Experts have found that authoritative parenting raises successful and happy children.

Models of Child-Rearing

by Stacey Chaloux

Every mother has her own unique way of parenting her child, but child development expert Diana Baumrind has defined four categories of child-rearing styles. These four styles are based on how responsive or supportive parents are to their children and how demanding they are in controlling their children's behavior, according to AboutOurKids.org, a website published by the New York University Child Study Center. While most mothers don't fall into only one category of child-rearing, adopting the best practices from each model can help you become a more effective parent.

1. Authoritarian

Parents who use the authoritarian model of parenting expect their children to respect them at all times. They are very controlling, extremely strict and emphasize obedience to authority. Authoritarian parents do not expect their children to disagree with their decisions and do not allow for discussion of the rules. They can sometimes be unreasonable in their expectations and unresponsive to a child's developmental needs. This style of parenting relies on coercion in order to make children comply with demands. A benefit to this type of parenting is that children know what is expected of them and exactly what they are allowed to do. However, one drawback of this model is that communication between the parent and child, which keeps them emotionally connected, can be affected, according to GreatSchools.com. As children grow older and begin to become more independent, they can be more secretive as they are afraid of the strict rules of the house.

2. Authoritative

The parent who uses the authoritative model relies on natural consequences, allowing children to learn from their own mistakes, according to the NYU Child Study Center. Authoritative parents have rules and set limits for their children, but they explain why they are important. In this style of parenting, the child's perspective is taken into account, even if the parent disagrees. Parents are willing to say "no" to their children, but they also nurture their children and offer patience to them. The authoritative parent offers feedback to her child and allows for collaboration, trying to convince her child to comply voluntarily. While this model of child-rearing is not always easy and takes a lot of self-control, the benefits are numerous. Children with authoritative parents know that they have high expectations but have also strong emotional ties to their parents because they have established trust.

3. Permissive

With busy schedules and a desire for quality time with their children, some parents fall into the permissive parenting style. This model is one that does not set limits for children and allows them to set their own schedules and activities. A permissive parent loves her child very much and always wants to make him happy, but has trouble saying "no." While she is responsive to her child's emotional needs, she may not always provide the guidance that children need to be successful. This model of child-rearing does not make many demands of children and rarely uses discipline. Children whose parents follow the permissive parenting style can feel entitled to everything they want and do not learn self-restraint, patience or responsibility, according to GreatSchools.com.

4. Hands-off

This style of child-rearing is low on both dimensions of the parenting scale -- responsiveness and demanding compliance -- according to Weber State University. The hands-off parent is one who does not have high demands for her child, nor does she offer much emotional support and nurturing. Parents who use the hands-off model of parenting believe that they are teaching their children to be independent. While there are benefits to allowing your child to learn from his own mistakes, he also needs support and guidance that is appropriate to his developmental needs. In extreme cases, the hands-off parenting style could be considered neglectful, according to the NYU Child Study Center.

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