Is Our Parenting Style Hereditary?

I’m wondering too. I never gave this a thought until a few days back my son pointed it out to me.‘You’re an authoritarian, just like nana!’ he said. And I was shocked. This was one thing that had miffed me throughout my maiden days. Taking orders without any explanations and having to follow them without being heard. I could sense that my son was going through the same frustration as me and I didn’t like it.Psychologists strongly feel that parenting style is never a conscious choice. It is subtly influenced by a number of factors that include geographical location, behaviour of the child, parents’ education and upbringing.The upbringing angle, they say creates two sets of parents.1 The ones who don’t want to treat their kids the way they were treated by their parents. If they had strict parents they take it easy with their kids, make sure their opinion counts and they want to shower their babies with everything they were denied when young. There is a great risk of over indulgence and spoil kids here. Parents need to draw lines which they most often don’t.2 The ones who are deeply influenced by their own parents and it has become an inseparable part of their mental makeup. Such parents even if they try to adopt other styles and approaches towards their kids, inadvertently land up being the same( uh oh do I belong to that category)


Education of the Parents

By education I don’t mean what subjects they studied in school, but the knowledge, the experience, the exposure and the wisdom they gained that crafted their personalities. This is based on what they read, watched and with the kind of people they interacted. These are instrumental in forming a specific parenting style.Geographical LocationWe may love to deny it but there is a marked difference between the way kids are brought up in the west and the traditional way back home. There are more leniencies, more accommodation of their thoughts and the famous ‘letting go’ which we are still grappling with here. And the raising of voice seems to be entering the category of taboo in the west while in Asia is still the normal way of communicating.Behaviour of the childI remember taking my son for a party at his friend’s place and the kids decided to run up to the terrace for a game. While I went all hyper and upset, threatening my boy about the consequences of his irresponsible behaviour, my friend was super cool about it and only communicated to her son calmly that he was not to repeat it again. Hang on! The reason I got all worked up was that my son was hyperactive, he had got on to wall of the terrace once before and that fear had triggered my response.I realised that I was more authoritative with my younger son than my elder one because they both brought out a different parent in me due to their different personalities.So though it may be incorrect to put the complete onus on our parents for the way we have turned out to be, we do get a major chunk of foundation from them on which we consciously decide to build further. But one more undeniable fact also is that the older we grow, we do become reflections of our own parents and that is when we begin talking and behaving exactly like them. This is one thing our kids have to live with.