Parenting, generally, is not a one-size-fits-all affair. The interesting thing about it is there are different variations or styles by which children are raised. And frankly speaking, these different styles have their peculiarities and/or commonalities, and go a long way in affecting the way your children eventually turn out when they grow up to become adults.
In other words, the myriad of strategies one adopts for the upbringing of their children definitely goes a long way in influencing them; their psychology, emotion, and attitude.
According to Baumrind (1966), parentage styles could be authoritative, authoritarian, permissive or neglectful, depending on the hands-on or hands-off approach you initiate in the upbringing process of your child, right from birth to adulthood.
In this essay, our focus shall be on the effect of parenting styles on children's emotional and behavioral problems.
All over the world, juvenile delinquency, which is as a result of the emotional and behavioral problems many children have, has been a major concern of every government and/or administration. Many children, as a result of the different circumstances and whatnot they experience, are usually forced into such petty crimes as luggage snatching, phone thievery, robbery, and even drug sale and abuse in the worst cases.
As confirmed by Siegel & Welsh (2014) offenses committed by children are now beginning to become more violent than before, especially in the era of globalization. It has become a social problem that must be given critical and scholarly attention accordingly.
As it has been observed by scholars, one of the chief environmental causes of this social problem is parenting style. This is why we would be to examining and evaluating its effect on children's emotional and behavioral problems.
More than many would choose to believe, parents have a huge role to play in the life of their offsprings. Their role in molding and shaping their children's characters and behaviors is one that is highly important and influential. The family a child is brought has been identified as a “socio-cultural-economic arrangement and a significant influence on not only the behavior of the children but also on the development of their characters” (Talib, Abdullah & Mansor, 2011; Sarwar, 2016).
Baumrind (1966) describes the art of parenting as a “compound activity” consisting of several specific behaviors that work a single or combined order to influence, either positively or negatively, the behavior of the child (Sarwar, 2016). The different parenting styles adopted by parents are, in the real sense, what could mar or make the children.
Diana Baumrind, popularly regarded as the pioneer of parenting style and control, identified three types of styles which were mentioned earlier in this article.
3. Permissive or neglectful
Darling (1999), on the other hand, suggested four different parenting styles, namely; “indulgent, authoritative, authoritarian, and uninvolved” (Sarwar, 2016).
In all, these categorizations were introduced accordingly to represent the rate, that is, highness or lowness, of a parent's response to and demand of/from their child's behavioral tendencies.
To understand the effect of parenting styles on children's emotional and behavioral problems, we must first examine the different parenting styles, according to Baumrind’s Typology of Parenting Styles
This style exerts a hard influence on the child's behavior and character. It is the most rigid and demanding of them all. In the name of discipline, authoritarian parents express very strict tendencies and expect all their orders to be obeyed without question. Parents under this category are usually abusive. They consider physical punishment as a way of shaping or bending the child to their own ways and directions. There's a low level of warmth, and the withdrawal of love and affection when the child does wrong.
This style according to study.com is “characterized by a combination of expectations and warmth”. Parents under this category show the love and attention their children need and at the same are very disciplined. The parents expect their students to behave well and wouldn't hesitate to punish them by grounding or withdrawing their allowance or gadgets when they do wrong. They also establish rules in the family for the children and enforce boundaries that must not be crossed by having one-on-one conversations based on justified reasoning with their children.
This style is the complete opposite of the authoritarian parenting style. The permissive parent expresses more attention love and affection towards the child than expected. They are very responsive to the child's needs and won't exert any punishment when they do wrong. Instead, they pamper them and permit their wrongs. Eventually, in most cases, the child turns out to be spoiled because their parents don't expect them to take responsibility for whatever they do, whether right or wrong.
Parenting, as has been observed by researchers, is a great aspect of the environment a child is exposed to right from birth even to adulthood. It cannot be denied that it has a significant impact on a child's well-being as well as their social life.
The bad implication of a parenting style can ultimately affect the life of a child and cause serious social, as well as psychological problems on the child.
According to research conducted on many public offenders, children who have social problems are either a victim of authoritarian parents who abuse and molest them or permissive parents who do not allow them to take responsibility for any of their actions.
So, to avoid emotional and behavioral problems in a child, parents are therefore advised to adopt the authoritative style, rather than the permissive and the authoritarian that do not allow for either responsiveness on one angle or responsibilities or expectations on the other.
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