Korowa's free 'Pop Up Parenting' seminars are designed to support parents in dealing with the challenges of raising young people in a contemporary context. The seminars are open to the public and the next seminar is on Thursday 3 May.
One of our most recent seminars held in late March 2018, 'How to Raise Resilient Children', was presented by Korowa's Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Dr Michelle Andrews Luke.
By Dr Michelle Andrews Luke
Longitudinal research on attachment suggests that certain early relationship experiences promote emotional wellbeing, social competence, cognitive functioning, and resilience in the face of adversity.
Dr Dan Siegel, The Developing Mind1
We all have different ways of parenting our children. Most of us describe our parenting behaviours as warm and affectionate; some of us describe our parenting behaviours as stern and strict; and some of us describe our parenting behaviours as protective and vigilant.2
How we parent is influenced by the people around us, our cultural practices, the books we read, our emotional style, and the way we ourselves were parented.
Dr Diana Baumrind, one of the most influential researchers in the field of parenting, has proposed three main parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive and authoritative.3
Authoritarian parents attempt to control their child’s behaviour through coercion, fear, shame and blame. They have rigid rules, and they expect their child to adhere to their rules, without question. These parents have high expectations of their child, but they are not responsive to their child’s needs. The motto of authoritarian parents might be, “It’s my way or the highway!”
Studies show that children who are raised by authoritarian parents are more likely to have lower self-esteem4 and to experience depression.5
In contrast, permissive parents are responsive to their children, but they avoid setting limits. Many parents become permissive parents because they were brought up by authoritarian parents, and they are worried about upsetting their children or making their children feel uncomfortable. Permissive parents are reluctant to say “no” to their children, and are often described as being “indulgent”.
Studies show that children who are raised by permissive parents have lower self-control, lower self-reliance and lower grades.6 7
Finally, authoritative parents have high expectations of their children, and set firm limits, but they do so with empathy and respect, and are responsive to their children’s needs. They tune in to their children’s feelings and are nurturing and supportive. And, most importantly, they aren’t controlling like authoritarian parents.
Studies show that children who are raised by authoritative parents score higher on measures of social competence, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and academic success.8 9
So, why does this style of parenting – parenting with high expectations plus empathy – work? The key is providing a consistent, loving connection.
Connected parenting builds social intelligence
When we provide our children with a consistent, loving connection, we model how to relate respectfully with others. This helps our children to create and maintain strong and healthy relationships, and to successfully handle any relationship problems that come their way.
Connected parenting builds self-esteem
When we provide that connection, we communicate to our children that we truly value them, which boosts their self-esteem and their confidence, including their confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles.
Connected parenting builds emotional well-being
When we provide that connection, we nourish our children with our soothing presence, which helps our children to feel calm, no matter what life throws at them.
Connected parenting builds academic success
When we provide that connection, we strengthen our children’s mental health, which is an essential foundation for learning.
So, the more deeply we connect with our children, the more we will be able to equip our children with the tools they need to cope with the inevitable challenges of life and to flourish.
I thank you for your commitment to the wellbeing of your child and your family and for your willingness to keep learning and growing. Remember: parenting is hard work and you deserve all the support you need. I feel so grateful to walk alongside you on your parenting journey. My warmest wishes.
Dr Michelle Andrews Luke
- Siegel, D.J. (2012). The developing mind: how relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are (2nd edition). New York: The Guilford Press.
- Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) (2011). Growing up in Australia: The longitudinal study of Australian children annual statistical report 2010. Canberra: AIFS.
- Baumrind, D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75(1), 43-88.
- Lamborn, S.D., Mounts, N.S., Steinberg, L., & Dornbusch, S.M. (1991). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 62, 1049-1065.
- Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67, 3296-3319.
- Dornsbusch, S.M., Ritter, P.L., Leiderman, P.H., Roberts, D.F., & Fraleigh, M.J. (1987). The relation of parenting style to adolescent school performance. Child Development, 58, 1244-1257.
- Furnham, A., & Cheng, H. (2000). Perceived parental behavior, self-esteem and happiness. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 35, 463-470.
- Maccoby, E., & Martin, J. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In PH. Mussen (Series Ed.) & E.M. Hetherington (Vol. Ed.) Handbook of child psychology: Vol 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.
- Steinberg, L., Elmen, J.D., & Mounts, N.S. (1989). Authoritative parenting, psychosocial maturity, and academic success among adolescents. Child Development, 60, 1424-1436.