The Benefits of Being a Restrictive Yet Loving Parent
Researchers have found that parents who are restrictive yet warm are the most effective at raising children who are wise consumers.
After analyzing over 70 studies, the Journal of Consumer Psychology divided parents into four parenting styles:
Authoritative parents give children independence but expect them to follow family rules. They explain why they are restrictive or say “no.”
Authoritarian parents are also restrictive but do not explain why. They are less likely to display affection.
Neglecting parents fail to monitor their child.
Indulgent parents do not give their children responsibilities and are lenient with rules.
“I think that our culture has changed over time to be more permissive with children, but we found a lot of evidence that demonstrated that it is okay to be restrictive with kids,” Les Carlson, a marketing professor at the University of Nebraska, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “It’s also important to explain to kids why the restrictions are important.”
The study concluded that children with authoritative parents were more likely to make wise choices such as eating healthy foods and wearing a bike helmet. In addition, they were far less likely to participate in bullying or drug use and more likely to have a positive self-image.
Carlson hopes this new research will help parents be more proactive in teaching their children positive habits.
“For example, parents can talk about why they are skeptical of advertising they may see in a store to teach children how to filter information,” he said. “Watching television with children is another opportunity to engage with them in conversation about what they are seeing to teach them how to be fully informed consumers.”