Parents always want what’s best for their children. In the process, knowingly or unknowingly, certain actions which may seem lovable may not land well on your child. Some of these actions have serious implications on your child’s mental health. This in turn can hamper their social and personal growth. If you want to know how parents affect their child’s mental health, keep reading our article.
Parenting Styles And How They Affect Your Child’s Mental Health
Parents inevitably fall into a parenting type. And you’re surely going to recognize where you fit in once we list them out. There are many parenting styles. But four approaches are widely accepted and proven by research. Generally, parents fall into either of these 4 categories. Here’s some information on them, and how they can affect your kid’s mental health:
Have you heard of the phrase “spare the rod and spoil the child?” In short, that’s what authoritarian parenting is all about. Here, parents make a set of rules and expectations that the children strictly have to follow without question. For instance, if a parent asks the child to go to his/her room, the child is expected to obey quietly without asking the reason why. If the child talks back or disobeys, then that action is treated with punishment, and those punishments are pretty harsh.
Along with the parent’s I-told-you-so attitude, their children have to face their list of demands too. They expect them to get all “A”s in their test scores, be good in sports, and make no mistakes whatsoever. Additionally, the parents give little to no direction when the child makes a mistake. As a result, the child is left in the dark as to how to rectify them or progress from there onwards.
Although you will get the child’s obedience through this method, the mental implications the child suffers are not pleasant. They usually grow up to have self-esteem issues, feelings of being undervalued and are at risk of anxiety and depression.
Like authoritarian parenting, authoritative parents also have fixed rules and expectations from their children. But the catch is, they’re democratic. Here, children have the freedom to voice their opinions, share their feelings, and ask questions. There’s a healthy rapport between child and parent, which brings warmth and closeness to the relationship. When the child fails to meet those expectations, the parent is more forgiving and nurturing than harsh. Instead of leaving the child to figure out answers to their own mistakes, the parent offers constructive criticism and feedback on how to do things better next time.
This style of parenting has the most positive impact out of the four. With the child’s self-esteem boosted, they grow up to be cooperative, happy, self-reliant, and successful.
Permissive parents don’t have many expectations from their children. Although they might establish a set of rules, they rarely enforce them. Plus, the parents will rarely meet bad behavior with any sort of correction. Nevertheless, permissive parents are communicative and nurturing. They take on the role of a friend rather than a parent.
Since there’s not much parental moderation, children from this style of parenting have problems with authority and fare poorly in school. They also rank low on happiness and have issues with self-regulation.
Out of the four, this parenting style ranks the lowest. The parents will provide the necessities, but there is no involvement in the child’s life. In some extreme cases, those necessities aren’t even provided. There is no structure, no rules, no guidance, and no moderation. Hence, children of this style grow up to lack self-control, self-esteem and might develop behavioral issues.
Other Implications Seen In A Child’s Mental Health
Development Of Stress
Raising a child in an unstable environment can cause a lot of stress-related issues in the child. Without the proper love and care from a parent, feelings of insecurity will develop that can lead to anxiety or chronic stress.
Children enduring chronic stress due to their family’s choices suffer from a lot of side effects. The cognitive functions of the child reduce, impacting memory and attention span. This can lead to other side effects such as hyperactivity and poor emotional management.
Issues Of Co-Dependency
A child who hasn’t felt the warmth and love from a family hasn’t experienced what true relationships are. By being in a distant and detached family, the child is deprived of nurture and is unaware of how to sustain a healthy relationship. This often leads to codependency which is seriously detrimental to the child’s future relationships. Also known as “relationship addiction”, this harmful emotional and behavioral state will completely alter their ability to have healthy, fulfilling relationships.
As your child grows into an adult, codependency will make them want to control the people around them. This often leads to one-sided, abusive relationships. Worse still, codependency is a learned behavior, which means their children will likely end up just like them.
Develop Mechanisms To Hide The Past
People unconsciously cope with traumatic experiences by developing defense or coping mechanisms. These mechanisms make the person feel protected for a short time from the remnants of that experience. But, that’s the problem: coping mechanisms are not long-term! A child battling with adverse childhood experiences such as violence at home or divorce is subject to childhood trauma. When a child deals with traumatic experiences with coping mechanisms, it can lead to identity issues, disillusionment, and other physiological disorders as well.
Now you know how parents affect their child’s mental health. Be mindful of what you say to your children since they’re impressionable. As parents, it’s important that you support your child and always offer them the love and warmth they deserve. To ensure their overall wellbeing, you also need to keep a track of their immunizations. Our ImmunifyMe app is always there to help you with scheduling appointments and keeping track of your baby’s health and vaccination records.
FAQs on How Parents Affect Their Child’s Mental Health
What Are The 4 Parenting Styles?
In general, parents fall into these 4 styles of parenting. They are:
Each style affects the child’s mental health and can influence the child’s behavior in the long run.
What Is The Best Parenting Style?
The authoritative style is deemed best since it allows the child to express thoughts and opinions more freely. Since parents are supportive and offer guidance when necessary, the child grows up to be confident, self-reliant, and happy.
How Do Parents Influence Their Child’s Mental Health?
Parents influence their child’s mental health in many ways. Based on the environment that they set for their child, it can either have positive or negative implications on the child’s mental health. A warm and welcoming atmosphere ensures affection and security, eliminating the risk of psychological disorders.