Parenting styles and their influence on the behavior of children

Parents have a great influence on the behavior of their children. Parenting styles that we carry out with our children will influence in a decisive way in their development. It is important to pay attention to our parenting style and encourage positive parenting styles that contribute to healthy development. Negative parenting styles can have negative consequences on the development of children.

What are parenting styles?

Dr. John Gottman defines the parenting styles as "the way that parents have to react and respond to the emotions of children".
The parenting style is a pattern of action that, as parents we carry out, and includes a set of emotions, thoughts, behaviors and attitudes that parents develop around the raising of children. Our parenting style is immersed in a process of social interaction and how it will interfere directly with the other person.


Why are parenting styles important for families?

The parenting styles they are very important, because the way in which parents interact with their sons and daughters, will be the basis of their social and emotional development, and therefore of their current and future well-being. The styles of parenting will make the child feel a certain way with himself and with others, which is essential for their development and will also determine future social interactions and affective relationships.

What are the different styles of parenting?

The different styles of parenting are characterized by two main factors:

1. Sensitivity and interest. It refers to the sensitivity shown by fathers and mothers with the emotions of their sons and daughters, the ability to understand our children emotionally and respond to their needs. More than our sensitivity and interest the fundamental thing is how the child perceives sensitivity and interest.


2. Demand and firmness. The other determining factor to define the styles of parenting is the level of demand and firmness of parents with respect to their children, and as with the previous factor, as the child perceives this requirement.

Parenting styles

- Authoritarian style. The level of demand and firmness is very high and, on the other hand, the perceived sensitivity and interest are not always positive. It is a style in which the child is not allowed to develop his autonomy and in which he sometimes demands too much.

- Permissive style. The permissive style is at the opposite extreme in terms of demand and firmness. The levels of demand and firmness are null or nonexistent. The child needs rules to know what is expected of him or her. They usually perceive an adequate level of sensitivity and interest.


- Negligent style. It is a style in which the parents do not take care of their children. The levels of demand are low and also the sensitivity.

- Democratic style. The democratic style defines the attitude that finds the middle ground between demand and sensitivity.

Parenting styles that affect children in a negative way

Parenting styles that negatively affect the behavior of children would be those that have negative consequences on the child's development.

- Authoritarian style. The requirement is too high. The boy or girl feels pressured and does not perceive sensitivity. It can affect your self-esteem, and the development of your autonomy. An authoritarian style can turn children into dependent and insecure people.

- Permissive style. The absence of demands is also counterproductive to their development. The child grows up without learning to tolerate frustration, thinking that he is at the center of everything, will not accept criticism and will have difficulties to relate in a healthy and balanced way.

- Negligent style. It is the most negative style of all, since the negative consequences of previous styles can develop.

A positive parenting style: the democratic style

The positive parenting style involves addressing the emotional needs of children and at the same time employing positive discipline. It is a style that consists of democratically agreeing on the decisions and rules to let the children develop their autonomy and confidence. It is not always easy to carry out a positive parenting style, the trick is to seek balance.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Learn. Author of the collection Stimulate Reading and Writing Processes.

Video: Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Children


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