Being a good parent doesn’t come naturally. It’s a learned experience – and not all of us had the best parents, either. Learning to parent can be seen as a two-pronged approach; we can learn from our own experiences with kids, and then integrate external information from research and other parents around the world. Knowing different archetypes of parenting styles can help to solidify how you understand your relationship with your children. Knowledge of different parenting styles can increase the quality of your parenting.
Being introspective is the first step. How do I interact with my kid? How do they react to me and my unique parenting styles? After you look inward, look outward. How do my experiences align with current research and advice from other successful parents?
Here are some academically defined parenting styles, as described by the Emotion-Related Parenting Styles (ERPS) scale. These parenting styles have been confirmed internally consistent for females, both mothers and non-mothers, so Aunts take note! For males, some of these styles have not been confirmed to be consistent, specifically emotion disapproving. This means that internal-reliability of the measures are consistent for female participants in the study, but were less so for males. However, this doesn’t mean that fathers and uncles shouldn’t take these into account as well.
This involves the parental acceptance of negative emotions.
“I want my child to experience sadness.”
This involves the rejection of negative emotions.
“Children acting sad are just trying to get adults to feel sorry for them.”
This style describes the tendency for parents to use emotion coaching for negative emotions
“When my child is angry, it’s time to problem solve.”
In contrast, this style entails an uncertain or ineffective socialization of negative emotions.
“When my child is sad, I’m not quite sure what he or she wants me to do.”
It is critical that your children are educated in the full range of emotional experiences. Children get sad and they get angry – these are normal and healthy experiences. It’s suggested in the present research that quality parenting techniques involve being supportive of emotional expression. Communicate with your child and discover why they’re acting up. Integrating your child’s emotional expressions into a discussion can be a fruitful discovery process. Take the opportunity to dialogue with your children. This will help to socialize them into a positive understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Dunstan, D. A., Anderson, D. L., & Marks, A. G. (2015). Reliability of the Emotion-Related Parenting Styles Scale across gender and parent status groups. Early Education And Development, 26(8), 1234-1250. doi:10.1080/10409289.2015.1039435