4 Different Parenting Styles: Which One is Yours?
One of the interesting things about being a parent is that there is so much variation in how we raise our children. Although there are many similarities from one parent to another, every family is unique in how they interact and discipline their children. It’s important to ensure that your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development because the way you interact with your child will influence them for the rest of their lives.
While every family is different, experts have identified some common parenting styles. These styles are generally based on the amount of support parents provide and the amount of control they try to exert. Most have their pros and cons, though some are generally considered to be more beneficial for kids than others. The four main parenting styles used in child psychology today are based on the work of Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, and Stanford researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin. Let’s see what the different parenting styles are below.
What Are The Different Parenting Styles?
#1 Authoritarian Parenting
The authoritarian parenting style is defined by two main characteristics: high levels of parental control and low levels of parental responsiveness. This is the most traditional parenting style of the 4 different parenting styles, as parents are clearly in charge and children are expected to obey. Kids who are raised with this parenting style know where the boundaries are and what the consequences are for violating them. Since the “rules” are crystal clear, the children know how to conduct themselves, whether in public or private.
However, it can often get difficult for kids when their parents have an authoritarian parenting style. They may not be allowed to get involved in problem-solving challenges or obstacles and may face strict rules and consequences with little regard for their opinion. Plus, authoritarian parents tend to opt for punishments instead of positive discipline, which can make it difficult for children to learn how to make better choices.
Impact of Authoritarian Parenting on Children
The children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems because their opinions and feelings are not validated or reciprocated. Chances are also high that they may grow up feeling resentful and angry.
They may have difficulty thinking about solutions and instead focus on the rage they feel towards their parents. Additionally, since authoritarian parents are often strict, their children may learn to lie in order to avoid punishment.
#2 Permissive Parenting
Parents who are permissive typically set very few or no rules and boundaries for their children. They may be reluctant to enforce rules, preferring instead to be warm and indulgent. Unlike the other different parenting styles, permissive parents are more likely to take on a friendship role, rather than a parenting role, with their kids. They prefer to avoid conflict and will often concur with their children’s pleas at the first sign of distress. Parents who take this approach mostly allow their kids to do what they want and offer limited guidance or direction.
These parents often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems. They usually don’t put much effort into discouraging poor choices or bad behavior because they dislike having “control” over their kids. Though, when they do end up using consequences, they are not likely to hold them up. They might give privileges back if a child begs or promises to be good.
Children of permissive parents often exhibit strong creative thinking skills and are not afraid to share their opinions. This unique perspective can lead to incredible creativity and innovation. However, such a parenting style has more negative outcomes than positive ones.
Impact of Permissive Parenting on Children
Children who are raised with permissive parenting styles are more likely to struggle academically, socially, and emotionally. Permissive parenting leaves children ill-prepared to deal with the structure and expectations of the real world, resulting in poorer outcomes in life.
Plus, it can also lead to health problems like obesity or dental issues. This is because permissive parents may struggle to limit junk food intake and give in to their child’s demands for more. As a result, children may not enjoy a positive relationship with food and are more likely to ailments quickly.
#3 Uninvolved Parenting
Uninvolved parents typically do not set boundaries or high standards for their children. They are largely indifferent to their children’s needs and provide them with a great deal of freedom, usually staying out of their way. Unlike the other 3 different parenting styles, uninvolved parents are mostly “absent”. These parents have limited knowledge of their children’s activities and typically have few rules in place. As a result, children in these families often do not receive much guidance, nurturing, or parental attention. Some parents make a deliberate choice to parent in this way, while others are simply less interested in parenting or unsure of how to proceed.
These parents are often neglectful and expect their children to raise themselves, without providing the resources or guidance needed to meet basic needs. In most cases, this can be due to overwhelming personal problems like a hectic work life leaving them with no time or energy to deal with children, mental health issues, substance abuse, work, or managing a household.
Impact of Uninvolved Parenting on Children
Children who do not have involved parents are more likely to have issues with self-esteem and difficulties forming trusting relationships with others. Furthermore, they are likely to underperform in school and have more behavior problems, often used as a way to seek attention, even if it’s negative.
People who are raised by uninvolved parents are more prone to anxiety and depression. This is likely due to the fact that these individuals had an absent parent who neglected their needs and didn’t provide them with the guidance and support they needed to develop healthy emotional attachments. As a result, they may feel insecure and unworthy of love and attention, leading to negative mental health outcomes.
#4 Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parenting is the bridge between different parenting styles – permissive and authoritarian. Authoritative parents try to create a balance by being both firm and supportive. They will talk to their children about the rules and expectations as a family, making sure that the children understand why these rules are in place, they will involve children too while framing rules and regulations. However, they will still maintain a clear hierarchy within the family and hold kids accountable when they tend to misbehave. Usually, discipline will take the form of coaching or guiding natural and logical consequences.
Authoritative parents spend time and energy anticipating potential behavioral problems and taking proactive steps to prevent them. They also use positive reinforcement strategies, such as praise and rewards, to encourage and reinforce desired behaviors.
Impact of Authoritative Parenting on Children
These children tend to be self-disciplined and think for themselves, they possess high self-esteem and are emotionally stronger. This creates an environment in which children feel comfortable expressing their own thoughts and feelings, and they are more likely to develop into independent, successful adults.
Authoritative parenting styles have been found to produce the most well-rounded and responsible adults. Kids who are raised with authoritative parents tend to be friendly, cheerful, and cooperative. They’re also curious, self-reliant, and goal-oriented – qualities that will help them succeed as adults.
Of the four different parenting styles mentioned here, it’s clear that Authoritative Parenting is the one every parent should strive to mold their technique after. However, it can be tough to maintain consistency as a parent, especially when trying to balance work and home life. Don’t worry if you find yourself being more permissive or authoritative at different times – this is perfectly normal. Just do your best, to be honest with yourself and remain open to adjusting your parenting style as needed.
If you are facing trouble determining the correct parenting style for you, Kosh is here to help. At Kosh, we guide parents in determining the most suitable parenting styles through parenting education programs, masterclasses, and much more. Avail a 1:1 Personalized Counseling Session with our parenting experts today!