Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child learns to feel shame, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.

He a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

– Dorothy Law Neite

Leaders, failures, achievers, complainers… the way children are parented when they are young influences the type of adults they become. The four Parenting styles – Disciplinarian, Over-permissive, Negligent and Hyper-parenting-all produce adults with certain personality traits.

Disiciplinarian/Authoritarian parents raise Rebellious Adults

Children are so strictly controlled by either punishment or guilt that they lack the ability to make any independent decisions.

As adults they:

  • Are discontented, withdrawn and distrustful.
  • Equate success with love, can be ruthless competitors
  • Hate being given orders/instructions
  • Are constantly anxious, unhappy and fearful.
  • Rebel by being deceitful, lying and cheating.
  • Are aggressive with poor anger management

Over-permissive/Indulgent parents raise Indecisive Adults

Although permissive parents give their kids a lot freedom, their children interestingly do not develop independence and curiosity.

As adults they:

  • Are either extremely compliant or demanding and willful
  • Make ineffective leaders and are poor decision makers
  • Find a way to blame others, rarely responsible
  • Are Immature and Dependent on others
  • Have trouble living in a highly populated community; are social misfits
  • May become doormats/victims of abuse

Negligent/Uninvolved parents raise Depressed Adults

Children of negligent parents feel undervalued and ignored. They have very low self-worth and are at highest risk for mental health problems.

As adults they:

  • Are prone to delinquency, drug use and risky sexual behaviour
  • Usually remain unhappy, moody, depressed
  • Perform poorly in school, college and jobs
  • Lack social graces and are aggressive.
  • Are emotionally detached from their partners and children
  • Are most prone to suicidal attempts

Hyper-parents raise Helpless Adults.

Helicopter parents who constantly hover, doing everything for the child create intense dependency. Yet, they also put their kids under immense pressure by pushing them to excel. Typically, their children get confused and underperform.

As adults they:

  • Never reach their full potential; usually do worse than they are capable of
  • Lack good communication Skills
  • Are disorganized and haphazard in their daily life.
  • Expect others to take care of them
  • Become bossy and dominating spouses
  • Have Poor conflict management skills

In today’s fast-changing information age where choice is constant and there is no longer just one “right” way, children need a parenting style that is flexible and works with all kinds of children.

The four styles of Parenting- Disciplinarian, Over-permissive, Negligent and Hyper-parenting-are all IMBALANCED and impractical.

Balanced Parenting which combines a healthy mix of both LOVE and LIMITS is the key to raising well-adjusted children.

Children raised by this style learn to accept responsibility, make wiser choices, cope with change, and are better equipped to succeed in adult life.

(Published in RobinAge, September 2009)