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The importance of parenting | Print |  E-mail
What Children Need to Grow and Thrive

The way parents interact with their children has a direct effect on their development – their level of confidence and self-esteem, their sense of security, their emotional well-being, the way they relate to others, how they deal with authority, and their performance in school.

Parenting styles revolve around three important dimensions:

  • Limit setting – the degree to which parents expect mature and responsible behaviour from their children;
  • Love – the way parents nurture their child by showing affection, approval and support for their development; and
  • Respect – whether or not parents allow their children to express their own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.

Basic parenting styles

There are four basic parenting styles.

Positive parents nurture, discipline, and respect their children in equal measure.  They set high standards and buy lasix online expectations, consistently enforce rules, and encourage independence.  Open communication and the ability to listen are key.  Their parenting is said to be “positive.”

Demanding parents, on the other hand, discipline their children but don’t tend to nurture or respect them.  They value obedience and discourage independence.  They set strict rules, enforce them harshly and do not like to have their authority questioned.  These parents are often described as “dominating”.

Permissive parents tend to nurture their children but don’t engage in effective discipline and don’t model or expect respectful behaviour.  Although they show love and give attention, they make few demands and set no guidelines or structure for their children.

Unengaged parents don’t discipline, nurture, or respect their children.  They are generally uninvolved and Canadian viagra disinterested in parenting, interacting only minimally with their child.  Their lack of interest may be due to their own immaturity or to problems with substance abuse.

Why is parenting style important?

Research over many years has confirmed over and over that parenting style has a direct effect on how children grow and thrive.
In general, children do better in life if they come from a home in which there is positive (authoritative) parenting.  Children from positive homes have good self-esteem and self-confidence, and have lower levels of anxiety and depression.  They function better socially, academically, and in the work world, and have few, if any, behaviour problems.  They tend to become respectful and responsible adults.

Children from authoritarian homes have both low self-esteem and self-confidence, high levels of anxiety and depression, and tend to have problems interacting with others.  Their academic achievement is usually average and they have some behaviour problems. They also have persistent problems with authority.

Children from permissive homes have high self-esteem and self-confidence, and reduced levels of anxiety and depression, but they tend to do badly at school, show a lot of behaviour problems, and lack respect and Cialis generic canadian responsibility.

At the other end of the spectrum, children who come from homes in which the parents are unengaged have the worst outcomes as adults.  They tend to have low self-esteem and self-confidence, high levels of depression and anxiety, and have poor social skills.  They have a lot of behaviour problems, do badly in school, have little respect for themselves or others, and lack responsibility.

Adapted from Parenting the Preschooler. What’s Your Parenting Style?  http://www.uwex.edu/ces/flp/pp/ and
Darling N. Parenting Style and Its Correlates. 1999:  ERIC Digest #ED427896

What's your Parenting Style?

Parenting style has a direct effect on how children grow and thrive.  The following quiz [1] will help you discover your parenting style and gain a better understanding of how it impacts your child’s development.

Check all the statements that you believe to be true for you.

1. I believe that it is better not to have rules than to worry about breaking them.
2. Children should obey their parents and not talk back.
3. Children should be given choices.
4. Children can get along pretty well if you just leave them alone.
5. My own problems are so consuming I don’t have time or energy for my child.
6. What I do won’t make a difference, so I’ve given up with my child.
7. Sometimes children have a point.  I try to listen to them.
8. I make the rules of my household.  Children should be punished for not following these rules.
9. Children should be allowed their own sense of individuality.
10. I have high standards which I expect my child to understand and I enforce rules consistently.
11. Parents should do as much as they can for their children (making their beds, getting their snacks, dressing them).
12. When my child misbehaves, I yell and threaten.
13. If I discipline my child, I am afraid he/she won’t love me.
14. I know what’s best for my child, after all I’m the parent.
15. I let my child do what he/she wants because I want to avoid conflict.
16. I have so many other things to do, the children will just have to make it on their own.


Find the numbers you checked below to discover your parenting style.  You will probably find that you possess characteristics of more than one style.  Once you understand these styles, you can make adjustments as you feel necessary to achieve the best outcomes for your child.

Demanding Permissive Unengaged
3 2 1 4
7 8 11 5
9 12 13 6
10 14 15 16

For a description of the styles and Discount pharmacy viagra how they affect a child’s development, go to The importance of parenting.

This parenting quiz was developed by Joan E. LeFebvre, Professor, Department of Family Development, University of Wisconsin-Extension.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 13:17