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Stepfathers Have Style

Stepfathers have style – parenting style that is.   There are four distinct parenting styles: 

  • Authoritarian,
  • Authoritative,
  • Permissive (Indulgent) and
  • Uninvolved (Disengaged). 



Although there is generally no right or wrong way to be a parent, most of us have some idea of the type of parent they are or want to be.  These are some of influences affecting your style:

  • How you were raised,
  • What you consider good parenting (based on advice received from other parents, or books and articles read about parenting)
  • Your child’s temperament (behaviorial style),
  • Your family size,
  • Your religion,
  • Your education level,
  • Your current environmental situation, and
  • Whether you place more importance on your own needs or whether you are striving to further your child’s future success.

A family’s social and economic status has big effect on parenting in reference to ethnicity and culture as well.  For example, living in a dangerous neighborhood could make a parent more authoritarian due to fear of their environment. Parents who are more highly educated tend to have better jobs and financial security, and this reduction of potential stressors has a significant effect on parenting.  These parents tend to be more concerned with child’s intellectual development and achievement enrolling their kids into strong academic schools and pushing their kids into a number of organized extra-curricular activities such as language and music lessons.

  • Characteristics of Authoritarian (Strict) Parents
  • Have a lot of control over their children.
  • Expect their kids to follow their strict rules at all times; no options or choices.
  • Failure to follow the rules usually results in punishment. 
  • Doesn’t provide an explanation as to the reasoning behind the rules.  If asked to explain, the parent will reply, “Because  I said so.”
  • Tend to be highly critical.
  • Not very warm or affectionate.
  • Obedience and status oriented.
  • Impact of Authoritarian Parenting on Child
  • Rule-followers; just do what they’re told. 
  • Tend to perform well in school.
  • Do not learn to think for themselves or understand why they should behave in a particular way;  poorer social skills.
  • In some cultures and ethnic groups, aspects of authoritarian style may be associated with more positive child outcomes.
  • Aspects of traditional Asian child-rearing practices are often continued by Asian American families. In some cases, these practices have been described as authoritarian.
  • If the demands are pushed too forcefully upon the child, the child will break down, rebel, or run away.
  • Generally obedient and proficient.
  • Tend to rate themselves lower in happiness and self-esteem.

Establishing Your Parenting Style

Your parenting style combines with the style of your significant other to create a unique blend in your family. For example, the mother may display a permissive style while you prefer a more authoritative approach. In order to create a unified approach to parenting, it is essential you and your mate learn to cooperate as you combine various elements of your unique parenting styles.  Click here to learn what’s your parenting style. 



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