There are different parenting styles, which include: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative parenting styles. Authoritative is seen as the best parenting style since the parents who use this parenting style set guidelines and rules which their children, are expected to follow. On the other hand, it uses a democratic technique where the parents listen and are responsive to their children. The authoritative parents are assertive and not restrictive or intrusive on their children and their disciplinary techniques are not punitive but rather supportive. There are two theories that explain the children’s behavior and they include; Albert Banduras social learning theory, which states that the child learns its behavior by observing other people and this theory, is applicable to both maladaptive and adaptive behaviors. The second theory is the Scotts critical period theory, which implies that the child’s behavior is molded during the ages between 0-6 years, which are the critical years in a child’s growth cycle. The use of set rules and procedures are also highly effective in molding the child’s behavior even though they vary from one person to another. This paper is going to attempt to explain the roles of these highlighted areas in Child growth and behavior management.
Key words: Learning, Behaviors and Learning theories.
As a childcare provider for many years, I have witnessed all three styles of parenting: Permissive, Authoritative, and Authoritarian. I have also noticed the effect it has on each child’s confidence, personality, and decision-making. In my opinion, being Authoritative is the best style of parenting. This encompasses being assertive, caring and well balanced (Baumrind, 2005).Children who come from authoritative parents usually develop a sense of self-control, confidence in themselves and an understanding of right and wrong. An authoritative adult recognizes the different stages of childhood development, teaches a child according to their level of understanding, has realistic expectations, sets fair rules and consequence, and gives a child room to grow and learn (Maccoby& Martin, 1983). The parents who use this parenting style set guidelines and rules that their children are expected to follow. It is on the other hand a democratic technique since the parents listen and are responsive to their children. The authoritative parents are assertive and not restrictive or intrusive on their children and their disciplinary techniques are not punitive but rather supportive.
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Based on experience, authoritarian is the worst form of parenting because it is the most emotionally and psychologically damaging. Children who have parents that are “authoritarians” usually spend their childhood and adolescence years fearful of their authoritarian parent, have limited confidence in themselves and are often degraded or put down. Most parents that only look at structure and discipline, who classify themselves as “authoritarians” are in my opinion selfish.
Regarding permissive, it is the most irresponsible style of parenting. A parent who is permissive will have children who misbehave and act out because they are not disciplined and taught manners. These children will have temper tantrums and will be unhappy every time they do not get their way. Permissive parents do not recognize the importance of following through the behavior of their children with consequences to teach a lesson. Often, children from permissive families are not guided enough and will have to find out the hard way. In a general way we can say that most of the times, the adults try to control their children’s behavior.
During the 17th century, children were perceived to have a blank slate, it was the duty of the guardians, and the parents/adults to mould them so that they could behave well thus meeting their adults need. On the contrary, presently the new philosophies dictate that the children should be given their freedom to grow as they interact with the environment around them. Religion has played a key role in accomplishing this, stipulating the role played by the guardians and the children on their expected behavior. A child’s behavior could be positive, acceptable, or adaptive in relation to the existing situation whereas others are thought to be maladaptive, negative, and unsuitable. Most of this maladaptive behavior provides a great challenge on the adults within the society (Baumrind, 1991).
Different families have set rules and standards on their expectations for their children’s behavior. According to Albert Banduras social learning theory, the child learns its behavior by observing other people and this theory is applicable to both maladaptive and adaptive behaviors. On the other hand, the Scotts critical period theory implies that the child’s behavior is molded during the ages between 0-6 years, which are the critical years in a child’s growth cycle. It is important for the teachers and the guardians to note that they play a very significant role in molding a child’s behavior in ways that are appropriate.
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With the use of the following key areas, training a child to acquire positive behavior becomes very successful. They include preventing the occurrence of an inappropriate behavior in a child: maintain a child’s appropriate behavior, stopping any unwanted behavior in a child, and teaching the child appropriate new behavior. In the prevention stage ,the environment plays a key role in a child’s behavior therefore, the adults should plan their environment very well as well as assume a pro-active role by planning ahead before trouble arises i.e. creating enough space for the child which enables the children to be self reliant (Baumrind, 1967).
Similarly, the use of set rules and procedures are highly effective in molding the child’s behavior even though they vary from one person to another. On the other hand, in the prevention of a child’s disruptive behavior, the adult should build up structures, which set the acceptable expected behavior. The child needs to be taken through the desired procedures by the adult, while the stated rules appropriate, air with consequences thereof in relation to the child’s behavior (Maccoby& Martin, 1983).The adult should build a good relationship with the child with the existence of mutual respect between them.
The adults need to thank the children so as to maintain their appropriate behavior as well as commend them when they behave as expected. Appreciating the child prompts them to keep behaving in the right way, so that they can be always appreciated. The use of reinforcement also plays a major role in the molding of a child’s behavior and the reinforcement should be specific, vary, and needed.
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