What are the 4 Parenting Styles?

All parents face challenging decisions when it comes to raising children. There are so many choices, from picking the right school to discipline, and even choosing the perfect kids shoes! One of the most important decisions is determining which parenting style best fits your family dynamic. 

Parenting Styles

There are four common parenting styles, each with its own set of advantages or in some cases disadvantages:
  1. Authoritarian
  2. Authoritative
  3. Permissive
  4. Uninvolved

Let's look at each parenting style individually.

Authoritarian Parenting:

The authoritarian parent has strict rules and expectations that must be followed without question. Unfortunately, while parents focus on teaching kids respect for authority figures and orderliness, they often place a heavy emphasis on obedience and may neglect to nurture their child's individual interests or feelings.

Authoritative Parenting: 

This is similar to authoritarian parenting in that parents set expectations and boundaries but are more attuned to their child's individual needs and preferences.

Parents strive for a balanced approach when it comes to setting rules, understanding and listening to their children while also providing guidance on how to make good decisions.

Research shows that kids with authoritative parents often have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and better academic performance all around.

Permissive Parenting:

Permissive parents place fewer restrictions on their children, allowing them to explore without fear of punishment or reprimand. This style encourages independence and autonomy in kids but may not provide necessary guidance when needed – leaving children without a clear understanding of right or wrong.

Uninvolved Parenting: 

Often characterized by a lack of structure or guidance, uninvolved parents may provide their children with food and shelter but don't typically participate in other aspects of their upbringing, such as discipline, decision-making, or emotional support. This is the exact opposite of positive parenting and can lead to problems with self-esteem and social skills in children.

What is the Best Parenting Style to Use?

According to research, "authoritative parenting is associated with better academic achievement than authoritarian or permissive parenting styles.

Many believe this particular approach is most effective because it allows parents to establish boundaries while encouraging positive communication and independence. And we agree - far as positive parenting tips go, authoritative parenting is the best!

Positive Parenting Tips For the Aspiring Authoritative Parent

So what does authoritative parenting look like in action?

Authoritative parents typically demonstrate the following traits:

  • Communicate openly with their children and consider their feelings and opinions.
  • Encourage independence and reason
  • Take an active role in their child's development and progress
  • Are in tune with their child's emotional needs
  • Allow natural consequences to occur but use these as opportunities for teaching/nurturing
  • Don't demand blind obedience but expect their child to behave responsibly
  • Have reasonable limits and rules

What Parenting Style is Yours?

Use the below scenario to figure out which parenting style is yours.

Your 11-year-old daughter states she doesn't want to continue with her piano lessons as she doesn't think she's any good.

Which response is yours?

  • The permissive parent: Okay, you don't have to go.
  • The neglectful parent: It's your life; do what you want.
  • The authoritarian parent: You don't have a choice, you're going, and that's final.
  • The authoritative parent: I understand you are feeling frustrated with your progress. But carrying on even when things are tough is how you get better!

Final Thoughts

Sometimes the parenting styles we adopt need reviewing, especially if we can see they're not positively impacting our children. The most crucial of all parenting tips we can share is to create a safe, supportive environment for children to grow up feeling confident in themselves and their abilities.

Image by ambermb from Pixabay 

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