One day, after I logged out from work, I received a thought provoking email from Google Alerts about an article from Parent Herald that talks about the 2 major parenting approaches. This really made me think about my parenting approach to Nate and I thought I should really share this with other parents.
In our current world where people will always have something to say, we all probably have an opinion about parenting, whether we have kids or not. There are main parenting approaches that most of us already know – The “because I said so” and the “let kids be kids approach”.
“Because I said so”
According to Psychology Today, this type of parenting approach is also known as “authoritarian parenting”. Authoritarian parents believe that kids are by nature, willful, and that parents have to force the kids to do the right thing, whether they like it or not. Another reason why authoritarian parents do this is because they believe that kids are a bit too young to decide for themselves what’s good and what’s not. That being said, kids need the guidance of their parents in order to do what’s right.
I hear this approach a lot from my parents every time they tell us about their childhood experience. My mother said that their father (our grandfather) was so strict, they had to obey what he says or they’ll be punished. Same goes with my father’s father.
“Because I said so” approach in parenting may sound a bit harsh on others but it seems to have worked on some parents. Empowering parents has an effective way of using this phrase. Some also say that this type of approach could cause resentment and hatred on the part of the kids as they feel “obligated” and “chained” to do things even if they don’t want to do it.
“Let Kids be Kids”
On the other hand, “let kids be kids” is more of a permissive parenting style. Parents who practice this approach are more tolerant on rules. They believe that control is not always the key to parenting. Nowadays, I see more parents who use this approach, as opposed to our parents’ upbringing.
Some say that this approach can cause openness between the parent and the child as the child doesn’t feel “forced” to do stuff. Kids feel that they can explain their side on why they don’t want to do things, etc.
This parenting approach provides kids with more responsibility. They are said to mature quickly as they feel more accomplished with every task that they do. However, others also say that this approach makes children feel spoiled, because some kids think that they can do whatever they want to do.
Which parenting style should we use?
According to Life Hacker, neither approach is great if you use it all the time. Permissive parenting has been linked with children’s aggressiveness, excessive television watching, and a greater likelihood of being overweight.
On the other hand, authoritarian parenting, is also not great for kids in the long run. Super strict parents tend to have kids who are good at obeying rules, but have less self-esteem, social aptitude, and resourcefulness.
Personally, as I evaluate myself, I am more of a permissive parent to Nate. But when I think it’s too much, I intervene and tell him what he should do. I believe the right mix of permissive and authoritative parenting is the best approach. And that’s what we, as parents need to learn (‘coz I honestly think that’s the hardest thing to do!) Kids still need rules to live by, I strongly believe that house rules can help them learn the right habits which can hopefully help them grow up to be great individuals in the future.
Parenting is a wonderful thing! It’s an opportunity to raise wonderful people. But, gosh, it’s also super though at the same time! Many of us say that it’s the parents who know their kids very well and are the ones to decide which approach is best for their kids. I still believe that above all, we need God’s guidance in teaching and nurturing our children.
To discipline a child produces wisdom,
but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes,
but the godly will live to see their downfall.
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
and will make your heart glad.
Proverbs 29:15-17 (NLT)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Parents, what can you say about these 2 parenting approaches? I’d love to hear from you. :)