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  • Parents Discipline Their Children In 3 Ways. Which One Are You?

    Moms and dads often struggle finding the right balance between being too strict or too lenient.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Parents Discipline Their Children In 3 Ways. Which One Are You?
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/LookerStudio
  • Parents know that establishing rules and following a routine starting at a young age can help improve a child’s behavior. But it is often a struggle to find the right balance between being too strict or lenient.

    In his column for Psychology Today, Blake Griffin Edwards, a licensed marriage and family therapist, behavioral health director, and integrated care consultant in the United States, notes that right and effective parenting can foster two important factors in a child’s development — attachment and autonomy.

    A child who is secure with himself is able to trust and form emotional connections with others. Not only can he relate well with people, but he also becomes resilient — able to overcome challenges, self-soothe, and accomplish tasks independently.

    Discipline styles and what they mean

    So how can parents raise confident, strong, and resilient kids? It all boils down to a healthy discipline style. Here are three ways parents handle their children:

    Strict Parenting

    Parents who use this discipline style choose forceful measures to get their children to follow them. They tend to use harsh tactics that overpower their kids. This makes the little ones comply, but often with fear of their moms and dads.

    Here are some characteristics of a strict parent:

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    • demanding but does not respond to their children’s emotional needs
    • rigid, harsh, and strict
    • provocative and uses punishment to discipline
    • expects child to conform and comply with set rules and directions
    • does not say reason behind rules and expectations that they have set
    • wants to be respected, no questions asked
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    It is not bad to be strict, but this type of parenting can also have negative effects on a child. Several studies have linked a person’s bad and aggressive behavior to harsh parenting, which can make a child grow up angry, resentful, fearly, and responsive only to force, according to Edwards.

    Permissive Parenting

    Moms and dads often feel guilty yelling at their kids, which is why they can easily become permissive parents. They are often affectionate toward their child and are lenient when it comes to discipline.

    • responds to children’s emotional needs but does not demand
    • involved, nurturing, and accepting
    • wants to be liked and accepted by their child
    • acts like a friend     

    Kids thrive on rules — it helps provide a sense of order, so they’ll know what comes next. If you let your children do as they like, you unknowingly reinforce or reward deviant behavior. This can make a child grow up immature, with little self-control, or worse, entitled.

    Disciplined Parenting

    Often called authoritative parenting, experts say it is the healthiest and most effective style to instill discipline. They guide their children with rules but also give room for them to learn and explore.

    • attuned and responsive to children’s needs
    • sets limits but encourages independence
    • firm but not rigid
    • focuses on instilling key values like self-soothing, delaying gratification, constructive communication, fairness, and citizenship
    • allows open dialogue
    • empowers children to make their own decisions

    It is normal for a child to misbehave. Disciplined parents are able to distinguish that their child’s behavior is due to several factors, like being too young to have self-control, are overwhelmed with emotions, or are exploring ways to assert themselves.

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    Authoritative moms and dads are parents first, but their children know they can also turn to them as a friend. They can explain the reasoning behind the rules, limits, and consequences, they’ve established and as a result, their kids grow up confident, self-regulated, and able to adapt to stressful situations.

    How can you be an authoritative parent? Click here and here for more parenting styles that promote positive discipline.

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