Parenting can be considered one of the hardest jobs there is. As individuals, each parent chooses a specific way of raising their kids in accordance to what they find appropriate and often stems from the way they too were raised. This specific way of raising children is categorized as a parenting style. In psychology, there is four major parenting styles that are identified based on the relationship of responsiveness that parents provide the child and what [they] demand from them. For me, I experienced two different types of parenting styles growing up.
The parenting style I was primarily raised with was the authoritative style. My dad traveled a lot when I was younger so my mom was the primary discipliner but also my secure base. The authoritative parenting style is a style that is “high in demand but also high in response”. Responsiveness is the care and attention that parents give children in order to fulfill that loving parental role. Demandingness addressed rules that parents have and just how closely parents stick to and carryout the consequences.
According to Arnett and Jensen (2018), the authoritative style is commonly known to be the negotiation style because parents tend to be flexible with decision making. My mom used this method after I started sixth grade at a new school and all throughout high school. Being a cheerleader, going out was inevitable after almost every game. I was usually told no, but never just no. I remember my sophomore year, it was the big homecoming game and I was on the JV team.
Staying for the whole varsity game and going out to eat after was something I had wanted to do for a long time. I asked my mom if I could stay and at first she said no, that I was too young and it was too late. Being an adolescent, I was not happy to say the least and I stormed off. The day before the big game, she asked me why I had gotten so upset and what my reasons were behind wanting to stay for the varsity game and go out to eat after.
I told her that I did not want to feel left out from squad bonding and everyone was going to go. This is when she said that I could go but only if I used my own money (which I had previously earned making my aunt’s bed for a week) and I had to be home by 11. The classic authoritative style is present in this occasion because although her rules were that I had to be home after my games ended, she reasoned with me because she cared about my wishes and needs. Another example of the authoritative style being used by my mom can be seen in instances that regarded looks. She was very open to hair dying, shopping sprees, and all the fun stuff except getting my nails done. Before I had a job, I had to beg her each and every time to let me do my nails. Nine out of ten times she would say no but always accompanied by an explanation as to why she did not think it a good idea. Reasons included I could do my own nails really well or I was too young to get acrylics.
The importance of explaining reasons behind the rules that are set out and why there is a need to go forward with them is another common factor the authoritative parenting style has. Although I was not able to get my nails done as often as I would have liked from sixth grade to sophomore year, my mom allowed me to get my nails done once I was old enough to make my own money because I was more mature. I believe that my mom presented a flexible yet firm parenting style as I grew up because of our culture and the fact that she was raised in a much stricter environment. These two tie in together because being a Mexican daughter raised by an authoritarian father, she knew how difficult it would be to have a harmonious relationship between child and parent having experienced it herself. My grandpa was very strict about many things in my mom’s youth but emphasized his rules in education.
He made it clear that his children needed to finish school (as in masters or doctorate) before they could ever start thinking about making a family. My mom was a 27-year-old adult that was married with a B.A. and was scared to tell her father that she was pregnant because she had a couple months left until she received her M.A. I believe that she wanted me and my sister to be able to come to her like a friend and build that beautiful mother-daughter bond, but still be able apply her rules because she does come from that strict parenting style. As I’ve grown older my mom definitely has not stopped raising me, but she has become more acclimated to the parenting style that can commonly be found in American culture. In Mexico, children are not allowed to go out with their friends all the time, let alone at night for a party or sleepovers. That culture embedded into her made it difficult for her to be able to let me go out often.
I believe that she adopted a style that appropriately merged two worlds that she desperately wanted to be in. She kept her strict Mexican roots, which was the only thing she knew her whole life up until moving to America; and the new American culture she knew she had to acclimate to in order to flourish as an immigrant. The authoritative parenting style was what she adopted, and gradually she has become more and more responsive and less demanding, in regard to going out. Our culture highly influenced the way she raised me and my sister but was able to stray away from the authoritarian style that is commonly used.
When I was younger, I used to always say I would adopt the permissive parenting style, that is very responsive and low in demands and expectation, very very low in demandingness. After learning about the parenting styles and writing this paper, I know that I will most likely raise my own kids with the same outline my mom set out with the authoritative parenting style. I want to be there for my kids when they need me as a secure base, but also need them to follow rules. Not only the rules of the house but also the rules of the world. As a young adult, I now reflect on the way my mom raised me quite frequently. I see the way that my friends “turned out” that were raised in a more permissive manner.
Let out more or being able to do what they wanted in high school, and it makes me feel that my mom allowed me to slowly enter adulthood at a rate that I could handle. I feel that I’ve gone through plenty of rough times, as many people do, but my mom took the patience to explain everything to me and led me through a path of wisdom and success. Her expectations of me academically have filled me with a determination to be somebody & make a difference in the world, and her attentiveness to my needs allowed me to be attentive to others. The effectiveness of the authoritative parenting style is very effective and I believe that it truly what has allowed me to become a well-rounded adult.