By: Nienghoilhing Haokip

Why do parents need to know their parenting styles?

Your parenting style affect everything from how much your child weighs to how they feel about themselves. It’s important to ensure your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development because the way you interact with your child and how you discipline them will influence them for the rest of their life and since parenting styles are associated with different child outcomes, parents have to be aware of which style they used and change for the best outcome of their children.

What is Parenting style?

Parenting style is defined as the behavior or daily practices that a parent uses when he/she interacts with his/her children. The three types of parents based on their parenting styles and their children outcomes are:

Authoritative parents: Parents who demonstrate high rules and standards, as well as firm limits using democratic methods- Children are more likely to be self-assertive, independent, competent, confident, motivated, friendly, cooperative.

Authoritarian parents: Parents who show high levels of demandingness and low levels of responsiveness, and expect appropriate and mature behaviours at all times- Children are more likely to be unmotivated, withdrawn, shy(girls), hostile(boys), apathetic, incompetent.

Permissive parents: Parents who show high levels of responsiveness and low levels of demandingness, providing little guidance and sometimes no structure, and show high levels of warmth- Children are more likely to be impulsive, dependent, undisciplined, socially competent, self-centered.

Which parenting style is considered the best?

Authoritative parents have been found to have the most effective parenting style in all sorts of ways: academic, social, emotional and behavioural, it is generally linked to positive behaviours such as happy, capable, successful, strong self-esteem and self-competence.

Most frequently asked questions from the participants:

How can I teach my child to share her toy with other children?

Kids don’t really learn to share until they are 3 years old. It’s okay if children below the age of 3 doesn’t share. Always use the phrase “Take Turns”. Teach them to take turns in both sharing and receiving. And tell them sharing is a good human value and don’t forget to reward them by clapping or praising them whenever they share that will be one way of reinforcing that good habit.

My child always throws toys or objects as a part of playing. How can I stop him from throwing?

Throwing is a trigger for parents- meaning, we attend to it- so it’s really important for parents to stay calm and not scream so that you can teach your kids an appropriate alternative response. You can also redirect the throwing to something more appropriate like throwing balls into a bucket. Throwing when they are mad will need little more interventions but throwing as a part of playing is common in children.

How can I help my child with tantrums?

Acknowledge how your child feels (“I can see you’re really mad, you want to go outside”) offering a choice of two things he can do instead, and waiting to discuss. You can also try “Calm Down Corner”. (Calm Down Corner can be a place where you place a chair and asked your child to go and count till 1-50 and come back after counting when they calm down). Especially for younger children, life is hard and frustrating when they’re learning to communicate so tantrums are one way of communicating.

How can I practice positive parenting when my toddler has speech delay?

If your child has a speech delay, you can try prompting their communication with pictures or sign language or offer a choice and asked them to point. Hopefully this will reduce some of the frustration and allow you to reinforce the communication and keep it positive. You can also try using one fixed language at home. If the child’s development is delayed behind his age you can also consult a speech therapist.

How much time a day do I need to spend with my child so that my child won’t lack love?

Quality time with undivided attention where you put away your phone, get down on the floor and engage in the play is what the child needs. Kids are resilient and they don’t need 100% of your time to feel loved. Make sure to give your undivided attention at the least 10 minutes a day to make sure you will fill their “attention cup”.

How can I handle my child who is very aggressive and also hit and bite?

Biting and hitting are communicative, especially with younger children who don’t have a lot of verbal language. Sometimes that is their way of expressing “what they want” or “what they don’t want”. Biting/hitting is scary/shocking, but we have to stay calm and prompt the child to point to/say/communicate what they want at that moment. Acknowledge their emotion and try talking to them calmly start with “I can see you’re really frustrated right now” and figure out the reason behind that hitting or biting.

My child meltdown when it’s time to stop playing and do other activities. What can I do?

Transitions are challenging especially with younger children. Give transition warnings (5-2-1 minutes) so that they’re little aware that they will have to stop after sometime. Give them choices for the next activities like “Should we bath first or study first?” because they also need to feel they are in control of the situation.

My child usually do not response to my calling of his name. What can I do?

Many young children didn’t response as they have been through many unnecessary calls before.  In this case, you can get up and walk to him, hold his hand, have him look at you and say what you wanted to say and follow through with their doing of what you ask. Avoid unnecessary calling of their name so that every call will be valuable and with a purpose.

How should I take away toys or objects from my child without a meltdown?

Taking things away often leads to tantrums so you can always swap out and give them something in exchange like different toys or objects.

How can I teach my child about our culture?

For the fear of not being able to develop your own cultural beliefs and practices with your children, here’s the good news: most of the children are keen observer and active learners. So, be the model, you can practice and transmit all your cultural beliefs, values and themes to them.

How can I make sure my children know their primary language?

Use your primary language at home as children will eventually learn English and Hindi from school and outside home.

How can I reduce screen time for my child?

Excessive screen-time, over usage of mobile phones by children should be reduced before it turned into a tailspin. Set “Time for Screen” for children and parents should also try to follow that “Time for Screen” for more effective result. Alternative solutions should be made available (games, work, storybooks, quality time together with parents).

How can I discipline my child without beating with a stick?

Punishment in the form of beating children with stick should be avoided as it has a negative impact in their later life. The harmful effects of physical and verbal punishment like yelling, slapping, hitting, and spanking teach violence, destroy self-esteem, create anger, interfere with learning, and damage the relationship between parent and child. You can try time-out, denial of privileges, and so-called “logical” consequences instead of beating with a stick.

(Note: Every individual is different so are children and the techniques suggested may not be applicable for all children- those suggestions are as per my knowledge from the study undertaken and my understanding of Children and Parenting).

Authoritative style of parenting is considered most effective and fortunately mostly used by the Manipur migrants in Delhi.

From a thesis on “Parenting Practices among Manipur Migrants Living in Delhi” by Nienghoilhing Haokip. (M.Sc. Human Development and Childhood Studies, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi).

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Editor at Eimi Times.