Parenting Styles and Development

Describe how three adults, each brought up under a different parenting style as a child, might cope differently with one of the changes listed in the table in appendix F.

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The example that I chose might seem a little distant from a person’s upbringing, but I believe it to be perfectly relevant. The empty-nest syndrome affects many parents when their children all move out. According to our text, this is only part of the story though because the despair over no children in the house is offset by increased marital satisfaction and increased stability. Keeping that in mind, the upbringing of a child can drastically affect how they will react to the empty-nest syndrome. For instance, someone brought up by authoritarian parents might seek to control their children’s lives even after they have moved out, thereby prolonging (at least in their minds) some sense of involvement. This is an unhealthy adaptive response to the empty-nest syndrome because it seeks to push back the inevitable realization that your children have left your home and their direct control.

However, a person brought up by permissive parents might react to the same situation in a different but have the same goal in mind. They may attempt to “allow” their children to not leave the home. If a child is comfortable at home and does not want to leave the permissive parent might allow them to continue to live in their home well after adolescence. This is also an unhealthy adaptive response to the situation because it also seeks to prolong the inevitable realization that their children will one day “leave the nest”. Lastly is the person who was brought up by authoritative parents. Because this person has a strong set of rules that govern their parent-child relationship they will insist that their children move out at an age that they deem appropriate. However, they will not seek to control their children’s lives after they move out, but rather will offer advice and help with no strings attached. Overall I believe that the authoritative upbringing will offer the best set of adaptive skills to deal with the empty-nest syndrome.

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Nevid, J.S., Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium. Danvers, M.A.: Wiley.

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