“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou. This quote can also be used with regards to our children. Parents play a pivotal role in the development of a child’s personality. There are tons of research which suggest that different parenting styles result in different developmental outcomes w.r.t the social and emotional well being of the child. It affects their academic performance as well.
When there is too much control in the name of strictness, the child might learn organizational skills and be productive, but this style may also invite rebellion from the child. There is too less freedom leading the child to think less capable of herself and feel inadequate.
When there is a lot of permissiveness, children are spoilt with choices but there is no sense of order. This may help them to learn to be friendly and easy going, but may also turn them into people pleasers or be more demanding without understanding “the needs of a situation”.
When there is no freedom as well as no sense of order, children feel neglected and lack the feeling of belonging and significance. This can result in any way, depending on their circumstances and other adults in their lives.
When there is both order and freedom, we are talking about authoritative/ democratic. This is also the place where the Positive Discipline model can develop - kindness and firmness, built upon encouragement. The child feels empowered.
Knowing about one’s parenting style isn’t about feeling any sort of blame or guilt. Even adults have been shaped from their life experiences and circumstances. And we tend to oscillate between these styles, according to our default personality, and whether we are feeling secure w.r.t our sense of belonging and significance in the world.
So the purpose of being aware helps us to make meaningful choices with regards to our behavior and that of our children. We can grow as individuals ourselves when we learn to turn our liabilities into strengths. Understanding ourselves and our children and finding the middle ground can help us, with time and effort, become better humans and fine tune our parenting.