Parenting styles roles in children’s behavior

Published 14 Feb 2017

Parents and children have their own roles to play in nature’s life cycle. Parenting is a complex activity that works on molding child behavior in child rearing to try to influence child development and discipline in widely favorable child outcomes. Parenting styles contributes to a child’s well-being in issues of academic performance, psychosocial development, reinforcing self confidence and attitude towards life challenges. Parenting is nature’s strategy to maintain unity within the family radiating its effect to the society or community where it belongs.

Parents do have their own social skills and temperaments that either approve or critically reject a child’s favorable or unfavorable attitude and peer socialization preferences. Therapists are beginning to acknowledge the importance of understanding young people’s experience on parenting to perceive parent-adolescent communication quality and how they feel towards their parents. The relationship indicates, as a product of witnessing, what young people think and feel about family life. Furthermore, this provides clearer evaluation of the quality of parent-child relationship, family expressiveness, family environment and child rearing behavior.

Children’s feelings and evaluations of parenting are scarce and do not indicate openness on preferred parenting style in their different stages of growth. This paper aims to review the relationship among parenting practices and adolescence values and school achievement. This serves to research on the reasons associated with the consequence of the decline of parental involvement in adolescence. This paper argues on laxity of parenting styles on adolescence and claims that this is the stage where parental guidance and strict discipline are needed to guide young people in their decision making processes and support in identification of life priorities.

Every parent develops and assumes his ideal parenting style based from what he had witnessed on his childhood and what he had observed to be effective in his current social environment. At first stage level of age 1 – 4 years, authoritarian parenting style is deem appropriate. Parents are highly demanding, directive, and never responsive always expecting their orders to be obeyed without explanations. Clearly stated rules and restrictions provide the foundation of a well structured family directive.

The child at this stage learns obedience and slowly acknowledges authority. The child relies on what his parents tells him to do and is progressively experimenting on some forms of behavior. Most of the time the parents automatically refrains the child from doing any behavior that is not acceptable. The parents become the first teachers of the child. Everything that a parent teaches or restricts is being retained in the child’s memory which affects his behavior in the next stage. The dimension of psychological control places high demands on their child’s psychological and emotional development. The parents’ low level of sensitivity does not encourage children to object nor disagree with decisions and house rules.

The second state level of age 5 – 13 years, authoritative parenting style is seen to be appropriate. It is at this stage that authoritative parents direct children in a rational, issue-oriented manner never missing to explain the reason behind implemented house rules. The children’s individuality was recognized and they were encouraged to justify actions whether good or bad, practical or not, to develop a kind of verbal exchange as a start to developing an open communication relationship.

At this stage the child learns to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Parents encourage the child’s self-reliance by allowing children to learn from their mistakes and to proceed independently when fairing well. They tend to support just to show or set an example when the task is difficult. They also set a distance to observe and evaluate results when children are succeeding on their own to promote independence and self confidence.

Individuals vary in preconceived meanings attached to their behavior. The perception of a behavior’s definition were completely assume from the consistency of discipline through reinforcement of positive behaviors by clapping hands or simply praising the child when they succeed on something relevant to learning. Parents love their children regardless of their parenting style. Their context of love revolves around discipline, formation of individual moral and social values, and maintaining the balance between showing love and setting limits. Parents and caregivers showed instrumental competence in their child’s outcomes.

Specific parenting behavior of spanking or yelling when a child becomes hyperactive results to the child becoming socially impatient as a consequence to adaptation of the enforced rule. This is seen to be effective if combined with the strategy of positive reinforcers. A child shall know his faults and the intensity of the negative behavior based from the kind of reward or punishment he receives. Positive reinforcers display the construct of parenting style as an attempt to control and socialize their children. This early stage aims to influence, teach, and control their children in their formative years. Authoritative parents set limits are firm but filled with kindness, warmth, and love. They enforced discipline moderately and rely on natural consequences for children to learn from making future mistakes.

At the third stage age 13-18 years, the applicable parenting style is the combination of authoritative and permissive parenting style. The best adjusted children comes from parents of moderate parenting styles where parents shows clear balance on emotional responsiveness and respect for their child’s autonomy. This allows the child to display freedom of expression towards acceptance of parental judgments so he may develop some sense of independence. Parents make moderate demands where children learn to control impulses as they develop their maturity and sense of responsibility. Adolescence take their cues from their parents when it comes to dealing with emotions especially depression. Parents’ attitude on emotions shapes the way children handle their own feelings. Emotions may not be easy but is oftentimes predictable.

To best nurture a child’s emotional development means valuing and sharing the feelings of his experiences to enable him to view emotion as a natural part of life. In this process the child learns how to handle his emotions well. The parent may coach the kid how to verbally label emotions, emphatically validating the child’s feelings, and setting limits while helping the child strategically handle attitude and flexibility. The parenting style combination allows the child to make their own choices but with close parental guidance and monitoring to make sure they follow rules and expectations. The child in return feels safe, loved, and acceptance. The child tends to conquer difficulties in life using his own inner strength. Seeing the world as safe and friendly, he is not afraid to try and fail life’s challenges but finds satisfaction in personal achievement and contributions.

Close analysis of the different stages of parenting style shows that higher academic achievement is seen with lower parental authoritarianism (Lam et al 1998). The democratic style creates more cooperation and teaches responsibility while enriching relationships and parent-child bonding or intimacy. Reinforcers may be a good form of motivation for the child to excel or manage his task on his own but has to be set in limits and selected levels of accomplishment or success. Otherwise the child may learn to expect corresponding reward system for every good deed done which may promote discrimination of favors done solely out of initiative and kindness taking nothing in return. This might affect pricing volunteer work functions assessments or suddenly affecting parenting style as nonworking because of poor retribution.

The essence of the parenting styles is slowly influencing the child to the appropriate behavior and values as a result of integration of religion, beliefs, the benefits of parents learned behavior and experiences, social and environmental factors. It is a kind of picking up approved attitude and behavior from an array of selection. The child’s adaptation to these values is often based on the kind of parenting style and supplemental education and information he learned from his parents. The consequences of an overly strict authoritarian parenting style extending until adolescence may result to an unhappy childhood and submissive attitude of children that may not know how to handle peer pressure. There is a very big tendency for the child to be silent but rebellious and not expressing his ideas and how he feels to his parents. These are the young people that may become substance abusers to defray depressive mood and frustrations.

The combination of an authoritative and permissive parenting style is just perfect for young people. It will necessarily set limits and house rules for control but still exerts freedom for them to choose and perform adequate decision making. There is not much laxity in monitoring and control of the child’s activities in school and of his peers. The child will develop deep respect for the decision of the parents and tend to perform what the parents favors out of love and because he understands the consequences of his actions and the rationale of the control and the imposed discipline.

Young people experiencing the combination parenting style are good leaders and shows high academic performance. They show more confidence in performing their task and are happy and comfortable with the idea of being a constant achiever. This is evident in the way they deal with their peers and how they make adjustments with the attitudes and behavior of their peers. Patience is an art and a thing that have been witnessed in childhood. Flexibility with any patterns of behavior and situation combined with patience is a perfect fit for a child whose family system comes from good communication and intimate relationships (Horbury & Neal 2001).

Relationship with your peers determines the kind of relationship one has in his own family structure. Parenting is directly associated with relationships, character, and attitudes. The parenting style of the parents has a lot to do with what becomes of a child. Emotions, sharing responsibilities, strong communication, and high definition of moral values will always shaped up the child’s person as a whole and it will relatively show in the way he deals with the world and life’s challenges.


  • Horbury, D. & Neal, J. (2001). The effects of parenting styles and childhood attachmentspatterns on intimate relationships. Journal of Instructional Psychology 28(3), 178.
  • Lam, W. (1998). Parenting styles and academic achievement: A cross-cultural study.Merrill-Palmer, 44(2), 157.
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