2 Controversial Hispanic Parenting Styles: What They Can Teach Us
When it comes to parenting styles, families tend to think that they have a unique approach.
However, psychologists and researchers have identified tendencies and general models of parenting styles.
They list two Hispanic parenting styles that may look highly controversial from the American cultural perspective.
Nevertheless, researchers have discovered that although Latino parents have different values and their parenting styles differ from those of American families, their unique approaches have positive benefits.
Discover the 4 classic parenting styles, the 2 Hispanic parenting styles that create controversy, and what advantages they have.
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Parenting Styles Across Cultures
As you may know, parenting is a challenging task.
Some parents think being strict works well for them, while others may prefer to follow core family values.
Each family is different and has different kinds of values.
However, researchers have found some specific parenting styles are more prevalent in some cultures.
Cultural behaviors and attitudes influence our way of parenting. The question is, to what degree do parenting styles depend on cultural values?
First, let’s define the classic parenting styles that researchers have found.
4 Classic Types of Parenting Styles
Psychologists and researchers have developed many models of parenting styles.
Psychologist Diana Baumrind first identified two crucial aspects of parental behavior: responsiveness (also known as nurturance) and demandingness (discipline or control).
Baumrind model evolved into three models of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, and indulgent parenting. Later, Macoby and Martin added a fourth type of parenting called neglectful parenting.
Up to this day, these are the four classic types of parenting styles:
This parenting style has an optimal combination of high nurturance and high discipline. In general, it’s considered a positive parenting style.
In this parenting style, nurturance is low, but discipline is in high demand. Here parents tend to be controlling but hostile.
A combination of high nurturance and low discipline leads to this permissive parenting style.
Parents with this parenting style use low nurturance and low discipline, as they’re typically unengaged with their children.
2 Controversial Hispanic Parenting Styles
In general, Hispanic families tend to emphasize obedience and respect for adult authority, resulting in a highly controlling parenting style (authoritarian).
Researchers have found that reality is more complex than that. For example, some studies have shown that Hispanic parents more often use the authoritative parenting style.
Additionally, psychologists have found that classic parenting styles don’t accurately reflect Latino parenting practices.
For that reason, experts defined up to 8 parenting styles. Also, they discovered that Latino families fit the following parenting styles: familismo and protective style.
Familismo isn’t just a Hispanic parenting style but a central cultural value of Latin American culture.
Familismo focuses on “the centrality of family expressed through spending time with family, relying on family for guidance, defending the family, putting the family’s needs before one’s own, and contributing to the family’s well being.”
For familismo is important sometimes to put family before everything else.
It’s easy to see why it’s so controversial in an American cultural environment where children must be their own, think for themselves, and don’t rely too much on their parents.
However, researchers have found that in some cases, familismo is a positive parenting style.
One study found that among college students, “maintaining family connections is good for their mental health.” In addition, the study concluded that familismo “may be something that all cultural groups can emulate to improve their mental health.”
Protective Parenting Style
Also known as “overprotective parenting,” this parenting style focuses, as its name suggests, on the exaggerated protection of children.
However, as we’ll see, this overprotection can do “more harm than good” in certain circumstances.
Protective parents are sometimes called “helicopter parents,” too, as they’re constantly around to ensure their children aren’t getting hurt (physically or emotionally).
This parenting style tries to protect kids from everything: pain, harm, rejection to, failure, unhappiness, and disappointment.
One study found that 61% of Latino parents qualify as “protective parents” and that the expectations for male and female children were quite different under this parenting style.
If you know the Latino, then you can easily understand that difference. Men, for example, are expected to provide and be the “heads of the family.”
That last sentence can sound controversial in American culture, where the roles of males and females aren’t so strongly differentiated.
A girl wouldn’t like that her parents gave more autonomy to her brother than herself.
What Does This Tell Us About Latino Parenting Styles?
Well, it’s hard to have a definitive conclusion.
On the one hand, we have evidence that Latino parents aren’t as authoritarian as we thought, and they prefer parenting styles based on family values.
On the other hand, we discovered that most Latino parents could be considered protective parents, and remember: protective parenting style often limits children’s independence and autonomy.
However, as one study mentioned above, sometimes less independence can be positive. In other words, the controversy surrounding Hispanic parenting styles exists and will continue to exist.
But, when data is analyzed, we discover that most of our assumptions are wrong or simply stereotypical, and then we find new tendencies to reflect on.
What’s Your Parenting Style?
This might be the most important question, “What’s your parenting style?”
Do you prefer a high level of independence and discipline for your children? Do you consider the value of family important to your parenting style?
What’s your opinion on being a “helicopter parent” and overprotecting your children?
Whatever your parenting style may be, the fact is that every parent wants the best for their children, and all parents want to give their children the tools they need to live a happy, prosperous life.
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