October 2008 - Volume 38
Helping Children and Adolescents Succeed Socially!
The Social Skills Groups   Parenting Style

Social Skills Groups are held at:
The Social Skills Place, Inc.
310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201
Northfield, Illinois 60093

Date and times:

Elementary School
Tuesday's 4:00PM-4:45PM
Thursday's 4:30PM-5:20PM

Middle School/Jr.High
Monday's 5:00PM-6:50PM
Thursday's 5:00PM-5:50PM

High School/College
Tuesday's 6:30PM-7:30PM

Parent Group
Wednesday's 1:00PM-2:30PM
Wednesday's 7:00PM-8:30PM

Susan Stern, MSW, LCSW


Visit us at:

The Kind of Parenting Style you Choose Can Help or Hurt Your Child.

We want to raise competent children.  Growing children should not run the household or allow you to lose control.  If your child or children are in charge before college, imagine when they are a teen or an adolescent.  You will have power struggles at home and they will not have learned to listen to and respect you as parents.  They will not respect themselves when they are like that.  There is a good chance they will transfer that same disrespect onto other authority figures, perhaps teachers, coaches, baby sitters and camp counselors, even their peers.  Learn about the three parenting styles and choose the Authoritative Parenting Style, because that one is the most successful, and the best way to parent.  Set the rule now who is in charge. 

Why do children need direction and limits from their parents, teachers and other grown-ups in their lives? A few reasons:

  • Limits and direction make children feel like we care about them; they provide them with a sense of security. Children who are raised without limits and direction often feel abandoned.
  • Children need you to set limits so that they can recognize and respect other people's limits.
  • Limits help them to learn what is socially acceptable and what is not.
  • Children need to learn that if they go past a certain point, there will be consequences.

There are three distinct parenting styles.  They are Authoritative, Permissive, and Authoritarian.  Different parenting styles will create different outcomes for children. I was part of a research study.  I interviewed many young adults who had emotional disorders and many young adults who were free of emotional disorders.  The findings were... The young adults who were free of emotional disorders came from parents who used the Authoritative Parenting Style without physical punishment.  The young adults who had emotional disorders came from Authoritarian and Permissive parents and parenting styles.  Research tells us that parenting styles affect children's psychological well-being, their academic success, and other aspects of their social and psychological adjustment, including adolescent problem behaviors such as aggression and drug and alcohol abuse.

  1. Authoritative parents develop a close and nurturing relationship with their children while also upholding and maintaining a reasonably high level of expectations and rules, limit setting and direction for their children.  They are clear and consistent. This parenting style is most difficult to accomplish, but an authoritative parenting style is the healthiest and most well-balanced style in which to raise children.  More later…
  2. Permissive parents are an anything goes style. Parents are usually permissive because…perhaps they don't want to interfere with their child's development, or they are unconcerned about their children’s lives, or because of their own selfish interests. Perhaps they were parented that way themselves and they are running on ‘Auto Pilot’ from their own childhood memories of the way they were raised by their parents.  The outcome in their children's behavior is usually the same. Children of permissive parents usually engage in attention seeking behavior; some call it acting outbehavior.Children just want to be noticed and they are begging for limits and direction. The children that come from Permissive households are usually craving the attention of their parents, and inside themselves they feel unloved, unimportant, and not cared for.
  3. Authoritarian parenting is understood as the militaryparenting style. Parent or parents emphasize obedience, and usually have very strict family rules. An Authoritarian parent is usually more concerned about the child doing what they say, and they focus less on the opinion or desires of the child.  Authoritarian parents also see children as lesser people than adults. Therefore, they are treated as such.  This parenting style will "hush" the growing child's budding self.  That only creates a child with low self esteem.

    Authoritarian parents hush and hurt their children's intellectual growth and creativity. It also encourages children to either rebel against their parents, or to become submissive, which often carries into adulthood.

Choose the Authoritative parenting style since it is considered to be the healthiest and most balanced approach to parenting. Authoritative parents set and enforce limits to show their love and care, and to protect their children. They are good listeners and respect their relationship with their children, and know the relationship should be a two-way relationship. They also engage and reason with their children when enforcing those limits.

Authoritative parenting is a balance between Authoritarian and Permissive parenting styles. There are times when a parent needs to have their child obey them, regardless how they feel about it, and there are also times when a parent needs to allow their child to make mistakes and take chances without their interference.

Remember, children learn from their parents and imitate them!  Even the slightest behavioral nuances are picked up by our children, and acted out in their own lives. Styles of conflict resolution and the way parents conduct themselves will be imitated to some extent in their children's lives.  Parents, the thoughtful intentional parent is the one who helps to create success in their children.  Remember, the way you parent can help or hurt your child.

Some ideas taken from: Jon Henshaw, M.A.Editor of Family Resource.com

-- Susan Stern, LCSW is the founder of The Social Skills Place, Inc.

The Social Skills Place, Inc. :: 310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201 :: Northfield, Illinois 60093
Office 847 446-7430 :: Cell 847 507-8834 :: www.socialskillsplace.com
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