Parental Styles and Socio-Emotional Development in Middle Childhood The concerned parent attempts to provide all that is needed for their children to grow and developed into acceptable, productive members of society. The nurturance can sometimes become challenging and even gruesome as together, child and parents, travel through the stages of development. Kail and Cavanaugh (2010), describes two dimensions of parenting. The first dimension relates to the amount of affection and concern presented by the parent (warmth). They are genuine in displaying loving care at one end of the spectrum. They integrate into every aspect of their child’s life from a warm and caring perspective. The other end of the spectrum presents the opposite scenario. At this end there is little or no display of warmth and affection. These parents are too busy doing for themselves with no regards to what is happening as their children proceed through the stages of development. They are mostly not involved in their child’s lives.
The second dimension (control) involves what can be described as either a dictatorship or freelance. Control is the key element (or the lack of). The controlling parent is one who dictates everything their child does; little or no autonomy is given. There is, on the other end of this spectrum, those parents who allow their child to make their own decision with no need to ask them or worry about any consequences from the choices they make in life (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). This paper will address the various parenting styles and the social, emotional developmental aspects associated with each concerning the development of a 10 year old. Authoritarian Parenting
This style of parenting employs little warmth with a high degree of control (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). The rules are explicitly directed by these parents and are expected to be adhered to without any further discussions or considerations. The basic mentality forming the authoritarian parent is that of working hard to achieve, being respectful to others and that of obedience (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). What their child wishes or need is of little or no importance. They are not given options or choices and are punished with little or no explanation (Cherry, 2013). The social and emotional effects in middle childhood can be devastating. Erikson contends that a 10 year old is in the fourth stage of development (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010).
He terms this stage as industry verses inferiority where encouragement and nurturance provides social and emotional stability. From this the child develops a sense of pride through their abilities and in having a sense of accomplishment; they are confident (Cherry, 2013). The authoritarian parent can produce a profound negative effect on the social and emotional development. According to Cherry (2013), this child may follow rules well but has no sense of autonomy. They mistake love as being a residual effect from success through obedience. Aggressive behavior may be displayed outside of the home environment and the child may present a fearful disposition. Social interactions may be hampered as a sense of shyness around others may be present; self esteem is lowered (Cherry, 2013). Authoritative Parenting
The authoritative parenting style may be described as providing some degree of control, but not overbearing. In conjunction, these parents are nurturing as they are responsive to the needs of their siblings in a warm and loving manner. In contrast to the authoritarian parenting style, they are affectionate, encouraging and offer explanations (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). These parents listen to what their child has to say and allow them a sense of independence while setting limits and reasonable consequences for negative behavior (Cherry, 2013).
The social and emotional effect on a 10 year old developing under this style of parenting, results in positive effects. According to Cherry, these children have developed a sense of autonomy and are confident in their ability to learn. They are proud of their accomplishments and handle emotions well. They appear to be much happier children as social skills have developed well; self esteem is high (Cherry, 2013). According to Kail and Cavanaugh (2010), these children tend to make better grades. Permissive Parenting
These parents provide warmth and demonstrate a sense of caring but little control is offered. Children are allowed to do as they please with little or no consequences for unacceptable behavior (Dewar, 2011). According to Cherry (2013), permissive parent often present as a friend rather than as a parent. In addition they may use bribery and provide gifts to get their child to behave (Cherry, 2013). The social and emotional effect on 10 years olds may present as being self centered as they lack self discipline. These children are emotionally demanding and may feel insecure since they are not accustomed to limitation being placed on them (Cherry, 2013). The lack of guidance and the setting of boundaries have crippled this child’s ability to interact with peers and others on a normal level. Socialization is hampered with the development of poor social skills (Cherry, 2013). Uninvolved Parenting
This parenting style is just as the name implies. According to Kail and Cavanaugh (2010), these parents fail to provide warmth and exhibit no control over their children. However they do provide their basic physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter; as well as a small degree of emotional support, but nothing else. The time spent with the child is minimal as they (the parent) tend to escape becoming involved emotionally (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010).
The social and emotional effects are profoundly significant in a 10 year old’s development. According to Cherry (2013), a lack of self control may be exhibited. There may be evidence of low self esteem. They are withdrawn emotionally and experience anxiety, stress and fear since they lack the support of a family. They lack confidence and the sense of inferiority may be present as they do not fare as well as their peers in the social climate (Cherry, 2013). In addition, they develop a sense of being self supporting and have a fear of becoming dependent on others. More importantly, according to Cherry (2013), delinquency may become more of a problem during adolescence. In conclusion, it is easy to conclude that the authoritative parenting style will probably be the best approach to rearing children. While it is easy to come to this conclusion in the western world, there are cultural differences that tend to take a different view. However, there is one general belief that is appropriate across cultures and that is; that all wish to rear children to become productive, acceptable members of the society in which they live. The desire for all children is to become capable, confident and happy throughout their lifespan.
Cherry, K. (2013,a). What Is Permissive Parenting? [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/permissive-parenting.htm Cherry, K. (2013,b). What Is Uninvolved Parenting? [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/uninvolved-parenting.htm Cherry, K. (2013c). Stages of Psychosocial Development [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial_2.htm Cherry, K. (2013d). What Is Authoritarian Parenting? [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/authoritarian-parenting.htm Cherry, K. (2013e). What Is Authoritative Parenting? [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/authoritative-parenting.htm Dewar, G. (2011). Permissive parenting: A parenting science guide to the research [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from http://www.parentingscience.com/permissive-parenting.html Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2010). Human Development: A Life-Span View (5th Ed.). Retrieved from http://gcumedia.com/digital-resources/cengage/2010/human-development_a-life-span-view_ebook_5e.php