In the Learning Habit Study, we examined Parenting Styles and Emotional Problems. Parenting Styles were broken down into two categories. Traditional Parenting places emphasis on correcting or punishing unwanted behavior. It was also characterized by reduced communication between parents and with the child. Empowerment Parenting included a productive flow of communication among parents as well as with the child and a measure of confidence in the child’s capacity to make appropriate choices. These Parenting Styles were compared against Emotional Problems, which encompassed how children understood and maintained their emotions.
At all grade levels, the higher the rate of Traditional Parenting techniques used by the parent, the higher the child’s Emotional Problems score. Conversely, the higher the rate of Empowerment Parenting techniques used by the parent, the lower the child’s Emotional Problems score. Traditional Parenting styles tend to be more punitive and restrictive. It limits communication by not encouraging open dialogue between parent and child thus rules and boundaries are not explained nor necessarily understood by the child. The research team posits that this type of limited but punitive interaction can foster insecurities and emotional problems. This suggests that parenting styles have a significant impact on a child’s emotional health and well being. Through Empowerment Parenting, children gain the ability to talk with their parents about things that bother them. In this manner, they are helped to positively express, share, and respond to feelings as well as find solutions.