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Boundaries or No Boundaries?

Over the past few months, we’ve been exploring different parenting styles. We’ve looked at the pros and cons of each style, and how the style may impact a child’s emotional, physical, and virtual well-being. Each style is unique, and each style has its place. The important aspect is finding the style that works best for your child(ren), as well as your family.

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To date, we’ve looked at Tiger and Elephant parenting, Helicopter, and Hands-Off parenting and Instinctive and Attachment parenting. Now, let’s take a look at our last two parenting styles, Authoritative and Permissive.

Please keep in mind that the pros and cons noted below are potential outcomes, not definite outcomes.

Authoritative Parenting

Establishing firm boundaries and guidelines in terms of expectations for your child(ren).

Pros

    • Teaches children the reason behind rules, and the consequences of good and bad behavior
    • Provides emotional support to children
    • Offers guidance to children when a mistake is made
    • Encourages children to contribute to the problem-solving process

Cons

    • Adopting this style could be a long process because there is a delicate balance between discipline and freedom
    • The typical rebellious stages in a child’s life may be difficult for a parent to deal with

Parents that follow an Authoritative approach set high standards and expectations for their children, while also providing the emotional support necessary to explore and make mistakes. This form of parenting tends to help children become independent adults that are self-reliant, respectful, and understand that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions.

This style of parenting, however, may require a bit of trial and error to figure out the right balance of discipline and freedom for the child. And, parents may struggle when a child goes through normal stages of rebellion, anger, or even apathy. When these stages occur, parents are encouraged to be patient, listen, and continue to provide the emotional support that they have been providing.

Permissive Parenting

Creating an equal relationship with your child(ren) and not making demands or setting expectations for your child(ren).

Pros

    • Fewer limits offer more opportunity for the natural creativity of the child to shine through
    • Encourages exploration of the world around them
    • Builds confidence in children because they are encouraged to try new things regardless of the consequences

Cons

    • Children may not develop an understanding of right and wrong
    • Without structure and guidance, the motivational part of the brain may not develop causing a lack of motivation to get things done
    • A sense of no boundaries may entice children to engage in riskier behavior

Permissive parents focus on being a friend to their child and avoid setting-specific rules. They are also highly responsive, nurturing, and involved in their child’s life. Overall, they are kind and loving and prioritize freedom over responsibilities and restrictions.

This style of parenting can lead toward a lack of respect, or a rebellious attitude toward others, like coaches and teachers, who try to implement rules and guidelines in a given scenario. In addition, children may struggle to understand the difference between right and wrong, and between a want and a need.

Which is Better?

So which style is better? Honestly, that depends on your child(ren). Different children will thrive in different environments and parenting styles. What is right for one child may not work for another, and that’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s better than okay! Different approaches and styles help create the world that we live in and help children develop their own unique personalities and talents.

That wraps up our parenting styles series. We hope you found it interesting, and perhaps learned a thing or two about your parenting style. If you have a chance, check out our blog. We regularly share posts related to children and technology, for example, Parental Control Apps: Which One Is Right For You.