The differentiation between the main parenting styles depends upon the cultural context and the personal perceptions of the parenting strategies. The choice of the most appropriate parenting style can have a significant impact on the child’s personal development and future well-being.
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Western theoreticians distinguish between four main parenting styles, including those of authoritative, indulgent, neglectful, and authoritarian styles (Barkway 2009, p. 52). The authoritative style means accepting and being responsive and attempting to protect the child from mistakes by controlling his/her actions. The indulgent style also called permissive means accepting the child’s actions and not trying to control them. A neglectful style which is also called uninvolved parenting means being unresponsive to the child and not trying to control him/her. Authoritarian style defines parenting strategies according to which parents remain unresponsive but try to control children’s actions. The main complexities of understanding the diverse parenting styles are predetermined with the different cultural contexts and individual family environments (Domenech, Donovick & Crowley 2009).
Measuring the levels of parents’ responsiveness and control is not that easy and depends upon personal perceptions. The same strategies can be perceived as violence or reasonable measures of control in different contexts and by different people. The choice of parenting style has an impact upon the formation of the child’s personality and even health condition (Rodriguez 2010; Brand et al. 2009).
In conclusion, it should be stated that parents are free to choose the most appropriate parenting style complying with their cultural and personal views but need to consider the possible consequences of their choice for the child’s personal development and well-being.
Barkway, P 2009 Psychology for health professionals, Elsevier, Australia.
Brand, S, Hatzinger, M, Beck, J, Holsber-Trachsler, E 2009, ‘Perceived parenting styles, personality traits and sleep patterns in adolescents’, Journal of Adolescence, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1189-1207.
Domenech, R, Donovick, M & Crowley, S, 2009, ‘Parenting styles in a cultural context: Observations of ‘protective parenting’ in first-generation Latinos’, Family Process, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 195-210.
Rodriguez, C, 2010, ‘Parent-child aggression: Association with child abuse potential and parenting style’, Violence and Victims, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 728-741.