Children do not come with a manual included. Each parent will raise and educate their children according to what they consider important. Others will raise their children by repeating the pattern from their family of origin. Is there a right way to raise a child? Probably not, what works for a family, may not work for another family. Humans are complex creatures and there is not a specific way to do parenting. There are books and studies that have tried to identify what helps and what not, yet there is nothing specific that will say something will work if we follow letter by letter those recommendations.
Now, it is more common to hear about respectful parenting. Years ago, corporeal punishment was the right method to educate a child. Now, corporeal punishment may cause a family to lose their parental rights. With access to social media and the internet, revolution has been happening, and many children who were physically punished are talking about the trauma they experienced during their childhood.
There are still people that will say that physical punishment helped them to become better responsible adults and that has to be respected. In a study made with Refugee mothers, Kohli & Fineran (2020) found that some participants believed that clear communication and structured parenting at home would help foster a healthy atmosphere and instill values of honesty within the children (p.491).
Diane Baumrind identified four patterns of parenting styles based upon the aspects of parenting behavior: control and warmth (Kopko 2007., p. 1). Those styles are authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative. Humans tend to repeat patterns and some children that have been raised with violence may repeat said patterns if they do not realize that damage that is has caused to them. The tragedy is that the effects of mistreatment are transmitted to new and innocent victims, even though the victims themselves do not remember the mistreatment on a conscious level (p. 247).
Respectful parenting does not mean absence of rules or limits. It means that children will have a voice and an opportunity to express their feelings or emotions without the fear of being punished by doing it, as adults sometimes we will need to practice empathy with our children. The way we cultivate empathy can make the difference between a relationship that is rewarding and for both people and one that is frustrating and unfulfilling (Siegel, 2014).
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Kohli, H. K., & Fineran, S. (2020). “If they misbehaved, we took a stick to discipline them”: Refugee mothers’ struggles raising children in the United States. Child & Family Social Work, 25(2), 488–495. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12705
Miller, A., Hannum, H., & Hannum, H. (2002). For your own good: hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
Siegel, D. J. (2014). Brainstorm: the power and purpose of the teenage brain. Langara College.