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Parenting is a complex activity. It
includes much specific behavior that works individually and together to
influence childhood behavioral out comes. Parents play an important role in the
health, development, safety and well being of children. This is particularly so
in early years of a child’s life. However, parenting does not occur in a vacuum
and it is affected by a number of complex and often interrelated factors. The
Family acts as a main factor in influencing the attitude and behavior of the
child. Family provides all initial indications to child as to whether he is
loved or not, accepted or not, success or failure, because until school days
the family is virtually his only place of learning. Child receives the first
lessons of life from his family members. In this way the human relationships
teach the child what to expect later in his dealing with others. Inadequate
patterns of parenting may lead to despair of self devaluation of the
personality of the individual.  Children
performance usually depending on

various parenting styles by which
they are being treated. It was found that good relation with parents tend to
show a very good self-concept ( Dornbusch,1987; Lamborn, 1991;). Faulty parent
–child relationship and deprivation of parents ends in child maladjustment and
demotes  the process of adjustment.
Loving and accepting parents proved healthy medium for the child to grow
his/her  energies into proper channels
and exercise his/her  potentials to the
maximum.      

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Children
are supremely important asset of the society. Children of today will be the
leaders of tomorrow. It will be our responsibility to shape the future of
society. But their nature and solicitude are our responsibility, which lies on
the shoulders of their parents and teachers both. Education is an attempt on
the part of adult members of the society to shape the development of the coming
generation in accordance with its own ideals of life. Education today is not
merely literacy but it is directed at the socialization of children with
respect to his/her development. All round development of personality is the
ultimate goal of education and therefore, the learning experiences provided in
the family and the school contribute towards the achievement of this end. When
the parents and teachers are rational and their attitude towards the child is
logical and considerable, it is sure that he will pick up

a behaviour pattern which is
analytical and cooperative. Today, we are living in an achievement-oriented
world. Achievement is one of the important goals of the education and there is
constant stress that we have to be the best at whatever we do. In the present
era of competition, everyone wants to excel others and to be on the top. This
desire ultimately gets transmitted to children also and as a result they want
to have edge on every other child and

excel everyone in academic
performance. This desire for a high level of achievement puts a lot of stress
on students. Adolescents are full of dreams, ideas, ambitions, achievements and
promises and on the other hand they face problems, disillusionments,
frustrations, breakdowns and stress. In an environment as ours’ which is
characterized by the mad race for power and fame, it is success and only
success which counts. In such a competitive milieu, education is assuming an
increasingly important role in order to meet the ever changing demands of the
hour, the responsibility of both parents and teachers is increasing.

Adolescence
is a critical period, in which young people are particularly vulnerable to
problem of high risk behavior, which may cause serious damage to their physical
as well as psychological health. Mckinney (2011) has identified, ill mannerism,
lying, disinterest in studies, disobedience, high inattentiveness and
argumentation, etc. as problem behavior characteristics among adolescents. Hyde
(2004) in his study found that risk behavior like substance use, drug and
alcohol taking are common and frequent in middle class adolescents .Also rapid
changes in socio – cultural and moral values, fast life style and globalization
have been found to be attributing to changed behavior pattern of high and
middle economic class young people in and outside of educational institutions.
As adolescent children seek to establish their own identities, parental
influences tend to decline while the influence of peer groups tends to
increase. Parents tend to retain more influence than peers over important
matters, such as style of dress and recreational plans (Paulson, 2000). Thus
conflicts between adolescent children and their parents tend to involve
everyday matters more than substantives issues such as sex and drugs. Conflict
is particularly likely to surface between adolescents (of both sexes) and their
mothers. Adolescents, tend to exhibit better adjustment in families in which
they are encouraged to participate in decision making, but parents ultimately
maintain control (Patrick, 2008).

THEORIES OF PARENTING

Theories of parenting focus on
arrangement of dimensions through which parents explicitly and implicitly
influence their children, including such features as the emotional climate of
the parent   child relationships, the use
of discipline practice designed to teach appropriate behaviours. These
dimensions typically incorporate a combination of parent socialization goals
and values such as the goal of rising a compassionate child, particular
parenting practices as in teaching a child to be empathic when a friend is
distressed and a generalized parenting style (for example, engaging in warm and
supportive parent child interaction).

            Beginning
in the 17th century, two philosophers independently wrote works that have been
widely influential in child rearing. Locke’s (1693 )book Some Thoughts
Concerning Education is a well known foundation for educational pedagogy from a
Puritan standpoint. Locke highlights the importance of experiences to a child’s
development, and recommends developing their physical habits first. Rousseau
(1972) published a volume on education, Emile. He proposed that early education
should be derived less from books and more from a child’s interactions with the
world. Of these, Rousseau is more consistent with slow parenting, and Locke is
more for concerted cultivation. Other theorists, mainly from the twentieth
century, have focused on how children develop and have had a significant impact
on childhood education and how parents rear their children.

Piaget’s(1973)
theory of cognitive development describes how children represent and reason
about the world. This is a developmental stage theory that consists of a
Sensorimotor stage, Preoperational stage, Concrete operational stage, and
Formal operational stage. Piaget was a pioneer in the field of child
development and continues to influence parents, educators and other theorists.

Erikson(1959)  a developmental psychologist, proposed eight
life stages through which each person must develop. In each stage, they must
understand and balance two conflicting forces, and so parents might choose a series
of parenting styles that helps each child as appropriate at each stage. The
first five of his eight stages occur in childhood: The virtue of hope requires
balancing trust with mistrust, and typically occurs from birth to one year old.
Will balances autonomy with shame and doubt around the ages of two to three.
Purpose balances initiative with guilt around the ages of four to six years.
Competence balances industry against inferiority around ages seven to 12.
Fidelity contrasts identity with role confusion, in ages 13 to 19. The
remaining adult virtues are love, care and wisdom.

Santrock
(2009) believed that pre-adolescent children’s misbehaviour was caused by their
unfulfilled wish to be a member of a social group. He argued that they then act
out a sequence of four mistaken goals: first they seek attention. If they do
not get it, they aim for power, then revenge and finally feel inadequate. This
theory is used in education as well as parenting, forming a valuable theory
upon which to manage misbehavior. Other parenting techniques should also be
used to encourage learning activities. Some theories of parenting focus
primarily on the emotional context of parent – child relationships- for example
attachment theory holds that parents who provide emotionally supportive care
giving, characterized by warmth sensitivity, nurturance, and contingent
responsiveness, cultivate secure attachment with the children, which in turn
promotes positive developments outcomes (Bowlby 1967, 1971, Macoby and Martin,
1983)   According to attachment
theory,  parenting has different
dimension-

?
An affective dimension, Characterized by Warmth, involvement nurturance and
acceptance versus rejection and criticism and

? An instrumental dimension
characterized by autonomy granting versus control and discipline, Control has
been further differentiated into two forms (Barber, 1996, pomerantz and Ruble,
1998).

? Behavioural control, which
involves efforts to regulate children’s behavior through guidance and limit
setting, and

?
Psychological control, which involves efforts to regulate children’s
psychological development through constraint of verbal or emotional expression.

  One of the best known theories of parenting
style was developed by Diana Baumrind (1971). In her research she identified
four main parenting styles in early child development- Authoritative,
Authoritarian, Indulgent and Neglectful. These four styles are described below,
each with its own pros and cons. 

BAUMRIND’S GENERAL
PARENTING STYLES

In
her research,  Baumrind  found what she considered to be the four
basic elements that could help shape successful parenting: responsiveness vs.
unresponsiveness and demanding vs. undemanding. From these, she identified
three general parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.
Maccoby and Martin expanded the styles to four: authoritative, authoritarian,
indulgent and neglectful. These four styles of parenting involve combinations
of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the
other Baumrind believed that parents should be neither punitive nor aloof.
Rather, they should develop rules for their children and be affectionate with
them. These parenting styles are meant to describe normal variations in
parenting, not deviant parenting, such as might be observed in abusive homes.
Most parents do not fall neatly in one category, but fall somewhere in the
middle, showing characteristics of more than one style.

Authoritative
parenting

The
parent is demanding and responsive. Elaborate becomes propagative parenting.
Authoritative parenting, also called ‘assertive democratic ‘balanced’
parenting, is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high
expectations of maturity. Authoritative parents can understand their children’s
feelings and teach them how to regulate them. They often help them to find
appropriate outlets to solve problems. “Authoritative parenting encourages
children to be independent but still places limits and controls on their
actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and
nurturing toward the child. Authoritative parents are not usually as
controlling, allowing the child to explore more freely, thus having them make
their own decisions based upon their own reasoning. Authoritative parents set
limits and demand maturity, but when punishing a child, the parent will explain
his or her motive for their punishment. “Their punishments are measured
and consistent in discipline, not harsh or arbitrary. Parents will set clear
standards for their children, monitor limits that they set, and also allow
children to develop autonomy. They also expect mature, independent, and
age-appropriate behavior of children. They are attentive to their children’s
needs and concerns, and will typically forgive and teach instead of punishing
if a child falls short. This is supposed to result in children having a higher
self esteem and independence because of the democratic give-take nature of the
authoritative parenting style. This is the most recommended style of parenting
by child.

Authoritarian
parenting

The
parent is demanding but not responsive. Authoritarian parenting, also called
strict, is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to
parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between
parent and child. “Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive
style in which parents exhort the child to follow their directions and to
respect their work and effort. Authoritarian parents expect much of their child
but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries.  Authoritarian parents are less responsive to
their children’s needs, and are more likely to spank a child rather than
discuss the problem. Children with this type of parenting may have less social competence
as the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the
child to choose by him or herself. Nonetheless, researchers have found that in
some cultures and ethnic groups, aspects of authoritarian style may be
associated with more positive child outcomes than Baumrind expects. 

Indulgent
parenting

The
parent is responsive but not demanding. Indulgent parenting, also called
permissive, nondirective or lenient, is characterized as having few behavioral
expectations for the child. “Indulgent parenting is a style of parenting
in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or
controls on them.  Parents are nurturing
and accepting, and are very responsive to the child’s needs and wishes.
Indulgent parents do not require children to regulate themselves or behave
appropriately. This may result in creating spoiled brats or spoiled sweet
children depending on the behavior of the children. Children of permissive
parents may tend to be more impulsive, and as adolescents, may engage more in
misconduct, and in drug use. “Children never learn to control their own
behavior and always expect to get their way. But in the better cases they are
emotionally secure, independent and are willing to learn and accept defeat.
They mature quickly and are able to live life without the help of someone
else.  But as previously noted, the
usefulness of these data are limited, as they are only co relational and cannot
rule out effects such as heredity (permissive parents and their children share
hands-off personalities and are likely to be less driven as their authoritarian
counterparts), child-to-parent effects (unfocused and unmanageable children
might discourage their parents from trying too hard), and local shared cultural
values (that may not emphasize achievement).

Neglectful
parenting

The
parent is neither demanding nor responsive. Neglectful parenting is also called
uninvolved, detached, dismissive or hands-off. The parents are low in warmth
and control, are generally not involved in their child’s life, are disengaged,
undemanding, low in responsiveness, and do not set limits. Neglectful parenting
can also mean dismissing the children’s emotions and opinions. Parents are
emotionally unsupportive of their children, but will still provide their basic
needs. Provide basic needs meaning: food, housing, and toiletries or money for
the pre-mentioned. Children whose parents are neglectful develop the sense that
other aspects of the parents lives are more important than they are. Many
children of this parenting style often attempt to provide for themselves or
halt depending on the parent to get a feeling of being independent and mature
beyond their years. Parents, and thus their children, often display
contradictory behavior. Children become emotionally withdrawn from social situations.
This disturbed attachment also impacts relationships later on in life. In
adolescence, they may show patterns of truancy and delinquency. There is a
general consensus around parents providing the basic necessities, with
increasing interest in children’s right within the home environment.

Diana Baumrind’s Two
Analytical Measuri/ng Instruments

 

 

In her study Diana Baumrind used two aspects of parenting that she
found so important that all her data was evaluated and the essence of the 3
parenting styles defined in relation to these two elements.

Her two analytical tools for formulating the parenting styles were:

1) Parental Responsiveness vs. Parental Unresponsiveness:

In the words of Diana Baumrind herself, responsiveness describes
“the extent to which parents intentionally foster individuality,
self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive, and
acquiescent to children’s special needs and demands” (Baumrind, 1991)

In other words, responsiveness is about how much or how little parents
meet and respond to their children’s needs!

2) Parental Demandingness vs. Parentingundemandingness:

I relation to demandingness, Diana Baumrind says that it refers to
“the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family
whole, by their maturity demands, supervision, disciplinary efforts and
willingness to confront the child who disobeys”. (Baumrind, 1991).

Another word for
demandingness is control. The demandingness continuum (high vs. low) describes
the level of behavior control parents exercise on their kids based on their
expectations of ‘mature’ behavior.

Parenting Styles Model

Before describing each of the 3 parenting styles in detail, I will
just explain the model I’ve made above.

The parenting styles model has two axes. Each axis represents one of
Baumrind’s parenting themes which is ‘high’ in one end and ‘low’ in the other.
Together these two axes of demandingness and responsiveness create four
quadrants where each parenting styles is placed:

·        
The authoritative parenting style
is high on demandingness and high on reponsiveness (hence placed in the top
left corner).

 

·        
The authoritarian parenting style
is high also high on demandingness but low on responsiveness (hence placed in
the bottom left corner).

 

·        
The permissive parenting style
is high on responsiveness but low on demandingness (hence placed in the top
right corner).

 

·        
The neglectful parenting style
is both low on responsiveness and low on demandingness (the neglectful
parenting style was not formulated by Diana Baumrind but added later by Maccoby
and Martin).

Early work on parenting styles examined
a myriad of dimensions including: responsiveness/unresponsiveness (Baldwin,
1948; Freud, 1933; Rogers, 1960; Sears et al., 1957; Schaefer, 1959),
democratic/autocratic (Baldwin, 1948), emotionally involved/uninvolved
(Baldwin, 1948), control/noncontrol (Schaefer, 1959), acceptance/rejection
(Symonds, 1939), dominance/submission (Symonds, 1939), and
restrictiveness/permissiveness (Becker, 1964). Studies conducted by these early
researchers found that parents who provide their children with nurture (also
described as warmth, responsiveness), independence (also described as
democratic), and firm control had children with higher levels of competence and
social adeptness (see Baldwin, 1948; Sears et al., 1957). Following this
early work, Diana Baumrind conducted extensive observations and interviews with
parents that resulted in the most well-known and influential typological
approach (Baumrind, 1971, 1978, 1989). Through multiple studies, Baumrind
identified three primary parental typologies: authoritative, authoritarian, and
permissive. Baumrind (1978) suggested that authoritative parents are warm and
responsive, providing their children with affection and support in their
explorations and pursuit of interests. These parents have high maturity demands
(e.g., expectations for achievement) for their children but foster these
maturity demands through bidirectional communication, induction (i.e.,
explanations of their behavior), and encouragement of independence. For
example, when socializing their children (e.g., to do well in school), these
parents might provide their children with a rationale for their actions and
priorities (e.g., “it will allow you to succeed as an adult.”). Authoritative
parents score high on measures of warmth and responsiveness and high on
measures of control and maturity demands (Maccoby and Martin, 1983).

 

Research has documented that children and adolescents
from the families of authoritative parents are more competent and efficient
socially and academically compared to those whose parents are non-authoritative
(Baumrind, 1991; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Miller et al., 1993; Weiss &
Schwarz, 1996). Generally, in the past three decades, much of the research has
examined the effect of parenting on the different developmental outcomes of
children, adolescents, and young adults by employing a three or four
typological approach, in which the influences of the main dimensions of
parenting behaviour are aggregated to form the four types of parenting styles
(i.e., authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful parenting
styles) or specific dimensions of parenting behaviour approach. These studies
have yielded consistent evidence that parenting plays a crucial role in
enhancing or mitigating optimal developmental outcomes in children and
adolescents.

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