A parent-child relationship consists of feelings, expectations and behaviour. It starts building with the time of conception. Many of us have heard many times by our elders saying “Be careful, of what you listen, see and think during pregnancy”. It is because the child understands and perceives the world through us, the way we feel and understand the outer world. After birth child does not learn what they are taught or what you want them to learn or the way you want them to behave. Their every learning, reaction and behavior depends on what they have observed. They observe from parents. The quality of the parent-child relationship is affected by the parent’s age, experience, self-confidence and self-esteem. Parental self-confidence is an indicator of parental competence. Mothers who believe that they are effective parents are more competent than mothers who feel incompetent. Also, mothers who see themselves effective also tend to believe their infants as less difficult to handle. Parental age and parental experiences are also important. Like every individual is different so are the ways they attach to their loved ones. So, will be their parenting styles.
Parenting styles can be categorized into four styles:
- Authoritarian Parents: Authoritarian parents are rigid in their rules. They expect absolute obedience from the child. Children raised with this parenting style are often moody, unhappy, fearful and irritable.
- Authoritative Parents: They show respect for the opinion of each child by allowing them to be different. Although there are rules in the household, the parents allow discussion if the children do not understand or agree to the rules. This style of parenting often results in children who have high self-esteem and are independent, inquisitive, happy, assertive and interactive.
- Permissive Parents: Parents who have very little or no control over the behaviour of their children. If there are any rules in the house than underlying reason is given but children decide whether they follow the rule and to what extent. These children may be disrespectful, disobedient, aggressive, irresponsible and defiant.
- Disengaged Parents: They are neither responsive nor demanding. They may be careless or unaware of the child’s need for affection and discipline. These children may grow as detached and can have a higher number of psychological and behavioural issues than rest.
Which style would you prefer?
Answer to this question also depends on the parenting style that you have been brought up into. Neither of these styles can be said right or wrong. If there are pros of each then remember there will be cons also. Which style to adapt depends on your personality and can be merged with other style as per the situation and time. As your child grow he would require change in style of parenting as well as the child will face different situations. So as parents it is very important that we adapt to new challenges and work accordingly.
Here are few pointers that could help you connect with your child better:
- Be more involved
- To connect with your child better get on their level. Think the way they are thinking, then with your experience and wisdom walk them through
- Emphasize the importance of family
- Dedicate one-on-one time for each child
- Stay in touch with academics, friendships and extra-curricular
- Teach them to respect and obedience but also laugh and enjoy with them. Maintain the balance
- Trust is the most important base of any relationship. Be trustworthy.
- Practice active listening without distraction
- Follow the 3 Fs of effective parenting, Firm, Fair and Friendly
- Have relaxed, side–by–side conversations
- Change with time
- Review rules and increase privileges as your children get older
- Include them in decisions
- Encourage them to take challenges and find independence
- Open up and show your human side
Happy members make a happy family and create a happy life. It all can only happen if the conditioning is right in the developing years. We wish you to create that happiness in your family.