Different styles of parenting your child

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Little children often think that parents are old-fashioned nags whose sole purpose in life is to make their lives miserable.

But scientific research has shown that there are different styles to parenting, each with characteristics that play a vital role in the emotional development of the child.

Clinical psychologist Itumeleng Khumalo says there are four parental styles, namely authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglecting.

l Authoritative: Khumalo says this style is the most ideal. "The parent is warm and accepting, but still maintains a sense of moderate control over the child."

The parent is also able to provide guidance and communicates their feelings and maintains authority and control over the child with compassion.

"This style allows the child to grow into an autonomous, confident and well-adjusted individual," says Khumalo. The parent is able to discuss various issues with the child, mete out instructions and give guidance.

l Authoritarian: Authoritarian parents are usually "too strict". They are usually caring and warm, but exert control and dictate terms to their children.

"Their children usually do not take the initiative in social situations," says Khumalo.

l Permissive: These parents are warm and accepting, but their approach to parenting is lax.

They maintain very little control and authority over their children. "They have a 'whatever goes' attitude towards raising their children and give out little parental guidance in the relationship," says Khumalo.

l Neglecting: This style is the opposite of the three. The parent lacks warmth and provides little supervision. It is the most detrimental to the development of the child and can result in abuse.