Parenting is a very subjective topic as it fluctuates from person to person. Hence, some might feel their parenting style is better or rather best than that of others. However, in this article, we will try to jot down the most encouraged parenting style in modern America.
Parents play a pivotal role in the growing years of a child. Hence parents’ active presence/ involvement in a child’s life will help in deciding the future of a child. Rather it helps in shaping the future of a child.
Parenting practices are dependent on two major factors demand and parental responsiveness. And so worldwide there are many different types of parenting practices. Further, we shall explore the main parenting styles commonly seen in the States.
1. What Does Parenting Mean?
The first and foremost element is understanding what parenting means. Parenting in simple terms means a process in which the parents raise their children in a safe and secure environment.
Also, it includes providing them with whatever is important for their overall growth. Inculcating values in a child as per their customs or traditions or culture is a major part of parenting.
It is through the parenting style that you will choose to respond in a particular manner to your child’s action.
2. Different Types of Parenting Styles
Parenting styles have changed from generation to generation. These parenting styles help in shaping their child’s behavior and personality. Parenting styles that were encouraged in the past might not work for the current generation due to so many exterior factors like technological advancement and early puberty.
In earlier times parents promoted more discipline, respect, and hard work. Which has now been replaced with open communication, intellectual curiosity, tackling problems, and so forth.
Let us further evaluate the four styles of parenting in modern America:
2.1. Neglectful Parenting Style
Some other popular terms used for this style of parenting are disengaged or disinterested or uninvolved parenting style. Under a neglectful parenting style, parents are not much involved in the child’s upbringing. They are unresponsive to the child’s psychological requirements.
Neglectful parents will only fulfill their children’s basic requirements. While their secondary needs are completely disregarded and neglected. Neglectful parents are not involved in children’s lives which contributes to risky behaviors in a child.
Neglectful parenting often creates conflict between child and parents as there is no emotional bond between them. Therefore, children raised by neglectful parents do not feel loved or cherished which makes them think lower of themselves.
This parenting style is considered the worst of all as the outcome is never positive. The child is left on his own. Parents’ investment in a child is almost nil. These parents are not consistent with the rules they lay down and disciplining their children.
2.1.1. Consequences of Neglectful Parenting
As a result of neglectful parenting, the child suffers in the long run. The child may resort to substance/ drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. The child might even end up in prison as no moral values were inculcated by parents while the child was young.
This child might suffer from depression, anxiety, trust issues, being emotionally vulnerable, suicidal, or low self-esteem.
2.1.2. Pros and Cons of Neglectful Parenting
There are very few pros to such an inattentive parenting style, which are:
- The child may mature at a younger age
- The child becomes independent
- Minimum conflict or issues between the child and parents
The cons are more when compared to pros, which are:
- Low performance in academics or learning disability
- Behavioral issues like aggression, impulsiveness
- Instability in handling emotions
- Social Anxiety
- Under confident
- Difficulty in handling peer pressure
- Not disciplined – does not follow law/ rules/ regulations
- Other mental health problems
2.1.3. Why Would Someone Choose Neglectful Parenting?
It is viewed as the worst model of parenting style despite that it does exist. Neglectful parenting happens when the parents themselves are not in a good mental state. Uninvolved Parents themselves are drug addicts or alcohol addicts or in some wrong stream.
Neglectful parenting is also observed in working parents. As they are 24*7 busy with their professional lives leaving less or no time to spend with their children.
2.2. Permissive Parenting Style
This parenting style goes by the famous quote “Kids will be kids”. Under a permissive parenting style, the parents are responsive to their children. Hence, they are willing to assist, but only if the child requests it. Here the permissive parent lets the kid live freely without setting any major boundaries or rules.
Permissive Parenting is usually viewed as a risky style of parenting as the results can either be positive or harmful.
- Firstly, parents who are permissive are frequently more forgiving and indulge their kids’ desires.
- Secondly, they value the individuality of their kids. Last but not least parents give their children a great deal of freedom and space while promoting independence.
Parents are very lenient and relaxed with their kids. Therefore, no such strict restrictions are laid down which encourages children to take decisions on their own. Also, positive reinforcement and rewards are used instead of harsh punishment under this parenting style.
Under this parenting style, parents give complete freedom to their children in taking decisions and exploring. This might prove to be a boon for creative and imaginative children. However, it can also call for an unwanted behavior pattern in kids.
Also, the parents do set expectations and guidelines for their children but in a very friendly and non-punitive way. Overall this parenting style emphasizes unlimited freedom but also provides emotional support.
2.2.1. Consequences of Permissive Parenting
Under this style of parenting the child can become very egoistic and rude. They might not consider their parents as the highest authority. Rather consider them as their friends which might be problematic later in life.
It encourages positive relationships between family members. They have effective two-way communication between them.
The child might end up being undisciplined. Following that child will find difficulty in following the orders in the future which is usually seen in work cultures.
2.2.2. Pros and Cons of Permissive Parenting
The following are the pros:
- It helps in boosting a child’s confidence
- Less conflict between child and parents
- Can have the freedom and space to experience and learn
- Improves communication skills
- Can express better
- Enhances self-esteem as the child feels heard and important
- Help children become independent adults
This parenting style has its own sets of cons which are:
- No discipline
- Can promote inappropriate behavior
- Can make a child arrogant
- Won’t take anyone seriously
- Poor academic performance
- You might choose the wrong path in life
2.3. Authoritarian Parenting Style
This style of parenting follows a stringent approach. Therefore the parent demands absolute compliance with orders from their children. Also, parents lay down strict rules and regulations and the child is expected to follow the same without questioning.
This style of parenting is traditional. It was followed back in the 20th century when the parents were viewed as the highest authority. And so anything said by them was considered the last words.
There is no scope for argumentation or even asking the reason behind a particular decision of the parents. Which ultimately makes the child under an obligation to comply with whatever parents say.
This parenting style emphasizes strict rules. Under the Authoritarian parenting style, parents are very responsive and warm towards the child and its emotional need.
Children having their point of view, which might differ from parents are not acceptable to authoritarian parents. Due to this, the children might face harsh punishment for not obeying their parents and following instructions.
2.3.1. Consequences of Authoritarian Parenting
Under the authoritarian style, there are high expectations from the child. Following that the child is expected to comply and follow the instructions laid down by their parents failing to do so might have unfavorable consequences.
Also, parents might use harsh ways to discipline their wards which might harm the child’s mental health. Authoritarian parents consider themselves to be the highest authority and children going beyond their decisions are not tolerated.
2.3.2. Pros and Cons of Authoritarian Parenting
The following are the pros:
- Child becomes disciplined
- Respects parents and elders
- Can survive well in a structured environment eg. office
- The child will think twice before choosing the wrong path
The disadvantages are as follows:
- The child might become stubborn
- The child might dislike parents
- Zero communication skills/difficulty in expressing
- Might find comfort in drugs/alcohol
- Lacks in making decisions by themselves
- This might lead to depression or anxiety
2.4. Authoritative – Most Encouraged Parenting Style in Modern America
This parenting style can be termed the most balanced parenting style. Under an authoritative style, the child is expected to behave obediently and in a disciplined manner. At the same time, the child is shown lots of love and affection while asking him to do certain things.
Authoritative parent has a positive impact on a child’s development. Although punishment is a part of this parenting style as well, it is chosen after communicating and reasoning with the child.
The Authoritative and Authoritarian approaches are very similar. Following the fact that parents and kids can talk to each other freely here. Under Authoritative parenting children are made part of discussions.
The authoritative parents are very receptive. Also, completely involved in the child’s life. Although, nothing is spoon-fed to the child.
The kid is given his share of freedom where required. But, where the parents feel the child might cause harm to itself they step in and guide the child with powerful communication.
2.4.1. Consequences of Authoritative Parenting
The authoritative style of parenting is mixed. Here the child is shown love and care but also given a reality check of life. Hence, the result of this parenting turns out to be successful a maximum number of times.
The child feels safe and secure under this parenting style. Firstly, the child is completely made aware of the consequences of his actions. And lastly, the decision-making is left to the child, which has a very positive impact on the child.
2.4.2. Pros and Cons of Authoritative Parenting
The following are the advantages:
- It boosts confidence in the child
- Promotes positive growth
- Powerful communication skills
- Increases awareness in the child
- Encourages positive and responsible behavior
- Makes child independent
- A healthy relationship between parent and child
- The child approached their parents for guidance
- Positive impact on academics
The disadvantages are as follows:
- There might be a conflict between the views of parents and the child
- The child might feel being under surveillance 24*7
- This style can be difficult to maintain and continue
- The child might take you for granted
3. Most Encouraged Parenting Style in Modern America
According to statistics, the most encouraged parenting style in modern America is Authoritative Parenting in raising children. Hence, this style is considered a balanced style of parenting. Expectations are laid down strictly and to help achieve those guidance is provided lovingly.
Studies have also approved Authoritative parenting style has more positive outcomes in raising confident children with great problem-solving skills.
Despite all the studies claiming that the Authoritative parenting style is the best and most encouraged style of parenting in modern America still it does not guarantee any positive parenting results. Overall parenting is not a science that will have concrete results rather it’s an art that parents must have to handle their children.
3.1. Illustration Displaying the Most Encouraged Parenting Style in Modern America
Let us look at the following example to have a better understating of different parenting styles and their approach.
Let’s assume a child doesn’t want to continue with his karate classes as he feels it’s not something he is good at or something he does not enjoy doing.
Following will be the responses of the parents as per their parenting styles:
- Neglectful Parents: It’s your life do what you feel like.
- Permissive Parents: We support you in every decision
- Authoritarian Parents: You will have to attend your karate classes. Hence, no further arguments will be entertained.
- Authoritative Parents: I understand that you don’t enjoy it but this feeling is temporary. However, to achieve something big you need to overcome these thoughts. One day you will be proud of yourself that you did not give up.
The abovementioned illustration demonstrates that the Authoritative Parenting style has the most positive outlook and approach to handling the child. As it sets clear expectations along with giving motivation and direction to choose the right path.
Authoritative parenting style is one of the most common parenting styles that is encouraged in modern American society.
Parenting is one of the world’s toughest jobs. Hence, there is no proper or incorrect way to parent. As every parent desires what is most optimal for their child. Lastly, I would conclude by saying that the Authoritative Parenting style is the most encouraged parenting style in modern America. As children raised by parents who are in charge frequently exhibit high levels of self-worth and social ability.
Numerous research has demonstrated the beneficial effects of the authoritative parenting approach. Also, it benefits the child’s health and development on both a mental and physical level.
Parenting style changes as the child grows up and hence it is not something constant. Additionally, the majority of parents raise their children using a mix of several parenting philosophies.
Every child has distinct qualities and so should be the way to raise them. However, if you are still not sure which parenting style to adopt then there is a penalty of resources available. For instance, parenting books help you find the best parenting style.