The pattern or type of indiscipline children exhibit could be closely linked with the parenting style of their parents. Issues such as peer pressures and exposure to several vices could also contribute to the patterns of indiscipline children display.
For emphasis, I’d like to point out that your child exhibits some measure of indiscipline does not make you a bad parent per se. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; the cure comes through properly administered discipline (Prov. 22:15). Nonetheless, you become a bad parent when you fail to wisely impart discipline on your child. Spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents (Prov. 29:15).
It is true no parent went to a school for parenting. However, there’s always some scope of learning new things and techniques to better our parenting, right?
Different parenting styles produce different responses among children. Hence, it is important to understand how your parenting approach may be contributing to your child’s indiscipline, especially in a culture that has made discipline a dirty word.
The Permissive Parent
A permissive parent shows lots of affection toward his or her child but provides little discipline. This is a less effective form of parenting as permissive parents tend to produce children with low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority. Though the parents express a lot of love, the lack of boundaries leaves their children with a high level of insecurity. The kids feel loved, but they are never sure of their limits. Their parents are generally fearful, afraid of messing up and damaging their children’s psyche, so they never set firm boundaries. The kids feel very loved and yet very unsure of themselves.
The Neglectful Parent
This kind of parent doesn’t express much love and also doesn’t really care enough to discipline. Their children tend to grow up with little or no lasting relationship with Mom or Dad. They’re estranged because they feel forsaken. The parents’ neglect may not necessarily be intentional — they may simply be in the midst of their own traumas and chaos, like an addiction or an abusive situation. They don’t purposely desire to neglect their kids, but they don’t know how to deal with their own issues adequately and don’t have the tools to be healthy parents. These children grow up with unbelievably deep emotional scars, and their only hope is to find Christ, be surrounded by godly role models, and get some good Christian counselling.
The Authoritarian Parent
An authoritarian parent shows little affection toward his or her child but very high on punishment rather than discipline. They raise children who are provoked to rebellion. The bar is always high and the “musts” are always abundant, so there’s a strong sense of safety. But this kind of parent isn’t content just to win the war; they have to win every battle too. Communication between parent and child takes the form of arguing and fighting, especially when the child is old enough to fight back. Authoritarian parents squeeze their kids until the kids can’t wait to leave home, and as soon as they do, they rebel.
The Authoritative Parent
An authoritative parent provides the best combination of love and discipline. The authoritative parent allows for flexibility and collaborative problem solving with the child when dealing with behavioural challenges. They have clear boundaries but are also very loving. Parents here are in full control of their family, but there’s also a connection between parents and child, a consideration that respects and honours who the child is while not compromising his or her disciplinary needs. The result is a child high in self-esteem and equipped with good coping skills. This is the most effective form of parenting.
Your parenting style matters. What kind of a parent are you?