We all want to be great parents and give our future children the absolute best start in life. We want to do everything right.However, knowing exactly what to do is often confusing, overwhelming and scary. For those who are married, you can tell the difference between your way of doing things and that of your in-Laws.  Note is stated “your way” because that’s what you know based on the parenting style that your parents adopted. Children mostly adopt the behaviors they see at home and that becomes the gospel truth. Remember children copy. They don’t listen! Your parenting style is key determine who they will be in future. It could either make or break your child’s future. Over 50 years of research with 14.5 million pairs of twins have shown that a child’s character is 51% determined by environment while 49% genetics. This is why you need to play a big role as a parent. Here are four major parenting styles different:

  1. Authoritarian- I like to call this parenting style as the military style. Parents sets the rules and the child is expected to follow. Meaning, communication is only one way. When the child asks why, the response is “because I SAID SO!” The rules are set with no explanation and its either my way or the highway! As such, punishment is very common as parents have high expectation from children. There is less nurturing. What are the results of this type of parenting? The children develop fear and low self-esteem.How will they be confident if they are confined in tight rules and they have no space for self-expression? They often feel like their ideas are not valued. The children also tend to be less social with other kids and their academic performance is also low. The reason is the child feel like they ae walking on eggs… they have to be so careful in doing things.  To avoid punishment, they become very good liars. In their adult life, the child may become aggressive and hostile and even engage in drug abuse as a way of expressing anger. Do not be surprised when such children engage in criminal activities!
  2.  Permissive – This is where the majority of current generation of parents are. Do you keep setting rules but do not enforce them? Eg If you don’t finish your breakfast, you will not watch your favourite cartoon. Then the child fails to finish her breakfast and you still proceed to let her enjoy her cartoons. Or let’s just say that you leave out the consequence part in setting the rules… eg. I will punish you if you don’t finish your homework and the punishment is notdefined exactly what will happen should the child fail to do it. The worst case scenario is where the child always has her way and the parent is oky with that eg I want to ride my bike….maybe late in the evening and the parent is lenient stating that kids will always be kids? If you keep buying all the toys that your kids asks for because they asked for it…you are not being fair to their future. If you are this kind of parent, then you are a permissive parent and this could harm your child. Children with permissive parents tend to be egocentric. They feel entitled to everything because they are used to having their way. In adult life, these children tend to be indecisive as they lack a reference point… remember they grew up with no rules. They have difficulties in relationships, poor social skills and have impulsive behavior. These are the kind of women who become very nagging…they want that sofa right now now! If the husband cannot provide, you obviously know that there won’t be peace in that house. They are also likely to have health issues such as obesity because they eat unhealthy foods and the parents allow it!
  3. Neglect/uninvolved – Are you the kind of parent is never there? When was the last time you ask your child how her day was. When was the last time you did homework together? Are you the parent who is too deep into the career that your children rarely see you? Do even know your children’s aspiration? Worse still, are you the kind of a mom who left her child in the village for various reasons but you just never ever create time for her? The problem with this kind of parenting is that children grow up with few rules, little guidance often feel unloved. There is not expectation from children. In short…children are not raised up, they are left to grow. What then is the implication of uninvolved parenting? They are likely to be criminals…of course they don’t have guidance. They indulge in alcohol and drug abuse .There is high chances of suicide as they feel unloved and unappreciated. They also tend to be aggressive.  
  4. Authoritative- I hope you belong to this category. Authoritative parents are reasonable and nurturing, and set high, clear expectations.  Children with parents who demonstrate this style tend to be self-disciplined and think for themselves. This style is thought to be most beneficial to children. Parents put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with a child. You explain the reasons behind your rules. Further, you enforce rules and give consequences, but take your child’s feelings into consideration. The parents allow some level of independence. The result is having children with high esteem, great social skills, high academic performance and less likely to be in crime. This is the parent you need to be.

Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to learn. From the four examples it’s clear the best parenting style is authoritative. Take time to evaluate yourself and understands where you belong. Then, in the next post, I will share ways in which you can become an authoritative parent. Stay tune. Like and follow this page on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. See you soon. Thanks for passing by.

See also
http://wowmom.co.ke/sample-meal-plan-for-toddler-1-2-years/