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It has been determined that the most successful parenting follows the Authoritative style. This is characterised by supportiveness, structure and a democratic approach. Children are happier, capable and successful here. However, there are also three established styles which are deemed to be harmful to children. These are the Authoritarian, Permissive and Uninvolved styles. The Authoritarian style employs a rigid and autocratic approach based on obedience. It is highly structured and has little warmth. This leads children to be obedient and competent but are typically less happy, have a low self-esteem and struggle to make friends. On the contrary, the Permissive style, is characterised by indulgence, appeasement, a lack of guidelines but high responsiveness. This creates children who disregard rules and are aggressive, impulsive and rank lower in happiness. The Uninvolved type, also known as the neglectful one, is marked by a lack of need fulfillment in the child. Parents are passive and uninterested so there is a lack of monitoring and communication. This ranks the lowest as children often suffer from low self-esteem, self-regulation and self-competence. Service providers may be used when patterns of these negative parenting styles are exhibited in order to reach a fairer Authoritative style as it is generally, the best style to adopt.

-Louise Camilleri – intern at Willingness.com.mt