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Parenting Styles: Authoritarian, Permissive & Neglectful

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  • 0:00 Parenting Styles
  • 0:42 Authoritarian
  • 1:50 Permissive
  • 3:01 Neglectful
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Bautista
How do parenting styles differ from one another, and which are most effective? You'll follow expectant parents, Mary and Larry, as they walk their neighborhood and try to learn from other parents.

Parenting Styles -- Introduction

Mary is pregnant and soon to give birth to a son, whom she and her husband Larry intend to call Chris. She's been reading a lot of parenting books and is trying to figure out the best style to use when raising Chris. The books are helpful, but she feels like she doesn't have a good sense of how all of the styles really work in action. So she and Larry decide to go around to some of their friends with kids and try to figure out which parenting styles they best embody. They're on the lookout for the interplay between responsiveness and demandingness, which are the traits used to determine style.

Authoritarian

First they head next door, where their neighbors are raising a daughter, Emily, who's six. Mary asks them what a typical day is like for Emily. 'Well,' says Emily's mom. 'On a typical school day, I'll pick Emily up after kindergarten and drive her to dance. That takes an hour. If it's Tuesday afterward we go to violin, and on Thursday we go to piano. Then we come home, have dinner, and Emily works on her math. She's three grade levels ahead!' Mary shoots Larry a look. She starts to speak, but Larry, always more blunt, interrupts her: 'Does this kid have time for friends?' Emily's mother frowns. 'We send her to school to get socialized. Sometimes she'll ask to go on play dates, but she's really too busy with activities to go.'

Mary and Larry thank her for her time and quickly leave the house. They suspect Emily is being raised by authoritarian parents, who are highly demanding but not very responsive to Emily's own wants and needs. They expect her to perform highly in school and in music but ignore her requests to play with kids her own age outside of school time. Mary and Larry can't really see themselves parenting this way.

Permissive

They continue down the block until they come to a house where they know another child lives, a little boy named Mikey. They find Mikey outside in a cluttered, toy-filled yard, chasing around a feral-looking cat. He's wearing a pair of shorts on her head as a hat. Mikey's parents come outside and say hi. 'So… you let him do whatever he wants?' Mary asks tentatively. 'Oh yes,' says Mikey's mother. 'We just let him follow his bliss.' 'He begged and begged for us to let him wear those shorts on his head,' Mikey's father chimes in. 'His little face just lit up when we said yes.' 'Does he do much in the way of schoolwork?' Larry asks. Mikey's mother shrugs, 'He does what he wants. Neither of us were rocket scientists, and we turned out all right.'

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