In each family there is a particular way of educating children. The way adults act with respect to children in everyday situations, when they have to make decisions about them or resolve a conflict is called educational style
Studies on the subject have highlighted two fundamental aspects for the definition of these styles:
1º The parental demand , which refers to the rigor of parental control. Parents differ in the degree of control of their children’s behaviors and in the requirement to abide by the rules. Control is a continuum and there are no pure families of one style or another, but rather educational tendencies towards greater or lesser control.
2º The availability of response , which refers to the degree to which parents respond to the needs of their children, the level of affective involvement and the accessibility they show. As in the previous case, we are going to find a continuum, from fathers and mothers with a great availability of response, to others with very little, passing through all the intermediate grades.
There are 4 types of educational styles, which differ, as we have mentioned, depending on the control exercised by the parents and the affection shown to the children:
- The authoritarian style : characterized by a lot of control and little affection -> “children have a duty to behave appropriately.”
- The permissive style : which stands out for the little control exercised by the parents and a variable affection -> “each one has to learn for himself, life is the best school”.
- The overprotective style : in which little control and a lot of affection stand out -> “the duty of parents is to avoid all discomfort and suffering for their children.”
- The assertive style : characterized by a lot of affection and a balanced control according to age? -> “children need guidance and supervision, but they have to learn from the consequences of their actions”.
Each educational style has specific characteristics when performing it and consequences for the development of our children:
1) Authoritarian style:
- Abundant and rigid norms -> Rebellion due to impotence
- Demand without reasons -> Attitude of flight or deception
- More punishments than rewards, -> Rigidity
- Criticism of the person -> Low self-esteem and little autonomy
- Poor impulse control in adults
- No dialogue or negotiation -> Aggression and / or submission
2) Permissive style:
- No standards or they do not apply -> Insecurity, inconstancy
- Much flexibility in schedules, routines -> Lack of self-confidence pampering
- Conflict avoidance, letting go -> Poor school performance due to lack of effort
- They delegate the education of children to others
- Neither rewards nor punishments: indifference -> Low tolerance for frustration
- No reference models -> Frequent mood swings
3) Overprotective style:
- Few rules or they are not applied because they are not prepared -> Dependency
- Grant of all wishes -> Low tolerance for frustration
- Excessive rewards, not punishments -> Insecurity, low self-esteem
- They justify or forgive all mistakes -> Selfish attitudes
- I try to avoid all problems -> Little self-control
4) Assertive style:
- Clear and age-appropriate rules -> Good level of self-esteem
- Reasonable use of rewards and punishments -> Acquisition sense of responsibility
- Use of positive verbal reinforcement
- Stimulation of autonomy and independence -> Learning to make decisions
- External control-internal control -> Learning and respect of rules
- Use of dialogue and negotiation -> Learning of socialization
The trend to follow would be to seek an approach to the assertive style . It is important that our children feel loved and accepted but that they also have rules and imposed limits on which to base their behavior and the development of their personality. Contrary to what many parents believe, setting limits for children makes them feel safe and loved. It is clear that sometimes they would prefer to do things as they please, but being parents to them makes them feel that we care about them.
SITUATION-PROBLEM QUESTIONNAIRE (with the respective solutions)
The following questions describe small and large problems that you have often faced, face or may face in the education and raising of your children. Use your experience and circle the answer that you would give if you were in that situation. Then underline the answer that you consider most appropriate.
1. Every time Quique’s mother watches television, he begins to make noise, in such a way that it prevents him from watching his favorite program. What would you do if you were his mother?
a) Get angry and reprimand him every time he makes noise. AUTHORITARIAN
b) Pay attention to him and praise him when he plays quietly and ignore him when he makes noise. Assertive
c) I stop watching television because my son requires my attention. OVER PROTECTOR
d) I turn off the television and dedicate myself to something else. PERMISSIVE
2. You want your child to do homework at home. What would you do?
a) Tell him: “When you finish your homework you can go to the park.” Assertive
b) Tell him: “If you don’t do your homework, you won’t go down to the park tomorrow.” AUTHORITARIAN
c) Tell him: “If you don’t do your homework, I’ll get angry.” AUTHORITARIAN
d) Say: “Come on, I’ll sit down with you and we’ll do it together.” OVER PROTECTOR
3. A father tells his daughter that she cannot go with him as he has not kept his promise to clean her room. She reacts by crying, complaining and promising that she will clean her room when they return. What would you do if you were his father?
a) As the deal has not been honored, you ignore it and go alone. Assertive
b) You take her to buy with the promise that tomorrow she will clean her room. PERMISSIVE
c) You calm your daughter and help her clean her room. OVER PROTECTOR
d) You get angry with your daughter and punish her without watching television that afternoon. AUTHORITARIAN
4. Luisa sometimes swears, but only when she is in front of her mother. Luisa’s mother has clearly explained to her daughter how unpleasant it is for her to hear those words. What would you do if you were his mother?
a) You say: “Even if your friends say it, you shouldn’t swear.” PERMISSIVE
b) You say to him: “You’ll see how he’ll hear it again …”. AUTHORITARIAN
c) You ignore him when he uses those words, and you lend it to him when he does not. Assertive
d) You give him in the mouth so that he learns. AUTHORITARIAN
5. You want your child to get used to picking up his plate from the table. What would you do?
a) You think that when he is ready, he will do it alone without the need to be taught. PERMISSIVE
b) You teach him to pick up his plate and tell him how well he has done when he picks it up. Assertive
c) You pick up his plate, he has enough to go to class every day. OVER PROTECTOR
d) Get angry every time he doesn’t pick up his plate. AUTHORITARIAN
6. After picking up my daughter from school, I like to chat for a while with the other mothers, but my daughter keeps asking me when we are leaving or interrupting me with anything. What would you do?
a) I leave the talk for another time and we go. PERMISSIVE
b) I get angry with her and repeat several times that I am speaking. AUTHORITARIAN
c) I ignore her and continue with mine and when she stops interrupting me, I tell her that when she finishes we will leave. Assertive
d) I usually avoid entertaining myself because I know it bothers her. OVER PROTECTORIf you need a Psychologist , do not hesitate to contact us.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.