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In What Ways Does Authoritative Parenting Affect Child Development?

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The art of parenting is overwhelming and yet to be mastered! In efforts to attain such mastery or yield the best outcome in children, parents are torn between the different parenting styles. Given the four parenting styles, authoritative, permissive (indulgent), authoritarian and uninvolved, authoritative parenting style has been associated with positive outcomes in child development. According to Santrock (1990, 2004), authoritative parenting is described as a style that advocates independence among children, while enforcing boundaries and structure over actions (as cited in Cripps & Brett 2009). Effective authoritative parenting is correlated to positive child development pertaining to patterns of behaviour, numeracy and literacy competencies and the values and self-esteem a child possesses.

Children raised by authoritative parents have less negative behavioural patterns, whether internalized or externalized. Instead, they exhibit high social charisma, conform to rules, show happiness along with other positive behavioural patterns. In a study conducted among three - six years old children, the children from authoritative parents were less disruptive in their behaviours than other children from different parenting styles (Querido, et al., 2002 as cited in Rankin Williams, et al., 2009). This study shows that a child indeed is disruptive, however, a child form authoritative background has self-control regarding how to behave in particular settings, due to the training they receive from their parents. In addition, as a child progresses into adolescence, his or her behavioural problems decrease along with having less internalised behavioural problems (Martinez & Garcia 2008). This proves to be true because as the child grows, he/she becomes mature and is now able to access their actions and adjust where necessary, thus a decrease in negative behavioural patterns. Additionally, among the researcher's peers, adolescence from an authoritative background epitomises the positive behaviours mentioned above by both sources along with being optimistic.

Furthermore, a child from an authoritative background normally develops stronger and closer friendships among peers that are usually long lasting (Cripps & Brett, 2009). In forming these friendships, they lean towards children who have similar behavioural patterns, thus they are not usually under peer pressure. However, when faced with peer pressure, their resistance is substantial seeing that they have been trained by their parents on how to resist the pressure or they turn to their parents for assistance, thus maintaining the friendship among peers. Additionally, a child from this background is normally lenient and when their peers commit an offence against them, they usually reconcile their differences. This 'lenient thinking' is adopted from the parent who is normally non-punitive when the child misbehaves instead of being harsh and cold, as the old-fashioned Jamaican parent would say, 'If yuh slip, yuh slide! (Thompson, 2012). Moreover, an authoritative parent is normally interactive and warm with their child and usually gives advice to him or her about the type of friendship they keep. Thus, the child keeps in mind the relationship between the parent and themselves and the guidance given about friendship, when choosing their friends.

According to Cripps and Brett (2009) authoritative parents influence a child's motivation for learning and his or her positive development. Thus, a child's cognitive development in his or her numeracy and literacy capabilities are dependent on the involvement of parents in his or her school's curriculum. However, the positive development in a child's numeracy and literacy is not facilitated by all parenting styles, except authoritative parenting. In every effort to foster positive development in a child's education, an authoritative parent must ensure that their child is not stressed and have all their necessary tools for learning. Being thus well equipped motivates the child for learning. Additionally, the child of authoritative parents is usually independent, achievement- orientated,



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