Developing Healthy Parenting Styles and Healthy Parent-Child Relationships

Parenting is one of the most amazing but stressful roles that most parent complains of how stubborn and excessively introvert their child is.

Many parents do not understand this frustrating aspect of child-upbringing because they have never experienced it.

Through no great achievement of their own, they managed to produce a house full of “easy” children. If you are one of those struggling parents who has wept in the midnight hours, this article is for you.

The best way to deal with parental guilt, of course, is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. We’ve taken a step in that direction by exposing false guilt resulting from circumstances beyond our control.

But we must not go too far in that direction. Parents are accountable before God to meet their responsibilities to their children, and He is vitally concerned about their welfare.

Our failure to love and discipline our children often inflicts upon them a weak and damaged faith. There is no greater tragedy in life!

We also want to do our best for our kids because we love them dearly. But our parenting skills in raising our kids can be of great influence in their lives affecting them either positively or negatively. Learn the basic principles of healthy parenting.

Raising a happy, healthy child is one of the most challenging jobs a parent can have — and also one of the most rewarding. Yet many of us don’t approach parenting with the same focus we would use for a job.

We may act on our gut reactions or just use the same parenting techniques our own parents used, whether or not these were effective parenting skills.

Parenting is one of the most researched areas in the field of social science. No matter what your parenting style or what your parenting questions or concerns may be, from helping your child avoid becoming part of America’s child obesity epidemic in dealing with behaviour problems, experts can help.

Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness, achieve. Good parenting also helps to protect children from developing anxiety, depression, fear.

One of the interesting things about being a parent is that there is great variation in how we raise our children. At the same time, there are many commonalities from one parent to another. In fact, there is enough similarity that researchers have tried to group parents into four common parenting styles.

Your parenting style refers to the combination of strategies that you use to raise your children.

The four parenting styles have distinct names and characteristics:

Authoritarian or Disciplinarian

These parents are often thought of as disciplinarians.

They use a strict discipline style with little negotiation possible. Punishment is common.

Communication is mostly one way: from parent to child. Rules usually are not explained. They aren’t with this style of parenting are absolutely more caring. Parents in this category tend to be warm and nurturing.

Permissive or Indulgent

Permissive or Indulgent parents mostly let their children do what they want, and offer limited guidance or direction. They are more like friends than parents.

Their discipline style is the opposite of strict. They have limited or no rules and mostly let children figure problems out on their own. There’s open communication between them and the child in this style.

Uninvolved Parenting

Uninvolved parents give children a lot of freedom and generally stay out of their way.

Some parents may make a conscious decision to children in this way, while others are less interested in parenting or unsure of what to do. No particular discipline style is utilized.

An uninvolved parent lets a child mostly do what he wants, probably out of a lack of information or care. Communication is limited.

Authoritative Parenting

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. Disciplinary rules are clear and the reasons behind them are explained.

Communication is frequent and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding.

Authoritative parents are nurturing. Expectations and goals are high but stated clearly.

Children may have input into goals.

The Main Three Parenting Styles

These three styles are called the Permissive style, the Aggressive style, and the Assertive style.

Signs that you are Using the Permissive Style

  • Evading discipline issues
  • Begging for cooperation
  • Acting flustered
  • Being unclear or indirect in your requests
  • Being a martyr versus asking for what you need
  • Worrying about being “liked” by your child
  • Fearing that you may upset your child
  • Blaming yourself and taking all the responsibility when problems arise
  • Being inconsistent with expectations

Results of Using the Permissive Style

  • Your child does not learn to respect you.
  • He is not held accountable for his behaviour.
  • Proper limits are not set.
  • Your child has too much power in the house.
  • He does not learn to be responsible to fulfill obligations.
  • He is not encouraged to learn the tasks of everyday living that he will need as an adult.
  • As a result, your child will not build a healthy self-esteem. It also damages the relationship between you and your child.

Aggressive Style

A parent using this style refuses to listen to the child’s point of view at all and is typically harsh, angry, and cold.

Signs that you are Using the Aggressive Style

  • Having many power struggles
  • Accusing your child of having bad intentions
  • Discrediting your child’s ideas
  • Tricking, teasing, humiliating your child
  • Doling out harsh punishments
  • Rigidly enforcing rules.

Results of Using the Aggressive Style

The self-esteem of your child is damaged because he does not feel understood or supported.

The parent-child relationship is weakened as your child would not feel that you are someone he could turn to if he had a problem.

Children from these families often become either overly submissive.

Assertive Style

Parents using this approach are willing to listen and yet still hold firm so that the parent’s and the child’s needs are both basically met.

When setting limits, the parent does not get sidetracked, can provide choices, and allows the child an opportunity to participate in finding a solution.

Signs that you are Using the Assertive Style

  • Persisting until your requests are followed
  • Listening to your child’s point of view
  • Giving brief reasons
  • Revealing honest feelings
  • Making of flexible rules
  • Politely refusing
  • Empathizing
  • Not blaming your child.
  • Setting reasonable consequences

Results of Using the Assertive Style

This style is most successful because it uses a healthy balance of both nurture and structure.

It builds a strong parent-child relationship, as your child realizes that he can depend on you to understand his struggles and provide guidance and support. When you use an Assertive style of parenting, your child is more likely to come to you for direction in the future as issues arise in his life.

Tips for Using an Assertive Parenting Style

Assertive approach:

  • Listen when your children talk about things that may bother them, acknowledge their feelings and let them know you care about their problems.
  • When you discipline, you can set limits without blaming or shaming your children.
  • Exhibit the behaviour you would like your children to exhibit.
  • Give your children choices and their power of decision making.
  • Know that it is in your children’s best interest to have clear rules that are consistently enforced with persistence, love, and warmth.
  • Often Praise your children for positive behaviour that you would like to children.
  • Prepare them for difficult times and make them understand that life won’t be fair on them. They should hustle and make their life worth living.

Benefits to Children


  • see you as a source of support.
  • have a sense of safety because rules are in place.
  • feel lovable and worthy of being cared for.
  • feel listened to and understood.
  • develop basic feelings of trust in relationships.
  • learn to be kind to other people.
  • consider another person’s point of view.
  • learn to tolerate frustration and disappointment.
  • learn to be responsible and to make decisions.
  • learn that they are capable of doing things.
  • become more independent.
  • are ready to learn in order to tackle difficult situations.

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