Understanding how parents’ own minds and worldviews work can lead to new insights into how kids grow up. Parental attitudes and actions toward their children are shaped by their beliefs about child rearing. Such beliefs have been seen as good indicators of parental behaviour because they show the emotional climate in which kids and parents operate and the condition of the relationship. For the most part, parents’ perceptions of their children’s behaviour are shaped by their own preconceived notions and preconceived notions about parenting and child development. Good intentions lead to productive behaviour when the thoughts are constructive. When one’s mind is clear, one is more likely to take steps toward fulfilment. However, when they are skewed and upsetting, they pull parents’ attention away from the task at hand and cause them to attribute negative feelings and behaviour to their children.
Personality of a Child
Parents often wonder, “What type of person will this child become?” after gazing into the eyes of their newborns. They look for hints of their child’s emerging personality in their child’s preferences, traits, and reactions. They are acting appropriately, as temperament lays the groundwork for maturation of character. However, temperament (here understood as differences in reactivity and self-regulation that emerge at an early age) is only part of the picture. Personality is formed not just by one’s genetic disposition but also by the interaction of that disposition with the impact of experience beginning at the time of birth (and even before). Examples of factors that influence temperament include the strength of parental care and the environment in which a child develops. As a whole, a child’s personality develops based on how well the child’s temperamental traits and environmental factors mesh. A good “fit” between a child’s lifestyle and the environment in which she is raised can encourage healthy development. As with many other facets of societal and individual development, personality is the product of a dynamic interplay between predisposition and experience.
Personality, on the other hand, can grow in several ways apart from temperament. In tandem with their physical development, youngsters develop and refine their temperaments. Babies are born with very little in the way of self-control, but as their brains develop, their temperaments shift in ways that allow them to better regulate their emotions. A baby who cries a lot may not turn out to be a negative person; with loving care from their parents and a growing sense of safety, the baby may stop crying as much.
Furthermore, temperament is only one component of a complex whole known as a person’s personality. Personality encompasses a wide range of attributes, including a child’s evolving sense of self, their motivations to achieve or socialise, their values and goals, their coping mechanisms, their feeling of duty and conscientiousness, and much more. These traits are shaped not only by the child’s genetic makeup but also by the interactions they have with others, especially in intimate connections.
Indeed, temperamental underpinnings are the starting point for personality formation, which then expands and deepens over time. Thus, the infant upon whom their eyes first rested grows into a person with complex and nuanced traits.
The Importance of Different Parenting Strategies
Researchers in the field of developmental psychology have been curious about the impact of parents on children for quite some time. Yet it’s challenging to establish definitive correlations between parents’ activities and their children’s outcomes.
It’s possible for youngsters to develop surprisingly similar personalities despite being exposed to vastly diverse circumstances. However, even when reared in the same household, children might develop markedly unique identities.
Each and every one of the seven billion people in this globe has a certain set of qualities that make them who they are. Similar to how fingerprints are unmistakable, so are personalities. You won’t ever locate a pair of identical items. The experiences we have shape who we are as individuals. It’s something we picked up from our parents as well. Any child’s personality will be significantly shaped by their parents. It determines what kind of grownups we will become. It’s crucial to raise a child in a way that encourages healthy development.
Despite these obstacles, research suggests there are connections between parenting styles and the outcomes for children. And some say the effects can be seen even in mature people.
Four Types of Parenting Styles
Diana Baumrind, a psychologist, surveyed over a hundred toddlers and preschoolers during 1960s decade. She noticed some crucial aspects of parenting by naturalistic observation, communicating with parents, and other techniques of research.
Discipline methods, parental warmth and involvement, communication preferences, and control and independence norms are all factors to consider. Baumrind hypothesised that majority parents are found into one of three categories based on these types. Two researchers, Maccoby and Martin’s later findings proposed introducing a fourth type parenting style. Children’s conduct is affected differently by each of these.
Kids raised in this manner are required to abide by a stringent set of guidelines. As a general rule, those who break such regulations face some sort of sanction. The rules of authoritarian parents are rarely explained. When questioned about why, the parent can say, “Because I said so.”
These parents have high expectations, but they aren’t very receptive to their kids’ needs. They have high standards for their children and expect them to act perfectly, but they don’t give them much suggestions on what they should do or abstain. Many youngsters who get severe punishment for an error in judgement do not understand why they were punished in the first place.
As stated by Baumrind, these types of parents “are obedience- and status-oriented, and want their demands to be obeyed without explanation.” They have a reputation for being aggressive and demanding of others. Their stance is consistent with the proverb, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” They count on unquestioning submission from kids.
Parents who adopt an authoritative approach are similar to those who take an authoritarian stance in raising their children. Contrarily, this approach to parenting is considerably more democratic.
Powerful adults are accessible and open to their children’s inquiries. They set high expectations for their children and provide ample support for them through love, constructive criticism, and praise. These parents are more likely to comfort and forgive their children than than discipline them when the latter falls short of the mark.
According to Baumrind, these parents “watch over their kids and make sure they’re learning good values. They take a stand without coming across as aggressive or limiting. Their approach to discipline is more encouraging than harsh. Parents want their kids to be independent and cooperative, confident and socially responsible.”
Children of authoritative parents benefit from the optimal balance of expectation and support, which fosters the growth of traits like autonomy, self-control, and self-regulation.
Permissive parents, often known as indulgent parents, are not overly strict with their kids. These parents have minimal expectations for their children’s maturity and control, hence they rarely chastise them.
Baumrind argues that kids whose parents are too lax “elicit a response rather than making unreasonable requests. They are flexible and nonconfrontational in nature, with few expectations for maturity or self-control.” Most parents that fall into the “permissive” category are warm and open with their kids, treating them more like friends than children.
Psychologist Eleanor Maccoby and her colleague John Martin expanded Baumrind’s initial three styles by creating a fourth: absentee or neglectful parenting. Low expectations, lack of attentiveness, and poor communication are hallmarks of a detached parenting approach. 2
This type of parent provides for their child’s necessities but is otherwise emotionally distant. They may take care of their children’s physical needs, such as food and shelter, but they provide nothing else in the way of direction, whether in the form of regulations or even emotional backbone. Some of these parents may even reject or ignore their children.
Effects of Different Parenting Styles
How do different parenting approaches affect a child’s growth and development? Since Baumrind’s original study with 100 preschoolers, several studies have been undertaken on the effects of various parenting methods on their subjects. Here are some results: 2
Kids raised in authoritarian homes may be good at following orders and performing well academically, but they also tend to score lower on measures of happiness, social competence, and self-esteem.
Children raised in an authoritative manner are more likely to be confident, capable adults.
Both happiness and self-control tend to suffer in children of permissive parents. These kids have a harder time dealing with authority figures and generally do worse academically.
There is a universally low ranking for parenting techniques that don’t include their children. Most of the time, these kids are less capable than their peers, have low self-esteem, and lack the self-control to succeed.
The Benefits of an Authoritarian Approach to Parenting
Children are more inclined to comply with the wishes of authoritative parents because they are more likely to see those parents as reasonable, fair, and just. Furthermore, children raised by parents who set limits and provide reasons for those limits are significantly more likely to internalise the lessons they learn.
In contrast to children of authoritarian parents, who may only obey the rules out of fear of punishment, children of authoritative parents can recognise the logic behind the rules, accept and embrace them, and work to conform to them in order to satisfy their own moral compass.
Each family has its own distinct flavour because of the interplay of the parenting styles of the parents. The mother may exhibit a more authoritarian manner, whereas the father may be more relaxed. Because of this, there is a possibility of sending confused messages. Cohesive parenting can only be achieved when parents are able to work together and find ways to incorporate their various approaches.
Other Factors and their Effect on Personality of a Child
Childhood Personality and Social Development
The formation of a child’s social and personality traits results from the interplay of exterior and internal conceptions of the social realm and of the self, as well as the child’s environment and the child’s evolving biology. As an example of this interplay, consider the ways in which one’s early life experiences shape one’s social and emotional maturity, as well as the impact that pivotal connections have on these processes.
This dynamic is reflected in the way in which infants and parents become closer throughout the first year. Infants in typical environments have deep relationships to their primary caregivers. According to psychologists, these bonds are formed independently of the child’s need for food or warmth from its parents, but rather, are as natural to their growth as walking or talking. Attachments, on the other hand, have developed in humans because they encourage youngsters to stick close to their caregivers so that they can reap the educational, guiding, nurturing, and affirming benefits of these connections.
The dynamics of parent-child relationships inevitably shift as children grow up. Children in elementary school and preschool are more independent, have strong opinions and occasionally defy or try to find middle ground with their parents’ expectations. The way in which parents handle arguments with their children can have a significant impact on the quality of their relationships with their children. High (but fair) expectations for children’s behaviour, good communication, warmth and responsiveness, and reasoning (rather than compulsion) as preferable reactions to children’s misbehaviour all contribute to children developing greater competence and self-confidence. It’s been said that this is an authoritative style of parenting. Authoritative parents encourage their children and take an active interest in their activities without micromanaging them. However, authoritarian, disengaged, or indulgent parenting styles might lead to less fruitful interactions between parents and children.
There are various ways in which parental roles shift in regard to their offspring. To a greater extent than ever before, parents are playing the role of intermediaries (or gatekeepers) between their children and their friends and extracurricular activities. The ideals they teach and model for their children have a positive effect on their children’s success in school, their moral growth, and their choice of extracurricular activities. Adolescents and their parents enter into a new phase of their relationship known as “coregulation,” in which they rebalance authority and acknowledge one other’s developing competence and autonomy. When parents give their teenagers more freedom (by letting them drive, work, go to parties, and stay out later), they are showing that they value their children’s development of a sense of independence.
Environment has a major impact on family interactions. For instance, the Financial Difficulties, Parental Depression, Marital Discord, and Negative Parenting, and Child Adjustment to Adverse Events (Family Stress) Model explains how these factors all play a role in a family’s overall stress level. At home, more than half of today’s American children are impacted by parental marital strife or divorce. Children of divorced parents often experience financial hardships, a reorganisation of the parent-child connection (with one parent taking on main custody and the other accepting a visitation role), and other important changes. Many children experience divorce as a tragic turning point in their lives, even though it often does not cause long-term adjustment issues.
Connections Between Peers
The parent-child bond is not the only important one in a child’s existence. Relationships with one’s peers are also crucial. Many lifelong social skills emerge from the stimulation of social interaction between children who are similar in age, development, and understanding. With the help of their peers, kids can practise making and keeping friends. Conflict resolution techniques such as taking turns, compromising, and bargaining are taught. The play also requires the characters to work together to achieve their aims and develop a shared knowledge of each other, which may be a challenging task. In the early years, babies learn to share (by playing with each other’s toys), in preschool, children work together to come up with stories, assign roles, and enact those stories through pretend play, and in elementary school, children may participate in a sports team, where they learn to motivate and encourage one another to achieve a common goal through teamwork and emotional and strategic support. Children gain a sense of belonging and community outside of their immediate family through the friendships they form at these events.
We’ve discovered that children’s exposure to both family and peer connections helps them develop their emotional intelligence and their capacity to empathise with others. Children learn to connect with others, form attachments (secure or insecure in the case of parents), and form an idea of who they are based on the reactions of those around them. Connections like this can provide important settings for maturing emotionally.
Remarkably, children already begin to develop social cognition at a very young age. Infants understand that other individuals have minds of their own, with their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and that these are distinct from their own by the end of the first year. The infant’s natural tendency to seek reassurance from their mother’s face while meeting a new person or experiencing a new circumstance is a clear example of this phenomenon, known as social reference. When an infant sees their mother’s face, it gives them the impression that they are in a secure environment if they respond positively. The newborn may become wary or concerned if the mother’s countenance conveys fear or distress, as this may indicate the presence of danger. Babies are extraordinarily perceptive, realising that their mothers know more about the unknown scenario than they do and that by “reading” the expression in her face, they may figure out if the situation is safe or harmful and how to react.
Competence in Relationships and Emotions
All of the aforementioned factors such as societal, biological, and symbolic aspects contribute to a person’s character formation and their ability to interact with others. These factors affect a young adult’s ability to participate in useful and productive actions (such as assisting, caring, and sharing), control hostile or aggressive impulses, adhere to meaningful moral values, form a positive sense of self, become a successful member of society, and develop talents and skills. Some indicators of social and emotional maturity include the following outcomes of development.
These successes in social and personality development are the result of a confluence of cultural, biological, and symbolic factors. Let us take the formation of the conscience as an example; it is a crucial step in the maturation of morality. Young children develop a sense of conscience as a result of cognitive, emotional, and social forces that motivate them to develop and act in accordance with their own personal standards of right and wrong. Children learn to have conscience through their interactions with their parents, especially as they get closer to their parents and learn to respond positively to their needs and expectations. Some children’s temperaments make them better equipped than others to motivate themselves to engage in self-regulation (a trait known as “effortful control”). However, there are some kids who just naturally have a harder time dealing with the worry and fear that comes with having their parents disapprove of them. Good parenting fosters moral reasoning by matching a child’s temperamental strengths with clear and consistent behavioural standards. One study indicated that a particular gene allele (the 5-HTTLPR) was associated with lower levels of consciousness development in early children who had previously received unresponsive maternal care. Nonetheless, identically-alleled children who received responsive care as infants performed well on later measures of conscience.
The primary goal of most parent-focused intervention programmes is to equip parents with practical skills for influencing the behaviour of their children. Nonetheless, issues may also develop if parents exhibit maladaptive ways of thinking. Those mothers who are more inclined to abuse their children are the ones who are more likely to interpret their children’s ambiguous actions as deliberate, and to attach negative characteristics to them. 16 To combat these prejudices, Bugental and her team have devised a cognitive retraining intervention programme for parents. Mothers who took part in the programme were shown to have more positive attitudes about parenting, less negative parenting styles, and greater emotional availability. The program’s effects on mothers were evident in their offspring two years later, when the kids had superior cognitive abilities and showed less aggressive behaviour than their counterparts whose moms hadn’t been through the programme. These results, then, demonstrate the significance of parental ideas in raising children.
Adolescence and adulthood are not “resting years” for social and personality development, as the preceding line implies. Like childhood, it is influenced by the same complex interplay of social, biological, and figurative factors. Changes in one’s social interactions and duties, one’s biological development and (much later) decline, and one’s conceptualization of experience and the self serve as constant underpinnings for growth throughout the lifespan. In this regard, the intriguing, complicated, and multidimensional interaction of developmental processes lies ahead when an adult looks forward rather than backward to ask, “what type of person am I becoming?”
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