The Impact of Parenting Styles

Watching a young girl hit, kick, and call her mother names I never imagined a 6 year old knew, engaged in an (ultimately successful) attempt to get dessert led to an enlightening luncheon conversation with a few friends last week. As parents ourselves, we had all dealt with incidents like this and had different opinions on how the mother should have handled the outbreak. As we talked, it turns out we represented the three most common parenting styles identified during the last 30 years of psychological research. What seems to matter the most is the level of parental demandingness and parents being responsive to their children’s changing needs. One end of our table clearly represented the Authoritarian parenting style, parents …