In North America, children from all different cultures are in the same schools but they experience quite a variety of parenting styles at home. There is no one right answer to what is the best parenting approach, but research does show what aspects of parenting styles produce better academic and social results for children.
Asian American parenting styles that break the stereotype
An article written by Su Yeong Kim is based on research she conducted based on over 400 different Chinese American families with different parenting styles. Her results showed that the majority of Chinese American families actually displayed a “supportive” parenting role rather than the “harsh” or “tiger” role that is often perceived as the norm for Asian families. The research also showed that the children from families with “supportive” parents scored higher than children from “tiger” parented families. These findings are contrary to the book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” where Amy Chua claims that tiger parenting produces the best results. This except from her book portrays her “tiger” parenting approach.
Balanced parenting styles that promote academic and social success
Studies have shown that parents with authoritative parenting styles often produce more successful children. Authoritative parenting means that there is a definite involvement in the child’s education where the parents set high standards for their children and at the same time are supportive of their children. There is an element of disciplining children for bad behavior and not letting them get away with being disrespectful. This style of parenting is opposed to the authoritarian parenting style where the parents are so involved that there is little room for the child to do anything other than what the parents put pressure on them to do. On the other end of the spectrum are permissive and neglectful or uninvolved parenting strategies where parents take more of a hands-off approach. These parenting strategies end up having the most negative effect on children’s academic and social success.
More evidence supporting less pushy parenting styles
There have been many other recent articles pointing out the need for students to have some down time in their day. Rather than filling their schedules with music lessons, sports and extra school work students actually do better having some time to do kid things and, heaven forbid, experience some boredom every once in a while. This recent article actually encourages pushy parents to back off and give their children some time to be bored! If children are constantly being stimulated all day this can actually negatively impact their social and academic development.
What is your parenting style? Are you open to adjust your approach?
As we can see from these various sources of research, children in most families, regardless of ethnic backgrounds, respond well to set expectations from their parents. They also respond well to warmth and reassurance rather than shame and force. If parents can adopt these supportive parenting styles and balance their involvement in their child’s education, extra curricular activities and free time then their children will have a good chance to succeed in both academic and social situations.