Community and Family Studies: Context Area – Parenting and Caring. Authoritarian – The authoritarian style characteristics of a demanding and inflexible parent who usually has a preconceived goal to achieve. This parent expects obedience, and children have little input into decisions that many affect them. This form of parenting can result in a child becoming resentful and distant. Children of authoritarian parents tend to do moderately well in school and do not engage in problem behaviours, they are always kept save. In an emergency situation, this is the most desirable style of parenting.

If a family’s house was on fire, it would not be appropriate to discuss the situation and vote on the safest exit! But they have lower self-esteem, poorer social skills and more depression. A higher percentage of obese children come from authoritarian families. The fear that an authoritarian parent can arouse may lead to a very poor quality relationship. It may also develop poor decision –making skill for the child due to a lack of opportunity, and may either make poor choices or rely heavily on their parents to support them.

Democratic – The democratic parenting style invites all family members to have a say in decisions. In this way, children feel appreciated, especially when their ideas form part of the total solution. They are more likely to build a respectful relationship with their parents as communication is valued and each member is affirmed. They will increase their self-esteem and self-confidence. The children will often seek out the support of their parents when they have an issue to address, because of this mutual respect. The children and parents may increase their trust on one other as they share opinions and values.

Being democratic would be hard in time where the parent does not agree with the child and the child has never been told no. This could create conflicts as the child will not know how to deal with this. Permissive/Indulgent – The permissive/Indulgent style of parenting is characterised by excessive leniency. A child may ask permission to be involved in an activity and the parent is likely to agree. Although the children may get their way, they may lack respect for their parents because of their opposition to setting boundaries or rules for their children to follow.

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Sometimes, they may compare their parents’ lenient behaviour unfavourably with that of their friends’ parents. With so few limits set, the children may ultimately feel that their parents do not really care about them. Their bad behaviour is often ignored. This could become a difficulty in the child trying to conform to society. However it will allow the child to learn what is wrong and right for them and suffer from their mistakes, gaining experience and knowledge, sometimes at young ages.

The hard way. Negligence – This style of parenting is characterised by the parent’s failure to responsibly look after their children. Limited or no love or affection is shown to the child. The parent fails to meet the child’s needs, including their physical, economic, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. This style of parenting may be adopted as a result of parents’ own upbringing. Negligent parenting can result in children becoming defiant and engaging in risky behaviours.

In some cases such the Department of Community Services (DoCS) may intervene to look after the best interests of the child. Negligence can occur in a variety of ways. It may be physical, where insufficient food is available perhaps because of gambling or substance abuse issues. In addition, a child may not have suitable clothing or hygiene needs may not be met. Emotional negligence can include a lack of warmth, affirmation and physical affection. It may include negligence in supervision – tragedies have resulted from parenting not keeping their young children under close scrutiny.


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