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Your parenting methods may fit into
one of a few different styles, with
your specific style having a significant
impact on your children. Parenting
styles were established in the 1960s
by psychologist Diana Baumrind and
include authoritarian, authoritative,
permissive and uninvolved. And it
was in 2011 when author Amy Chua
launched her highly controversial book
on parenting styles--Battle Hymn of
the Tiger Mother -that parenting styles
once again were in the limelight. With
its provocative headline, “Why Chinese
Mothers Are Superior,” it detailed the
superiority of Chinese mothers whose
authoritarian style of parenting was
stated as the reason that immigrant
children of Chinese parents seem to
flourish in whichever society they
settled in.
Further elaborating, Dr. Saliha Afridi,
Clinical Psychologist and Managing
Director of the Lighthouse Arabia,
states that there are many terms that
are used to describe different kinds of
parenting styles.
The Authoritarian Parent
An authoritarian parent, basically, is
dictator-like and one who has many
expectations from the child,” she says,
in fact, there are a high number of
demands with very low support. “There
isn’t much warmth, care, or tenderness
with this type of parenting style,” she
Permissive Parent
This parent, says Dr. Afridi, is also
referred to as a jelly fish. “There is a
lot of warmth, love, and support but
very few demands or expectations of a
child,” she says and the child usually is
in control of the parent and does and
says whatever he/she feels like without
any boundaries in place. So bedtimes,
homework and most every rule of the
house is made to be broken, with the
child in control of the parent.
Authoritative Parent
Dr. Afridi says that this is the most
favorable type of parenting style.
“There is a lot of warmth, love, support
but also expectations and demands
from the child which give him/her
boundaries on how to behave and act,”
she says. Using a blend of love and
boundary-setting, authoritative parents
enable children to develop and learn
independence. For example, parents
using this parenting style may say, “I
want you to go to sleep now because
you are going to be up early for school
tomorrow.” Whereas an authoritarian
parent might say, “Go to sleep NOW
because I said to!”
The Uninvolved Parent
These parents, tells Dr. Afridi, live
nearly separate lives from their child.
“There aren’t any expectations and
there is a lack of warmth or connection
also,” she explains, and though the
child’s needs are met in terms of
food, clothing, shelter, and education,
basically, this child does not have a
guide or a parent in the real sense of
the word.
Parenting Styles in UAE
With the huge melting pot of
nationalities living in U.A.E., we would
think parenting styles would vastly
differ. Yet Dr. Afridi says that yes, while
this part of the world does include
diverse set of parenting styles, still the
most common across the board is the
permissive parenting style. She details,
“A lot of parents are working and/or
are affluent. They have good intentions
at heart in wanting to provide their
children the very type of life and
exposure that they themselves did not
have- however as a result, children are
growing up self-absorbed, demanding,
and spoilt.” These parents are afraid
of placing expectations or demands
on their children because they believe
the child is fragile and it might affect
his or her self-esteem negatively. And
this, she adds, results in an inflated
sense of self and truly fragile children
who cannot have any demands placed
on them without cracking. “These
parents are saying ‘yes’ a lot more than
no and children are growing up with
no boundaries,” she explains. She also
says that there is some uninvolved
parenting in this region. “We have
outsourced many household tasks to
support staff - and now parenting is
also being outsourced to nannies that
can provide basic care but not the
warmth or love of a parent,” she says.
Going East
The more East we go, Dr. Afridi
says that we will find more of the
authoritarian parenting style. “There
is still a lot of hierarchy present -
with parents dictating the rules and
children abiding by them without
asking questions,” she says. “However,
sometimes a parent who was raised
with an authoritarian parent may
swing to the other extreme and instead
become a permissive parent.” He or
she grew up with too many demands
placed on them, so they will place
very few demands on their child. And
because these people often grew up
with a lack of warmth, Dr. Afridi says
that they may tend to over- indulge
their child.
What Experts Recommend
Dr. Afridi suggests that in her expert
July/Aug 2014