sociology and education are some of the areas that have shown immense interest in parenting styles and child behavior and have come up with empirical reports, analysis, surveys and suggestions. Parental approaches and techniques help the child evolve into a person, and therefore are very critical in their developmental process. It guides their psychological, social behavior and attitudes (Skinner, Johnson & Snyder, 2005).
According to these, teaching involves educating a child the difference between right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. A well-taught child knows how to control impulses and takes responsibility for his actions. Parents cannot teach children everything, but can always inculcate the sense of responsibility of one’s own actions and self-control (Barber, Stolz, & Olsen, 2005). Teaching plays a crucial role in child development during the 4-8 years of age.
On the other hand, parental control aims more at placing boundaries and setting rules than explaining why and how the children can avoid unacceptable behavior, or what will be the consequences (Skinner, Johnson & Snyder, 2005). The children is not taken into consideration to a great extent as they are kept in the dark of the why’s, how’s, and what’s of it. They are punished if they violate the rules, as discipline is not possible, without teaching.
However, this is only an aspect of control, as empirical research brings out multiple layers of meaning to the word ‘control’. For example, Grolnick (2005) being in control and controlling the behavior of a child can be different. To be in control of child’s behavior is to protect them from dangers and equally assure civil behavior. This might at times be restrictive and sometimes allowing autonomy, but under supervision.
As a technical term, ‘control’ is more narrow and precise. It interferes with the human need to feel autonomous and competent. In this case, the children are bound without choices and the actions