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Behavior Problems
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Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Positive Discipline
Potty Training
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Parenting Styles

The way we parent has a distinct impression on our kids. Encouraging preschoolers and kindergartners to grow up to be independent and compassionate adults means treating them this way now. Understanding parenting styles and how they affect kids can help you gauge how your parenting may ultimately influence your child.

The Permissive Parent

The permissive parent lets their child do pretty much everything. There are few, if any rules, and even fewer consequences. Divorced and single parents may err on the side of permissiveness in an effort to make up for the child not having two parents at home. Guilt should not influence parenting. Kids thrive on rules and routines. Discipline is necessary and should be applied consistently. Parents are not friends, and kids need to understand that. Although parents often think permissiveness is good, kids raised by permissive parents often have trouble with self-control and may be more likely to encounter problems with rules and authority.

The Totalitarian Parent

Totalitarian parents are also known as authoritarian parents. These parents are the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, drill-sergeant type. Authoritarian parents don't ever consider the needs of the child when making or enforcing rules, and discipline doesn't include explaining consequences which are often randomly applied. Kids of totalitarian parents are generally very well behaved, but may suffer from low self-esteem and social competence.

The Uninvolved Parent

Uninvolved parents don't necessarily lack caring, they simply don't do much other than meet the basic needs of their children ie food, shelter, and clothing. Uninvolved parents may be uncomfortable talking to their children and may have trouble making demands or setting limits. Children of uninvolved parents often suffer from low self-esteem, inhibited self-control, and tend to be less competent.

The Authoritative Parent

Authoritative parenting is often viewed as the most desired parenting style. Authoritative parents set limits and rules and expect those rules to be followed. However, unlike totalitarian parents, authoritative parents apply discipline with compassion and thoroughly explain consequences. Kids know exactly what to expect, and why. Authoritative parents use disciplinary methods that support their child's self-esteem and develop independence. Kids of authoritative parents are more likely to have high self-esteem, and be happy, capable, and independent. Many parents find that they fit into each of these parenting styles at one time or another, and that's ok. However, understanding and adjusting your parenting style to what is best for your child is crucial to raising healthy, happy, independent kids.