Parenting Style: Everything You Need to Know

This term is used to explain the dominant approach to parenting which a parent typically uses. Fathers and mothers should ensure that their parenting style is supporting healthy development and growth because the way they interact with their kids and how they discipline the children will influence them for the rest of their lives. Parenting styles are distributed in four common categories: authoritarian, uninvolved, permissive, and authoritative. These styles vary in several areas, including discipline style, nurturance, communication, and expectations.

Here’re brief overviews of each parenting style.

Authoritarian parenting: Authoritarian parents are often considered disciplinarians. They follow a strict discipline style without much room for negotiation. Punishment is common in this parenting style, and communication is mainly one way, from parent to kid. Authoritarian parents usually have high expectations from their kids with limited flexibility.

Uninvolved parenting: Uninvolved parents give kids a lot of freedom and usually stay out of their way. Some may consciously choose to parent this way, while others are unsure of what to do or less interested in parenting. No specific discipline style is utilized in uninvolved parenting, and communication remains limited.

Permissive parenting: Permissive parents mostly let their kids do what they want to do and provide limited direction or guidance. They act more like friends than parents. These parents have no or limited rules and mostly let kids figure problems out on their own. Communication is open in permissive parenting, but parents let the kids decide for themselves instead of giving direction.

Authoritative parenting: Authoritative parents are nurturing and reasonable and set clear expectations. Kids with authoritative parents think for themselves and are likely to be self-disciplined. Parents clearly define the disciplinary rules and explain the reasons behind them. In authoritative parenting, communication is appropriate to the kid’s level of understanding and frequent.

Few parents fit neatly into a single parenting style. Instead, they raise kids using a combination of styles. Parents should think of the four parenting styles as a continuum instead of four different ways to parent. Ideally, parents should think about their kids and what they need from the parents at certain points in time. For instance, while a parent may not typically follow an authoritarian parenting style, there may be times in a kid’s life when that particular style is needed. While it becomes easier for the family when both parents follow the same parenting style, some research suggests that when at least one parent follows the authoritative style, it’s better for the kid than having both parents following the same, less effective style.

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