4 Common Types of Parenting Style
Updated: Mar 31
It is not easy being a new mom or dad in today’s world.
Many new parents are often afraid that they are not good enough, and that they feel the pressure to be a ‘perfect parent’.
Your parenting style has a direct impact on your child, in areas such as how your child feels about himself/herself, and how well he/she copes once problems arise.
Psychologists categorise parenting styles into four common types: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. The parenting styles are based on the amount of support parents provide and the amount of control they try to exert.
In today’s article, we take a look at the attributes of each style, and how they affect children.
In authoritarian parenting, parents usually have a higher level of parental control and a lower level of responsiveness.
Authoritarian parents have a strict approach to parenting and they demand blind obedience from their children using the parenting phrase “because I said so,” whenever the child questions the reasons behind a rule. They are not interested in having a two-way conversation and any attempts to reason with them are seen as backtalk.
When it comes to taking care of a infant, authoritarian parents like to create a highly rigid feeding and sleeping schedule. They insist on unrealistic cooperation regarding issues such as potty training and bedtime.
Due to the strictness of the parenting style, children whose parents have an authoritarian parenting style tend to think twice about their actions before they do something. Hence, they are less possible to try and do something impulsive.
However, it was reported that overly rigid parenting may backfire. It can put tremendous pressure on the children to be perfect, which in turn causes them to have an unhappy disposition. They may also be more prone to internalising behaviours like feeling inadequate or lonely and exhibit more behavioural problems. They may even be more prone to mental health issues like anxiety disorder and depression.
Unlike authoritarian parenting, the authoritative way of parenting follows the approach of setting rules and implementing boundaries by fostering open discussion and providing guidance using reasoning.
Authoritative parents set high standards for achievement and maturity. However, they are also nurturing, responsive and supportive.
When it involves disciplining their children, they usually place emphasis on providing their child with solid reasoning for their actions. Instead of punishing the child, their focus is to regulate their behaviour and allow them to learn from their mistakes.
Such parents tend to enforce non-negotiable rules such as no throwing of toys and enforce them in a way that is logical and acceptable to the child.
Authoritarian parenting is considered a healthy approach for children. Children tend to grow up being cheerful, cooperative, independent, self-controlled and goal-oriented. These children tend to interact actively with peers using competent social skills.
Permissive parents usually act more like a friend than a role model. They are warm, nurturing and responsive to their child’s needs, but tend to be additionally lenient and inconsistent when it comes to enforcing rules.
Children are given greater liberty to act however they like. If these children break the rules, they are usually forgiven quickly with the mindset of “kids will be kids.”
Children of permissive parents usually do not have a specified mealtime or bedtime schedules. They may be allowed to snack whenever they want, instead of at indicated time slots.
These children tend to be free thinkers who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Since they grew up with a lot of freedom and aren’t always monitored closely, they are not easily bossed around by people.
They may exhibit more behavioural problems as they are more likely to throw tantrums when things do not go their way. Kids who grow up with permissive parents are also more likely to be impulsive, rebellious and aimless.
Also known as neglectful parenting, uninvolved parents do not set firm boundaries or high standards for their children.
Uninvolved parents are unresponsive to their child’s physical and emotional needs. They also provide very little supervision and the parent is largely absent from the child’s life.
For example, they won’t filter what they say around the toddler and they won’t know where the child has been, and with whom. They hardly even spend quality time with the child.
This is most likely the most harmful parenting style. Children raised with an uninvolved parenting style tend to have low self-esteem and they can have a tough time forming healthy, trusting relationships with others.
There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to be a parent. Different kids require different parenting practices. There are countless different ways to be a good parent. However, not all parents can fit into one parenting style.
Perhaps the simplest approach would be to customise your parenting style based on your child’s necessities and temperament.
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