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The Connection Between Parenting Style and Mental Health

  • Subject: Life
  • Category: Family
  • Essay Topic: Parenting
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1410
  • Published: 10 October 2020
  • Downloads: 68
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It is well known that the way a child is treated affects their growth and how they may turn out to be in the future. This, of course, goes along with other factors, but the main one being parenting and which kind of style is being used. Parenting styles today are split into four different categories: Permissive, Authoritarian, Authoritative, and Uninvolved. The Uninvolved are usually neglectful parents, they fail to set rules and are not involved emotionally with their children. Permissive parents are highly supportive, indulgent, but not demanding as they fail to discipline. The authoritarian parents are not supportive, they have a strict discipline and are very demanding of their children. Thus far, Psychologists consider the authoritative parenting style to be the most successful. This is attributable to the fact that this parenting style uses both high support and high demand, maintaining boundaries while parents also respect their child’s opinion.

While this information is helpful, many adults tend to use the authoritarian parenting style. This style is deemed to be one of the worst ways to raise a child besides uninvolved parents, prove research. From personal experience, the writer strongly agrees that this style can be very damaging to a child’s growth. This is because they have seen various people with parents that use this style. Therefore, authoritarian parents impact their child’s development and mental health negatively by being greatly demanding, isolating, and having low responses towards their children.

As a friend, family member, and bystander, throughout the years I have experienced multiple occasions where parents would discipline like authoritarians. What was seen most was how demanding these parents acted towards their children. For example, the writer’s cousin grew with a very strict mother. She would be described as someone who tells her children to do things that even she is supposed to take care of. One day, many years ago, I was visiting my cousins as it had been a while since I last saw them. They would already normally be forced to do things out of the blue. Today was just like any usual day for my irritated cousins, but the demand for things to be done was so frequent that they are unforgettable.

One of my cousins was yelled at to take out the trash immediately, already busy, my cousin asked why. The mother responded with a “because I said so,” which psychologists have stated that this phrase is quite wrong. Upset and exhausted, my cousin gave in to the mother’s demand and took the trash out at once. Throughout the years, the mother would nonstop request for more to be done instantly. Her children would grow to be rebellious and aggressive as they grew older, violent per se. Why is this? Well, take this analogy. When you tell a child not to do something, their normal response would be to do it more. Generally, if the child is upset they exaggerate and do what was told not to do out of anger, or for “revenge.”

Take it that the mother was not very supportive of her children, she failed to communicate properly with them. Very high standards were given though, as well as little nurturance which can explain why the writer’s cousins grew to be disobedient. While they do care for their mother, they cannot always control themselves. They were not taught how to but demanded to be respectful instead. Nonetheless, this is one way that the authoritarian parenting style affects the mental health and development of a child.

Isolation from many things can be, and is, apart from the authoritarian parenting style. Things like social media, certain clothing, going out to places authoritarians are strict about. This does depend on the level of restriction of course. Some teens are unable to have social media or go out to particular places like over a friend’s house. This too causes rebellious people, including when the parents don’t elucidate on why. Like the statement “because I said so,” would be better off replaced with reasoning. Isolation is huge in this parenting style because it is all largely about what can be done.

The research was done on students to see the different effects of parenting styles and attachment patterns. Tests showed that children who were rejected and maltreated came out to be emotionally isolated not only from family but peers alike. It was said that they would rarely have stable interpersonal relationships and a good self-concept. Authoritarian parents fail to give their children the aspects of attachment that are needed. Aspects of attachment include an ability to maintain long-term intimate relationships and peer relationships in general. Meaning that isolating someone can mentally damage them as they could not know how to communicate or have firm relationships once grown. This is where parents using this style are unsuccessful in helping their child’s growth.

In another test, results proved that anxiety was negatively related to social isolation and limitations. Shockingly enough, this testing was done on elementary school students, where it was shown that authoritarian parenting was the cause of their strong anxiety. What was demonstrated were links between existing problems, stress from high parenting, and the functioning of a parent. This was recent evidence of given negative effects from cumulative stress on children’s behaviour as said by psychologists Davis and Carter in 2008. However, there are many causes to these negative effects, such as low responses from parents. This can cause a child to have low self-esteem, or be aggressive. Making bullying a higher risk for children who deal with this parenting style. In the book “Social Psychology of Education,” it claims that the authoritarian parenting style best anticipates bullying behaviour. So, much of these actions come from the parent’s harsh practices. This was put to test where it was determined that responsiveness had to do with these bully incidents.

Along with aggressiveness is low self-esteem, children with these types of parents are given strict standards that they are to follow through. If they don’t succeed, they are punished and compared to others. It could be a reason as to why the lack of social competence is common, take cooperation for an example. Since authoritarian parents don’t pay much attention to their child’s feelings, the chance of them turning out to be rebellious is high. To parents like such, they believe that shaming their child is a sense of motivation. Instead, this is forcing them to behave while their self-esteem decreases. Although authoritarian parents find obedience to be a good thing, their child will struggle with self-control.

This is due to always being told what to do or how to be, and being unable to make their own choices. When a mistake is made and the parent “disciplines,” the child sees it as randomly being punished. Instead of being told what wrong was done, they learn that they can be lashed out at out of the blue by someone they love. On account of this, the child will fail to have any confidence in the choices that they make. This damages the child mentally because they were punished for an unknown reason, which will affect them in the future.

Although the authoritarian parenting style may affect mental health and growth, there are ways to recover from it. One thing for children who have experienced this parenting is to not blame themselves. Another is to not involve their parents while they heal because they could change their future. Replacing habits that were forced on them when they were younger and making them into better ones. Becoming independent is a big step, but for someone to heal from such treatment, it is needed. Small things are guaranteed to improve their health, like cooking for others. To recover is to take control of their own life, and doing things with their set boundaries.

The authoritarian parenting style is not the only style with flaws, uninvolved and permissive parenting is just as close to it. The closest to this style is uninvolved parenting, as this style is also low in responsiveness. Both authoritarian and uninvolved are very low in nurturance in addition to low communication. Depression is also something that comes from both parenting styles. Uninvolved parents are considered to be the worst parents, as they pay no attention to their children. Unlike the uninvolved, authoritarians do keep track of their child and their success. Just like each parenting has its cons, the authoritarian style does have pros that come with it.

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