questionable. Second, the framework focuses more on the attitudes of children rather than the interactions that children have daily. As such, the move to focus on attitude has drawn much criticism in the psychological field. Third, the theory downplays any indication that authoritarian parents love their children. The fact that they spend less time with their children does not make them unloving. This shows that Baumrind’s theory is not all true. Fourth, the theory does not agree with the fact that some permissive parents can guide their kids to grow appropriately without imposing rules. Some parents can apply the permissive parenting style by using words without having further regulations on their children. Lastly, the theory overlooks the child’s contribution to the child-parent relationship. As such, the theory has faced disapproval from a section of researchers due to the listed shortcomings.

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The worst parenting style is the permissive one, which has little discipline, guidance or control on children. Such children grow to be rebels and lack friendships. Furthermore, children grow unhappy, lack self-control and suffer from inadequate emotional regulation. At an adult age, such children remain dependent and are immature (Gracia, 2018). Culture affects parenting significantly, especially within nations with multiethnic groups such as the United States. Harsh treatment to kids in a minority cultural setting or majority is harmful to nurturing of kids. Culture helps kids identify and come to terms with who they are in the real world. Culture determines the way of life that specific gender groups should follow depending on whether they are male or female (Holtrop, McNeil Smith & Scott, 2015). As such, parents tend to nurture their children according to the existing cultural practices. A child’s temperament can also affect their parenting in one way or the other (Kaiser, Li, Pollmann-Schult & Song, 2017). For instance, temperament affects a child’s interaction with the surrounding environment. Moreover, a child’s temperament will determine the response of adults and other children to them. As such, children’s differences in emotion, motor activation and reaction to stimuli affect their parenting significantly.


Bench, R. C. (2019). A literature review evaluating parental tendencies in prior adolescent substance users. Children and Youth Services Review100, 480-484.

Gracia, P. (2018). Children’s Daily Activities: Concepts, Theories and Research.

Holtrop, K., McNeil Smith, S., & Scott, J. C. (2015). Associations between positive parenting practices and child externalizing behavior in underserved Latino immigrant families. Family process54(2), 359-375.

Kaiser, T., Li, J., Pollmann-Schult, M., & Song, A. (2017). Poverty and child behavioral problems: the mediating role of parenting and parental well-being. International journal of environmental research and public health14(9), 981.

Oden, M. S. (2019). Parenting Styles and Children’s Usage of the Internet in the Digital Age.

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