Feeding your child is the most satisfying yet most time consuming and gruelling jobs of parenthood. Feeding as a process has a huge impact on the parent-child relationship. Did you know that how you feed your child can influence your child’s weight and relationship with food? Research says that there are four different styles of feeding. The style of feeding has a direct relationship with obesity in your child. Read on to know which style you fall into.
1. Permissive: This is the most common parenting style in today’s world. In this style of feeding, the child has the deciding power over what a meal contains (healthy or not) and largely has control of his/her nutrition. Parents frequently allow their child to eat foods made outside of the home (restaurant/fast food). Children of permissive parents are twice as likely to become overweight.
2. Authoritative: The authoritative parent is the most balanced type of parent when it comes to feeding. Here the parent determines the time of meal and what food to eat, but also allows the child to self-serve and choose how much to eat. Children of authoritative parents tend to be of normal weight and good at regulating their hunger.
3. Authoritarian: This type of parenting is pressurizing and goal oriented for the child. Such parents have high expectations from their children and this reflects in their feeding practices as well. These parents determine food type and portions for their child. They set food rules and do not let their child become conscious of hunger and fullness. Children of authoritarian parents are four times more likely to be overweight than children of authoritative parents.
4. Uninvolved: There must be very few parents falling under this category but it’s important to understand. This kind of parents are neglectful of their children’s feeding needs. Parents don’t have a set routine and don’t plan meals. They may not even have food in the house. Children of uninvolved parents become overly focused on food, wondering when the next meal is going to be.
So Moms and dads, which category DO you fall in?