Baurmind introduces a theory of three parenting styles that signify the key behaviors and communication patterns characteristic of how parents approach the upbringing of their children. Authoritarian parenting style is characterized by strict rules, punishment, and high standards set for the child but also with little regard for the feelings and inner experiences of the child. Permissive parenting focuses on nurturance and acceptance of the child with very few limits and demands of the child which frequently leads to a child being free to do whatever they will. Authoritative parenting style is characterized by parents wanting to be guides and mentors for their children which they achieve by setting rules and expectations but also my building close relationship with their children, listening to them, and taking their opinion into account when making important decisions (Berger, 2017).
Reflection on my relationship with my parents, I now see that it was mostly authoritative in nature with a little bit of permissiveness. Namely, for as long as I could remember, we had house rules that dictated when I have to go to bed, how much TV I could watch, and what chores I should do but if there were substantial reasons to amend these rules my parents always were open for discussion. Further, my parents also used discipline to help me do and achieve what I wanted but perhaps lacked the inner discipline to pursue. To make it more clear, when my parents saw that I was getting seriously interested in something and wanting to achieve something, they would help me do it by setting rules to ensure that I was working towards my goals constantly. At the same time, my parents were quite permissive when it came to me going out with friends, goofing around during school breaks, and going to the parties when I was a teenager. Even when I was doing something that was bad for me, my parents were quite forgiving and tolerant. Lastly, my parents always were very attentive to my moods and emotions, always knowing when to ask if something was up and offering to discuss whatever was bothering me.
Attachment theory is a concept in developmental psychology maintaining that developing intimate connections with parents during infancy is crucial for the newborn’s psychological and social well-being in the future. Ideally, during the first few months of the infant’s life, parents should be very affectionate, nurturing, and available at times when the newborn experiences distress. If parents manage to accomplish all of this and develop a trusting connection with the child during this early period of life, the child will grow up having the basic trust to the world and people and knowing that at times of need, he or she will be helped. This knowledge is essential for the child to safely explore the world and build relationships with other people throughout his or her life. If the child does not experience this essential trust and affectionate connection with parents during infancy, he or she will likely be avoiding close intimate connections with other because of the fear that other person may not be responsive and or may be inconsistent in their feelings, just like they have experienced it during early childhood (Friedman & Schustack, 2016).
While I cannot remember what were my relationships with parents when I a was a newborn, I have reasons to believe that their nurturance has helped me develop a secure attachment pattern. As a child, I always felt like I could count on my parents and I never expected them to turn away from me at times when I needed them. Knowing that they have my back I felt safe exploring the world and studying.
- Berger, K.S. (2015). Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence [Tenth Edition]. Worth Publishers.
- Friedman, H. S. & Schustack, M. W. (2016). Personality: Classic theories and modern research, 6th Ed. Pearson: Boston.