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The Role of Discipline and Punishment in the Four Parenting Styles

It can be incredibly challenging for parents to determine the best approach to childrearing in certain situations. You may wonder if your way of parenting is too harsh and strict or if you are not enforcing enough boundaries or consequences. Many of these tendencies are encompassed by the four basic parenting styles.

This article will discuss the traits of each parenting style, how each handles punishment and discipline, and which parenting techniques are linked with the most favorable outcomes for children’s mental health and well-being.

For more articles and information about punishment, visit https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/punishment/.

An Overview of the Four Parenting Styles

Psychologist Diane Baumrind discovered there are four main types of parenting styles that characterize interactions between parents and children. These styles describe parents’ level of sensitivity to their child and appropriate boundary-setting and discipline. Many parents exhibit tendencies of more than one parenting style. The four parenting styles are:

  • Authoritarian parenting style: characterized by placing high demands and expectations on a child with low sensitivity. Parents with an authoritarian parenting style are likely to enforce strict rules without explaining their reasoning or asking for their child’s input. Children of authoritarian parents may feel their emotions or opinions do not matter, which can lead them to feel a lack of control over their lives. Over time, this can lead to increased anxiety or anger.
  • Permissive parenting style: occurs when parents offer a high level of warmth and comfort toward their children but do not set healthy boundaries. They place a significant emphasis on their children liking them, which generally means taking a step back and not saying ‘no’ or providing consequences. As a result of this lack of structure, children of permissive parents may have challenges academically or experience low self-esteem.
  • Uninvolved parenting style: involves a lack of attunement to a child’s needs. There are various reasons why parents may not devote the time and energy required to engage with their children, whether they are living with a mental illness, struggling with financial difficulties, or uneducated about raising children. In this style, there is a lack of guidance or support, and children are left to navigate life on their own. Uninvolved parenting has been connected with the most problematic outcomes for children, such as an increased risk of mental health disorders and challenges in forming healthy relationships.
  • Authoritative parenting style: encompasses sensitivity to children’s emotions and opinions while also instilling healthy boundaries. Authoritative parents are empathic to their children and consider their input while still maintaining appropriate limits and consequences. Authoritative parenting is the most effective style, as it is connected with the most positive outcomes for children’s well-being. Research has shown that children with even just one authoritative parent are more likely to become self-reliant, academically successful, and develop healthy relationships with others. There is also thought to be a link between authoritative parenting and decreased risk of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

What is the Role of Punishment in Each Parenting Style?

Children of authoritarian parents often feel like they have to live up to their parents’ strict rules, even if there is no clear reasoning behind them. It is common for these children to experience harsh punishment if they fall short in any way, regardless of the severity of the infraction. In authoritarian parenting, there is often more shaming for what children do wrong than aiding them in learning and growth.

Permissive parents are unlikely to punish their children for their actions, as they are uncomfortable putting their foot down and enforcing boundaries or consequences. They tend to be more focused on being viewed in a positive light by their child. Uninvolved parents do not usually use punishment, as they are unattuned to their children’s activities. They also do not provide positive affirmation or praise.

On the other hand, parents with an authoritative style handle disciplinary strategies differently. When children act out, authoritative parents talk them through their behavior and explain the consequences. They are warm and attuned to their child’s feelings and concerns. There is gentleness and guidance while also maintaining healthy limits. They do not shame their children for their mistakes but instead focus on helping them learn and grow. As authoritative parenting is associated with many positive outcomes, you may consider how you might take steps to implement more of this disciplinary approach with your children.



About the Author:

This blog post was developed in collaboration with BetterHelp.

BetterHelp is an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to mental health services. The online counseling and therapy services are provided through web-based interaction as well as phone and text communication.

May Is Mental Health Month 2022

“Back to Basics”

May is Mental Health Month, a time to spread public awareness and education about mental health disorders and reflect on the impact of mental illness on individuals and their families.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Month is “Back to Basics.” The goal this May is to provide foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions and spread information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.

It is also a time to recognize and commit to changing the racial and economic inequities in our health care system, particularly with respect to mental health.

www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice, and to making mental health services accessible to all.

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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