The 4 Parenting Styles And How To Use Them

The four parenting styles based on research in parenting are:

1. Low love and low limits
2. Low love and high limits
3. High love and low limits
4. High love and high limits

The love and limit parenting variables describes how a parent disciplines their child. Rarely does a parent remain in one category because the parenting style changes with time due to aspects like parental experience, moods, and maturity of the child. The model helps you find the balance of love and limits that suit you and your child’s situation.

Firstly, love is not how much the parent loves the child, but is the visibility of love in the discipline process. A dad yelling at his son shows a low love parenting style even though he may greatly love his son. If you have a high love parenting style, you will reason, talk, and spend more time with your child.

The second variable, limits, describes the boundaries placed around a child and how these boundaries are enforced. A low limits style involves little control and few limits for a child; while a high limits style involves clear boundaries and limits.

Limits describe whether a parent uses passive, assertive, or aggressive discipline. Passive discipline does nothing or little; assertive discipline is a win-win outcome for the child and the parent where the parent establishes the child’s discipline from love; while aggressive discipline is said to be “old school” with techniques such as smacking, using a wooden space, and yelling.

Of the four parenting styles, you use the one that feels right. If your parents used a high limit style and you feel this put you in-line, then you will likely adopt similar disciplining techniques. On the contrary, if you felt your parents’ high limit style was overly aggressive and distasteful, you could use a low limit style because you hate how your parents told you what you can and cannot do. It is common to copy your parents’ style or swing to the opposite extreme. However you were raised, your parents’ style has influenced the style that feels right to you.

There’s a problem with what feels right. What feels right may not be what’s best for you and your child. Letting your child do as he or she pleases (a low love and low limit style) may feel good, but it does harm. Research concludes that a low love and high limit parenting style is better than a low love and low limit style because children develop poor behavioral patterns from the low discipline parenting style.

As a parent, it is easy to use the low love and low limit style. It is easy to avoid any action, and dodge possible counteractions when disciplining a child, by doing nothing. The low/low parenting style has you play a passive role in shaping your child’s behavior and future. If you adopt a passive style of parenting, many factors like culture and the child’s peer group – which influences every child to varying degrees – will determine the child’s mental and emotional growth. This is just some of the extensive information about the 4 parenting styles and parenting in general.

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