Parents play a major role in the lives of their children, since they are the ones that set the limits to their children, instil values and self-control and allow their children to take initiatives. Important dimensions for parenting is first of all the parental control of the child, which refers to how restrictive are the parents towards their children and how much freedom give them, and secondly the emotional warmth that is provided by the parents, i.e. how much affection and warmth express the parents towards their children. According to these parameters we can distinguish four types of parents: strict, authoritarian, permissive and unconcerned.
Strict parents: They really control their children, while offering them much emotional warmth. These parents set reasonable limits to their children and offer them explanations that can be understood by the children, leading them to obey their parents. These parents listen to their children and their needs and are flexible to their limits when it is appropriate.
Authoritarian parents: These parents have excessive control over their children and express little emotional warmth. Usually they adhere to their rules and sometimes get angry when their child resist. They avoid long discussions with their children and their rules are inflexible and cannot be changed, which makes the children`s efforts for autonomy a disappointment.
Permissive parents: They are the ones who show a lot of emotional warmth and have little control, by setting minimal limits, on the behaviour of their children. In this case the child remains unaware, since he/she is not able to know him/herself which are the right boundaries. Many permissive parents have such a strong need to show their children their unconditional love that they fail to control other important parenting functions, such as establishing limits.
Unconcerned parents: These parents neither show much emotional warmth, nor set limits to their children. Usually, they either do not care about their children, or they have not the energy to provide the right guidance and support.
The effects that these different types of parents have on the children.
The authoritarian parents create more withdrawn and frightened children which are dependent and non-assertive and as teenagers they may rebel and becomeaggressive.
The permissive parents usually have rebellious and aggressive children. These children are lenient with themselves and socially they are mostly brittle, although they can be friendly and creative as well.
The unconcerned parents who are the worst type of parents, especially if their permissiveness is accompanied by lack of love, as that can push the child to be left free even to his/her worst and destructive impulses.
On the contrary, the strict parents have good functionality with respect to most aspects of life. They teach their children to rely on themselves, to have self-control and be social. At the same time, these children growing up having higher self-esteem and better academic performances.