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How They Might Impact on Children’s Behaviour

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According to psychologist Diana Buramind (1997), parents will show at least one of three parenting styles. These are authoritarian, permissive and authoritative. Buramind based the parenting styles on four factors, disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles and expectations of maturity and control. She identified these as the four dimensions of parenting. Research like this suggests there are convincing links between parenting styles and the impact they have on Children’s behaviour. In this essay I will be further discussing the three parenting styles and their impact on children’s behaviour, as well as other factors that may also have an impact.

The authoritarian parenting style is focused around strict discipline. Parents who use this style will expect their child to follow rules and give the child no opportunity to negotiate. The permissive style is quite the opposite of authoritarian, with parents issuing few commands rules or boundaries. The parent may be more of a friend than a parent and leave their child to regulate their own behaviour. Finally the authoritative parenting style see’s the parent exercising more control over their child’s behaviour whilst also encouraging them to be individuals. The authoritative parent will listen to their child, set clear standards and use non-punitive punishments. This could therefore be seen to be the most balanced of the three parenting styles.

By examining these parenting styles in further detail we can being to explore the impact they could have on children. For example Colloby et al (2012) suggests that the potential impact on a child from authoritarian parenting could see the child become discontented, withdrawn, and mistrustful and as they grow show signs of rebellion. On the other hand, she suggests that permissive parenting could have both a positive and negative effect; the child may show better social skills and have belief in themselves. However, they could also show negative qualities such as being insecure, demanding and self-centred and show no personal responsibility. Finally, when looking at the authoritative parenting style colloby et al (2012) goes on to suggest that the child could show high levels of self-esteem, achieve better results at school, be socially competent and also be independent. Although different parenting styles can be seen to have varying effects on a child’s behaviour, other influential factors cannot be ignored when discussing this topic. For example, environmental factors can have an impact on the way in which a child behaves.

When we look at Thomas’s reactions to the birth of his sister Rowanna Colloby et al. (2012, p32) states that ‘Thomas found it hard to adjust to share his parents with Rowanna at first’. This statement suggests that Thomas may have shown signs of jealousy towards Rowanna. An example of this could be when Thomas’s mother Cara identifies that Thomas could have affected by the arrival of Rowanna and that his recent misbehaviour could be Thomas’s way of showing he wants more attention. (Colloby et al. 2012, p62) From this we can see that changes in a child’s environment could affect the ways in which they behave. Another factor that can be argued to impact on a child’s behaviour is the influence of additional care givers of the child. In the case of Thomas and Rowanna, their nana Diane plays a substantial role in caring for the children. The disciplinary strategies and styles of B5817565

Parenting that Diane uses could be completely different to that of Thomas and Rowanna’s parents. When we look at the scenario of Thomas misbehaving when asked to complete his homework we see an example of how Diane’s involvement in Thomas’s discipline could affect his behaviour. Although Cara and Alistair resort to shouting at Thomas, Diane steps in and comforts Thomas by telling him that he doesn’t have to complete his homework and could come back to it another time (Colloby et al. 2012, p62). By doing this, Diane could subconsciously be under minding the parenting of Cara and Alistair and giving Thomas his own way, which in turn could affect the way Thomas behaves with his parents compared to his nana. Health problems are also a major factor that can become extremely influential on the behaviour of a child.

An example of this is Thomas’ hearing and speech difficulties. Thomas was given activities to complete at home by his therapist and sometimes Thomas did not want to complete these exercises which would affect his behaviour. Colloby et al. (2012, p31) states that ‘Thomas gets upset’. Cara and Alistair tried to use a behaviourist approach and put a reward chart in place for Thomas to complete his activities but found it difficult to enforce. Colloby et al. (2012, p66) suggests that if Thomas was told he hadn’t spent enough time on his activities to get a reward he would become angry and distressed and would not continue with his activities. Examples such as these can show how a child could show changes in behaviour due to issues with health. Moving on from this, the attachment theory offers a further exploration as to how and why a child’s behaviour may be influenced. This theory states that emotional bonds are made between young children and the people closest to them. Children who have not bonded well with a carer may behave differently with a carer they have bonded with. We see an B5817565

example of this in the case of Rowanna, who bonded more with nana at a young age than her mother. Colloby et al (2012, p31) states that ‘Diane, who did a lot of the early caring, spent many hours cradling Rowanna’ and goes on to state that ‘Rowanna now has a very close bond with her nana’. Colloby et al. (2012, p32) also suggests that Rowanna feels more secure with her nana, therefore she settles a lot easier for her nana when she is whinging compared to her mother. From this we can see that attachments can affect the way a child behaves with certain carers.

In conclusion, after analysing the causes behind the behaviourisms in children it is obvious that the parenting styles identified by Buramind, can impact children’s behaviour. It is also apparent that factors other than the three parenting styles need to be considered. I feel that the most influential factor besides the parenting styles would be environmental factors. However I believe that the three parenting styles have the biggest impact on the way a child behaves as they seem to have more of a mental affect and can be carried with a child through to their adult years.

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