The curious case of the differing parenting styles of Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
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The curious case of the differing parenting styles of Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie

Former Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt, 54, and Angelina Jolie, 42, share six kids together but both have completely different parenting styles towards their adolescent kids that could be the source of their split & current estranged relationship.

As per a source who shared this theory with HollywoodLife, differences in each of their approach to media attention on their children seems to be the reason for their personal strife. Pitt, reportedly, is keen on having the kids stay out of spotlight and try to lead a quiet & normal life.

The source commented that “Angelina continues to drag the kids to red carpets, award shows, and extravagant trips around the world while Brad has been doing the opposite,”

“While Angelina treats the children like her best friends and takes them on dates to her award show appearances, Brad has been trying to instill in his children the wholesome, humble, midwest values he grew up learning.”

While one cannot standardize an approach to parenting that confers a parent any expertise through a set of skills or how-to’s on raising a child, parents are naturally inclined to raise their child in a manner similar to how they were or wanted to be raised. Parenting then is an outcome of the parents’ family backgrounds, values as well cultures as can also be inferred by the above mentioned Pitt-Jolie strife.

One cannot underestimate the impact parenting styles have on child development that can goes beyond the child’s life in case she/he chooses to be a parent. Diana Baumrind, a developmental pscyhologist who researched parenting styles developed a parenting typology based on four elements namely ‘responsiveness vs. unresponsiveness’ and ‘demanding vs. undemanding’.  Responsiveness is inferred by the extent & manner (whether supportive & accepting or otherwise) that a parent responds to the child’s needs.  There are three main styles of parenting that arise from a combination of these elements:

Authoritarian Parenting: 

Parents who practice authoritarian parenting are demanding but not responsive. They tend to be disciplinarians with strict rules that are expected to be followed without any debate and questions asked. Children raised by this style tend to be socially awkward when they are expected to operate independently since they unsure of what’s expected of them having been exposed to explicit rules.

Permissive Parenting: 

In this style, the parent is responsive but not demanding. They typically have less rules and often give into the childrens’ demands such as extra toys or lenience in complying with regular personal & household chores. Children raised thus may tend to develop a habit of getting their own way and are often unable to control their behavior making them impulsive and predisposed to misconducts such as drinking, drug use etc.

Authoritative Parenting: 

Parents who practice authoritative parenting are both demanding and responsive. They encourage their wards to be independent even as they set clearly defined boundaries. Their approach is to be mindful of how the kids are feeling and try to teach the children to manage their emotions and feeling thus enhancing their maturity. Also, such parents tend to enhance the child’s understanding of their expected behavior by engaging them in a debate (rather than enforcing strict rules or allowing complete independence). This approach uses an approach of explanation of issues with reasons and consistent and congruent rules which in turn are perceived by the children as transparent and fair and leads to higher compliance.

Another type of parenting style is the hands-off or the uninvolved style where parents are indifferent with their child for reasons of them being too involved in their own issues or having limited success in gaining authority or respect from their children.

There is ample research available that shows that some parenting styles are better in helping children achieve their fullest potential. Developmental psychologists recommend adopting the authoritative style of parenting that is seen as working the fine balance between being permissive and authoritarian. Of course, from time to time, various approaches from different styles may need to be incorporated depending on specific circumstances. It is quite likely that you and your spouse may have different styles of parenting that may lead to disagreements and disputes with potentially far reaching consequences on the child’s development. It would be best to discuss with each other and negotiate a compromise in the approach towards discipline and handling your child for a happy family environment.

Do you have any real life examples as is the case of incongruent parenting styles seemingly exhibited in the case of Pitt and Jolie? Please do share with us via comments here below.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rajni I

    Slightly off point; but I have observed Japanese kids when they visit India for tourism and had always been curious why they seem to be more mature and controlled than our Indian kids. Apart from parenting influences as you have explained here; it’s also peer pressure from their social groups that makes them more self controlled and less fussy. Please read this interesting article on Japanese parenting style that explains the Japanese kids’ behaviour http://www.brianlosullivan.com/blog/japanese-parenting-style/

  2. Shalini Iyer

    Authoritative parenting as described here is probably the ideal way to go. Another important aspect of this parenting style is that it encourages critical thinking in kids; something sadly our kids are not trained to do. Since learning in school is mostly by rote for exam success, understanding the subject topic and asking the right questions about a subject topic to evaluate from different angles with a critical mind is missing.

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