Permissive parents—tend to be too lenient, do not set good
boundaries, are not demanding, and do not expect their children to
act their age. They also avoid confrontation. Their children often
grow up to be reckless, bossy, and aggressive adults who tend to
have low self-control and lack achievement.
Authoritarian parents—tend to be demanding, but not responsive
to their children. They focus on obedience and orders to be
followed, with little or no flexibility. Their rules are clear and rigid
and they use punishment to control behavior. Their children tend to
become unhappy, anxious, resentful, stressed, and unfriendly adults.
Uninvolved parents—don’t respond and don’t demand. They
are unavailable to their children and may even reject their children.
Their children tend to look to other people as role models (often
inappropriate people, since no one has helped them learn how to
choose good role models); they also have low self-esteem and lack
Authoritative parents—have a good balance between responsiveness
and demands. They set clear standards for their children,
but they are also supportive and encouraging. They are not punitive,
but have clear guidelines that the children are expected to
follow. They control their children’s behavior by explaining rules
with discussion, not demands. When the boundaries or guidelines
are crossed, there is some form of discipline administered that has
already been clearly specified. They listen to their children, even
when they do not agree with them. Their children tend to develop
into friendly, cheerful, cooperative adults.
It is apparent that this last type of parenting style, the authoritative
parent, is the best—a balance between nurturing and guidelines.
This parenting style will raise the most well-adjusted and
emotionally healthy children. It is interesting that this is the parenting
style described in Proverbs. However, being a good parent is
a process, and there will be times that we do a great job and other
times that we will fail miserably. It will be times like the latter that
draw us back to our heavenly Father to ask Him for help and guidance
in raising our children.
So with a prayer that God will make us better parents, let’s get
started on our journey to understanding wise parenting and hopefully
becoming wise parents.
This excerpt was taken from Wise Parenting: Guidelines from the Book of Proverbs
©2009 by Paul Wegner
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