Sociology: Parenting Styles
Parenting styles can greatly influence the development of a child. The parenting styles adopted and implemented ,ultimately affects not just the relationship between children and their parents, but also their cognitive growth and development. There are many different parenting styles that can be adopted and these include authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved or neglectfulstyles. This article seeks to investigate the various factors that affect parenting styles and the growth and development among children. In addition, it will examine and discuss the impacts of devastating, life altering family experienced such as divorce and internal family conflicts on parents and children (Laura, 2010).
An applicableparenting style is supposed to consist of competence-inducing approaches. A parenting style ought to acknowledge the individual needs and desires of children as they grow and develop, Thus, this approach needs to give parents a right to undertake their leadership roles of being in control of their children’s lives. It should also support and encourage parents to be more sensitive to the abilities of their children including their innate and acquired talents and hobbies.More importantly, parental approaches must address the developmental issues and challenges that children are likely to face as they grow and mature to responsible adults. Different publications and literaturediscussparenting styles and the effects they are likely to have on young, adolescent and teenage children. To this effect, there is diverse appreciation of parenting styles and some published journal articles prefer authoritative parenting style to either permissive or authoritarian parenting approach. Nevertheless, it is essential to identify the various age groups and development stages of the children before advocating for a particular parenting style (Laura, 2010).
For instance, a parent bringing up a teenager cannot apply similar parenting style to an infant. Teenagers tend to be more experimental with regards to life choices and opportunities they encounter as compared to younger infants. Moreover, teenagers are at the development stage during which they can easily identify their talents and hobbies and therefore need support guidance, encouragement, motivation and sometimes strict measures from their parents as they grow and develop their own individualism.On the contrary, an infant is too young to either ask or demand for personal space to identify and develop their personal or individual characteristics. Instead, parents have to pay more attention to the personal needs of infants rather than focus on their hobbies and talents. This is because infants lack the ability to communicate clearly, effectively and efficiently as teenagers.It is generally agreed that, neglectful parenting style cannot be applied in bringing up children regardless of their age group. However, parents can combine different parenting styles to suit each stage and age group in order to meet the children’s needs (Staff, 2012).
Cognitive Development among Children
Cognitive development is mainly experienced by teenagers and adolescents but college and university students can also be categorized among persons undergoing cognitive development. Parenting style adopted can heavily impact on the cognitive abilities of these groups of persons both at the present moment as well as in the future. There are many factors that determine the type of parenting styles adopted by different families and these vary from child bearing rates, availability of psychological resources in the parents, the characteristics of a child, support system within the family, marital relations and status, social networks and occupational or career options among the parents (Staff, 2012).
A competent parent should adopt a style and approach that can easily cater for the needs and wants of all their children in an equal and fair manner. Parents should thus make sure that they bear the number of children that they are capable of caring for without either ignoring or neglecting any of their children within the family. Competent parenting styles must involve ensuring easy accessibility and availability of affordable psychological resources. Psychological resources include committing to marriage and post-traumatic growth and maintaining a good attitude even in case of a divorce. Parents who commit to their marriage work hard to ensure that their children are brought up in a loving and stable household. It is easy to characterize parents who are not committed to their marriage based on the following factors. More than often they tend to fuel family conflicts, marital affairs, misunderstandings and hate with complete disregard of the feelings of their partners and children (Staff, 2012).
Such parents normally affect their children’s characteristics negatively. Parents who are always going through conflict, fighting and arguing in the presence of the children can negatively impact their cognitive development. This is because children from such backgrounds grow up acknowledging hateful, rude and offensive languages as acceptable. A child who witnesseseither of their parents undergoabuse, cangrow up to be either a bully or a victim of bullying. As they grow up into adults such children’s lives are characterized with hate, fear, vengeful acts, shyness, and offensive languages. Some of these children can also beeasily intimidated and/or highly tempered. Thus, it is important for parents to adopt competent parenting styles and provide stable homes to make sure that their children do not develop either elevated or intimidatingindividualism characteristics (Laura, 2010).
Parenting Styles and Divorce
Divorce has diverse effects on different children across various age groups. Divorce can be attributed to many factors including conflicts, neglectful parenting style, lack of commitment among parents, fights and marital affairs. Parents who are unavailable emotionally to their partners and children cannot be regarded as good role models or even leaders. Regardless of divorce in the family, bringing up teenagers and adolescents who are capable of cognitive abilities may require authoritarian and permissive parenting styles as these as rated as suitable at these stages. On its own, authoritative parenting style can be highly applicable in developing children’s cognitive abilities to record impeccable grades inschool (Belinda & Van, 2013).
I grew up in a small neighborhood comprising of very few families and it was thus quite easy to acknowledge and identify varied issues that affected the families in my neighborhood. For instance, I witnessed my neighbor’s son and daughter experience the devastating effects of divorce after which, their mother was awarded custody of the children. The court refused to award custody to their father because of his high tempers, alcoholism behavior and lack of resources to support the family.
The young girl was devastated because she was very close to her father, while her brother withdrew from his friendsboth at school and home. The situation grew worse with time because the other children became mean to the young boy and girl andoften pointed fingers and laughed at them, claiming they had been abandoned by their father. The young boy tried to take up his father’s responsibility by striving to protect his sister from the school and neighborhood bullies. He also made sure that the other children were not rude to his sister or called his mother offensive names. This was an overwhelming responsibility to the young boy and it was evident as his performance at school declined. Consequently, he developed a high temper which the teachers linked to the many fights he was involved in at school.
An applicable parenting style ought to cater for the feelings of the children especially after divorce. Parents have to publicly acknowledge that the divorce was not the fault of the children. The parent awarded custody must also ensure that their children are neither bullied nor abused whether at school or within the neighborhood. Since it can be quite challenging for children to discuss the effects of divorce, the parents must ensure they are amicable enough so as to facilitate talking to the children as they bring them up under separate homes (Vanassche et al, 2013). More importantly, parents have to constantly reassurethe children that they still love them and try toexplain to the children how divorce is likely to affect all their lives even as they strive to offer them a normal life. This can boost the self-confidence of the children even as they grow up and can further be reflected in their cognitive development. Thus, choosing a suitable parenting style will always be based on the different and diverse factors that affect parents, children and the entire family (Bjarnason, 2011).
Belinda, W., & Van, B. (2013). Divorce and Adult: Children’s Perceptions of Family Obligations, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 44(3): 291-310.
Bjarnason, T. (2011). Joint Physical Custody and Communication with Parents: A Cross-National Study of Children, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 42(6): 871-890.
Laura, B. (2010). Exploring Lifespan Development: The Family Issues, Book Description Publication.
Staff, H. (2012). Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(2):147-156.
Vanassche, S., Sodermans, A. K., Matthijs, K., & Swiccegood, G. (2013). Commuting between two Parental Households: Divorce and Custody of Children, Journal of Family Studies, 19(2):139-158.