If you hit social networks and parenting forums, you can see that many people are under the impression that the most encouraged parenting style in modern America is the permissive parenting style.
But is this really true?
Is modern American society that lenient when it comes to favoring certain parenting strategies when raising children?
To help you answer that question, Let’s first take a closer look at strategies parents in modern America use in their day-to-day lives.
What is a Parenting Style?
Parents across America use different parenting practices and parenting strategies when raising their kids. The most common mistake people do is thinking parenting styles and parenting strategies are interchangeable terms. They are not. A parenting style encompasses different parenting strategies.
However, psychologists and researchers alike have discovered that some parents use the same cluster of strategies when raising their kids. More importantly, parents are consistently falling back on these strategies when they need to support, discipline, or educate their children. These clusters of strategies are what we call parenting styles.
As you might have guessed, a parenting style has a significant impact on your child. There are numerous studies done in this field. The bottom line is that your parenting style affects your child’s perception of the world, emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and capability to work under figures of authority.
Modern Parenting Styles
After a thorough examination of parenting strategies, scientists have been able to identify certain patterns in the behavior of parents. It appeared that some parents use a specific cluster of parenting practices over and over again.
The discovery enabled the psychologists to identify and define four clusters of parenting strategies, thus giving us four types of parenting styles:
Each one of these styles encompasses different parenting practices. They stand as a unique approach to raising a child. Fortunately, they are very easy to remember and identify.
Let’s see what they are, shall we?
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Authoritarian parents are all about the rules. They live by the rules and want to impose the same way of thinking on their kids. The message they send is very clear: “You are a good kid if you follow my rules without asking questions and without exception!”
Do you know which sentence these parents say the most? You’ve probably guessed right – “Because I told you so!” or “Because I said so!” As you know, kids are quite inquisitive, and they will often question the reasons behind their parents’ rules.
Authoritarian parents don’t lose time explaining. Obedience is a must, and asking questions is a behavior these parents don’t want to see in their children. Simply put – there is no room for negotiation.
Authoritarian parents also don’t care about their children’s opinions. They keep their kids away from problem-solving situations and expect them to blindly follow the rules.
As you know, some kids are not fond of strict rules, and they will often cross the imaginary line set by their parents. When they do, authoritarian parents will use punishments to discipline their kids. The entire process revolves around making children feel sorry for their mistakes. They don’t invest themselves in teaching kids how to make smarter and informed decisions.
Permissive Parenting Style
Permissive parents are tolerant parents, but they take tolerance to the extreme, to an extent that makes them appear too lenient. They are not completely uninvolved with their kids’ lives, but they will only react or step in if their children end up in a real problem. The concept of a “real problem” differs from one permissive parent to another.
Most permissive parents think that kids have to do what kids do. The rules are not something these parents like. And even if they impose some rules, they are most likely to back up after the child begs— A trap we all fall into sometimes, which carries consequences.
They trust their kids and will most often allow their kids to do anything they want as long as they promise they will behave well.
These parents act as if they are their children’s buddies rather than parents. They are there to listen to their kids, be there to support them while they go through challenges. However, if the child exhibits bad behavior or is about to make a terrible choice, a permissive parent will not go out of their way to discourage the child.
Uninvolved Parenting Style
Uninvolved parents act as if they don’t have kids at all. They often don’t know where their kids are, what they are doing, or who they hang out with. Uninvolved parents don’t set any rules, and if they do, these rules are nothing more than an empty threat, and kids learn this very fast.
These parents don’t provide much parental attention, nurturing, or guidance. They act as they expect the kids to be both kids and parents and raise themselves. Anyhow, children have their basic needs, and these parents consistently fail in meeting them. That’s simply because they are not interested in their kids in an authentic and devoted way.
Uninvolved parents know very little about child development stages, and different emotional and physical needs that accompany these stages. They prioritize other “challenges.” Very often managing finances and shopping for groceries is more important than helping a child overcome a challenge.
Authoritative Parenting Style
Authoritative parents use different strategies to raise their children. They have well-defined rules that come with consequences, but unlike authoritarian parents, they have time and energy to explain the reasons to their kids.
Authoritative parents value the opinion of their kids and will often take into account. They are truly supportive. When it comes to emotions, these parents acknowledge their kid’s feelings. However, they make sure to communicate to kids that parents are in charge. They do it in a pragmatic and caring way.
These parents are deeply involved in raising their kids. They read papers, blogs, and explore modern ways of helping their kids grow into responsible individuals not afraid to communicate their needs in an assertive way.
Thanks to their involvement, authoritative parents are able to discover behavioral problems early on and prevent them from developing into real problems. They also take an active role in disciplining their kids. However, they don’t use punishments as discipline strategies. Instead, authoritative parents tend to reinforce positive behavior. To do it, they use numerous reward systems.
How To Know Which Parenting Style You Practice?
Feel free to go through the parenting styles above several times to see whether you identify yourself with some of them. If you are unable to see which parenting style you use to raise your kids, there are a few tricks that can help you. Here are some questions specifically designed to push you in the right direction.
We grouped questions related to the parenting styles to make it more convenient.
Click on the question to view it.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Did you answer all the questions with a yes? If you did, you are an authoritarian parent. You live by your rules, and you want your kids to follow your guidance without asking too many questions.
Permissive Parenting style
Permissive parents usually answer all these questions with a yes. In case you did it as well, you are probably a permissive parent.
Uninvolved Parenting Style
If you answered these questions with a yes, you are an uninvolved parent. You firmly believe that kids should do what kids do and that you shouldn’t spend too much time with them.
Authoritative Parenting Style
If you answered a solid yes to all of these questions, you are, without a doubt, an authoritative parent. You value your kid’s opinion, and you acknowledge their feelings. The chances are that you have a strong and positive relationship with your kid.
Parenting Styles and Children’s Attitude Status
Children look up to their parents, and parenting style is a major factor that affects a child in multiple ways. Each one of the four parenting styles has different effects on kids.
Obedient, and learn fast how to follow the rules but at the price of their self-esteem. They often feel anger toward their parents and learn how to become professionals at lying just to avoid severe punishment. They often express their aggression towards their peers.
Healthy and mature adults. They are not afraid to express their opinion even if it’s the complete opposite of their parents’. They are able to evaluate their own behavior and learn from their mistakes, which makes them successful and happy.
Children whose parents have a permissive parenting style can be…
Unable to play by the rules, and they often don’t know how to handle an authority figure. Because they feel uncomfortable working under authority and by the rules, these kids struggle in school and later at the university.
Children whose parents have an uninvolved Parenting style can be…
Insecure, with a lot of self-esteem issues. They are intolerant to critique and don’t perform well in school. They don’t have effective coping strategies, have difficulties with social interactions with peers, and have a harder time processing their feelings.
Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?
You must have heard other parents discussing different parenting styles and which one offers the most benefits to their children. In fact, we raise our kids in different ways. Some parents even use different parenting models to raise their own kids, especially if the age difference between kids is significant.
It’s a really important topic. As you have already seen, parenting styles have a strong impact on children. Looking for answers on forums and social networks is not going to cut it.
To answer that question— which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America- we’ve decided to consult the field of social science. We have found many studies trying to identify which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America. The results are consistent among all of them.
For instance, a study from 2015 tells us that the most dominant parenting style in modern America is the authoritative parenting style. It’s the parenting style that modern American society actively encourages and promotes. Other styles are present as well, but the authoritative one accounts for more than 90% of children in the studies.
Most parents in modern America tend to give their children reasonable demands and set limits. When it comes to the limits, there is one more thing worth mentioning. Most of the parents give reasonable ones and are more than happy to provide an explanation to their children as to why the limits are there in the first place.
Cultural Differences In Parenting Styles
There are hundreds of researchers out there still working on defining parenting styles and identifying their implications on children’s growth, development, academic success, and social adjustments. It’s a very important topic for you and your kids.
However, keep in mind that while parenting styles are universal across the globe, their distribution is not. Parenting styles depend on the culture and era we live in, and their distribution is subject to change. However, they will always remain very important and will continue to play a very important role in raising kids.