Dr Robert Cywes introduced me to the work of Diana Baumrind, a development psychologist. In a ground-breaking article, Baumrind identified three types of behaviour in pre-school children, which were strongly connected to three parenting styles. Baumrind called these parenting styles authoritative, authoritarian and permissive.
- AuthoritaTIVE parents (‘firm, but fair’) were described by Baumrind as: communicative, demanding, nurturing and controlling. I think that these are old-fashioned, 1960s words that could represent the four pillars well: love, discipline, encouragement and control (at an appropriate level for the child). The children of these parents were described as self reliant, self-controlled, explorative and content.
- AuthoritaRIAN parents (‘disciplinarians’) were non-communicative, demanding, non-nurturing and controlling. The children raised in this way exhibited signs of being discontented and distrustful, even at pre-school age. That sounds like too much of Pillar 2, insufficient Pillars 1 and 3 and inappropriate Pillar 4.
- Permissive parents were described by Baumrind as non-controlling. Their children were described as immature and dependent.
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