Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center conducted a nationwide survey on the American parenting style. As per the survey results, close to 43% of parents stated that they followed the technique that their parents had followed about bringing kids up. However, 44% of parents stated to have resorted to a different kind of process that combines a certain level of authority with a dash of friendliness. Therefore, it was found that the parenting style most encouraged in modern America was – the authoritative style.
This article will give you a comprehensive idea of this parenting style, its positives and negatives, along with a sample of the same and insights on how to deal with the cons. So, let’s take a look –
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Which parenting style most encouraged in modern America?
In layman’s words, parenting style implies how you bring up your child. Being a subjective topic, different parents feel differently in terms of the ‘correct’ way of parenting – while some rely on the standards that their parents had set for them, others concentrate on setting the parameter a bit lower. Amidst all the controversies, the authoritative style has become the most chosen one. In fact, close to 46% of US parents have vouched for its benefits in bringing up their children. Let’s try to explore about it a little more –
Alternatively known as the Propagative parenting style, Diana Baumrind, a noted clinical psychologist, developed this type of parenting in the 1960s. For the unversed, the other parenting styles are – Authoritarian, Neglectful, and Permissive. However, amidst all the other accepted styles, this parenting style most encouraged in modern America due to its ability to – create a compassionate set-up for the child yet firmly set boundaries so that they do not conduct themselves in an unruly manner. The child is dealt with love and affection, yet disciplined reasonably so that they know the difference between correct and wrong and do not cross the lines. Within the spectrum of a child’s demands and a parent’s response, this has become the most democratic of the styles.
Quickly looking into the other parenting styles
Regarding the other styles, the Authoritarian parenting style, as the name suggests, follows a stringent course of action laid down by the parents.
As far as the Permissive style is concerned – it is based on the ideology of ‘kids will be kids’ and allows the child a much wider spectrum of activity without any sort of restrictions (even if they are necessary for their overall development).
Lastly, Neglectful parenting is a style where parents are primarily uninvolved in the child’s growth for multiple reasons, from alcoholism to their lack of mental balance. In fact, most of the dysfunctional families have this parenting style.
What are the primary features of an authoritative style?
As has been mentioned in this article before, this authoritative parenting style most encouraged in modern America since it is extremely democratic in its set-up. Let’s delve into certain aspects of it to get clarity on the same –
This parenting style shapes the child through logical reasoning
This implies that – rather than commanding the child to stop doing certain things or acting in a certain way, this style explains the pros and cons of the action and tries to reason with the kid. Thus, this helps the kid better understand the consequences of his action rather than merely the result.
A certain amount of discipline is the key
One has to understand that kids will, by virtue of their childishness, want a host of things. But not everything is good for their well-being, and it is here that the parents have to make a decision and firmly set the boundaries. This parenting style brings in a certain amount of regulations for the benefit of the kids – but not in a stringent way.
Children from a tender age are made part of the conversation
There’s an adage that goes – kids do not partake in adult conversations. That is a factor that keeps the children away from the permit of crucial decisions, and hence, in the future, they cannot make their decisions correctly. Regarded to be the parenting style most encouraged in modern America, this style allows kids to present their views and tries to understand their perspective. Therefore, the kids confidently and comprehensively can state their points of view, which again prepares them for the future.
Cultivating a sense of empathy for people
Another key characteristic of this style is – cultivating a sense of empathy for others. The kids, from a tender age, are taught to understand what others are going through and not judge people, even in jest. In this way, the kids are taught humility, and rather than laughing off trivial matters, they are taught to care.
Holding the key to a child’s emotional well-being
If there is one aspect of a child’s well-being that you must care about under any circumstance, then it is their emotional well-being. A child who is not emotionally stable can never progress in life. This kind of parenting brings that emotional stability and gives them the anchor that they require so much in their lives.
These are certain key features of the authoritative style, which currently, as per surveys, is the parenting style most encouraged in modern America. Now that you are better aware of the features of this style let us quickly run through the positives and negatives of this style.
What are the pros and cons of this style?
If one has to clearly chart out the positives and negatives associated with this style, then this is the way the statistics would go ahead –
The positives of this system –
- It betters the child’s communication skills and gives them a certain level of confidence. Overall, this directs the child to a positive growth.
- This parenting style makes the child independent and accountable for their decisions. It cultivates a healthy idea of morality and develops a certain sense of discipline in their lives.
- The primary benefit that makes this parenting style most encouraged in modern America is that – it cultivates a healthy relationship between the parents and the kids. Both parties try to understand each other’s points of view with a certain sense of precision and work on the same rather than trying to defeat each other. It is a concept of being together rather than against each other.
- Despite the sense of independence that stems from here, kids come back to their parents for guidance. They give their parents a certain respect and understand their boundaries despite all the freedom.
- Lastly, the biggest impact that this parenting style has on the kids is – their positive growth both in personal and educational domains. They become more responsible, and their academic and other performances improve significantly.
The negatives of this system –
- This style may be difficult to continue in the long run if not balanced well. In more than a singular case, it happens that this gets into the authoritarian zone, and children feel a sense of surveillance. If not controlled at an early stage, this could result in kids feeling throttled.
- Another negative associated with this style is – the development of conflict between the kids and the parents. A healthy conflict is always welcome. But if it escalates to the normal pitch, that could become an issue worth noting. So, you need to keep a check on the same.
Thus, one may state that despite the range of pros and cons, compared to the other methods of parenting, this parenting style most encouraged in modern America – thanks to the results it has yielded. Undoubtedly, the kids who have been tutored under this parenting style have managed to turn out to be more empathetic and better individuals (currently and even at an advanced stage of life).
A quick sampling of this parenting style
In this section, you will get an insight into a sampling of parenting styles and why the authoritative parenting style most encouraged in modern America.
Say: A, B, C, and D are 4 students of the same grade who sat for a trigonometry test. When the results came – none could pass the exam. How would each parent (with different parenting styles) react?
- A – His parents follow the Authoritarian style. This failure would be treated as a personal failure, and A would be bashed and made answerable for all his mistakes.
- B – His parents follow the Permissive style. They would simply acknowledge the failure and would rather not go deep into this whole situation.
- C – His parents follow the Neglectful style. Hence, they would not be bothered about his grades and would continue with their lives in general.
- D – His parents follow the Authoritative style. Hence, they will sit down with D, ask for reasons and try to talk out the issue. Additionally, they would guide D with their underlying experience and help him better face the upcoming challenges.
Therefore, it goes without saying that if there is someone who will get higher marks the next time, it is D among all. He has confronted his failures, learnt from them and got a chance to better himself, thanks to his parents’ guidance.
How is it connected to the traditional parenting style?
If one has to look back at the traditional parenting styles, one will find that – what today is called the authoritative style was actually the most opted style in old times. A certain level of discipline, even if the kid was allowed freedom in terms of their life’s choices. It involves an exchange of mutual trust and cooperation between the parents and the kids, with a degree of authority over their actions.
In terms of difference, the one that perhaps starkly comes out is that – the level of freedom in older times was comparatively less than what is offered now.
Hence, one may state that due to this parenting style most encouraged in modern America, kids trained under this style are well-mannered and aware of the world – rather than the ‘happy go lucky’ kids who seemingly turn out to be quite unaware of the workings of this world.
There is a certain sense of open-mindedness and adjustment, albeit with certain strict responsibilities and duties that the kids must carry out.
It is an adage that modern-day problems require modern solutions. Hence, one needs to create a parenting style to bring up kids according to the demands of current times. Also, it is a common notion that American kids, thanks to their societal and schooling systems, tend to be quite the untameable type. Keeping all these things in hindsight, the parenting style most encouraged in modern America is the authoritative format. This allows the child a certain degree of freedom but within the pervasiveness of regulations. Statistically speaking, compared to Baumrind’s other parenting styles, this has had a greater positive impact on kids. If you liked this article and are looking forward to more exciting reads like this, keep watching this space for more!
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.