We all have different ways that we parent our children and no two parents are 100% alike. That said parenting can be broken down into four different styles. Which type of parent are you? Let’s find out!
The four types of parenting styles explored in this blog are: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Child development and child outcomes are usually directly related to parents’ control and what parents expect from their children.
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Here are the four types of parents:
1. The Authoritarian Parent
Do you set extremely high expectations for your children? Should children be seen and not heard? Do you tell your children what to do rather than explain to them why you are asking them to do it?
If so, you could be an authoritarian parent.
Authoritarian parents are generally deemed to be on the stricter side of parenting. They often have high expectations of their children and communication is likely to flow one way (from parent to child). In other words, the parents set the rules and the children listen – there is no room for questions, communication, or negotiation.
Parents that fall into the authoritarian parenting style category are generally considered to be more strict, less nurturing, and have little regard for their child’s feelings or thoughts. They typically run on statements like, “because I said so” or on ideas like “it’s my way or the highway.”
2. The Authoritative Parent
Do you set clear rules and boundaries for your children, and explain the reasons behind them? Are you more on the nurturing side? Do you put a lot of effort into establishing a positive relationship with your children?
If so, you could be an authoritative parent.
Authoritative parents are generally considered more nurturing than some other parenting types. They still set high and clear expectations for their children, but explain the reasons behind those expectations. Communication is a top priority for authoritative parents, and the child’s input and feelings are always considered.
Authoritative parents still have rules and enforce consequences, but rather than just telling a child “this is how it is”, an authoritative parent will take the time to explain and will always validate their child’s emotions in the process.
3. The Permissive Parent
Do you often find yourself failing to enforce the rules that you set for your children? Do your child’s actions often lack consequences? Are you very lenient on your children?
If so, you may be a permissive parent.
Permissive parents are loving and nurturing, but often fail to follow through with the rules that they enforce. They tend to be extremely lenient on their children and only step in when there is a major problem. This type of parent often communicates with their child, but rarely interjects with discipline or rule enforcement. They tend to be seen as “friends” rather than “parents”.
4. The Uninvolved Parent
Do you spend more time on your phone than you do engaging with your children? Have you established appropriate rules and guidance for your children? Do your children have the freedom to do whatever they want?
If so, you may be an uninvolved parent.
Uninvolved parents don’t spend a lot of time with their children and don’t devote much energy to meeting their needs. Sometimes this type of parent can be seen as negligent, while other times their lack of involvement may be related to issues like a poor understanding or ability to take care for a child’s emotional needs.
Uninvolved parents provide little in the way of nurturing and expect that their children will learn by doing things on their own. Communication between parent and child is usually limited, and little or no expectations are set.
Where do you fall into these categories? If you’re like most people, you don’t fit snugly into one particular parenting style – and that’s okay. But is there one style that’s more effective than another?
What’s the Most Effective Parenting Style?
Overall, research has found that authoritative parenting produces the most well-adjusted children. Children raised in an authoritative parenting style generally grow to be happy, successful, and responsible adults who understand that their feelings are important and their opinions are valued.
That said, you might consider some other factors. Though you might consider authoritative parenting as the best style most of the time, there are some situations where this is not the case.
For example, research has shown that Asian American students perform better in school when raised by authoritarian parents. The key then may not be in choosing one specific parenting method, but varying your parenting method based on the situation at hand. You may, for example, need to be more authoritarian when it comes to school work, but more authoritative when it comes to home life. The key is in finding what works best for you and for your child.
Is Your Parenting Style Working for Your Children?
- Does your child come to you with their problems and feelings? Do they feel comfortable talking to you?
- Does your child have their own identity? Are they comfortable making their own decisions?
- Does your child do the right things even when you’re not around?
- Is your child an overall happy person?
- Does your child display a range of emotions in front of you?
- Does your child come to you when they are hurt?
- Do you provide your child with helpful but non-critical feedback?
- Does your child feel empowered to follow their talents and interests?
- Does your child seem to be an overall well-adjusted child?
If you answered yes to these questions, your parenting style is working.
But if the majority of these answers are a “no,” you might want to re-think your upbringing style.
The way that you parent your child can drastically influence who they become as adults, so it’s important that you strike a good balance in parenting styles. You want to be clear and consistent with your expectations, but also want to give your child the freedom to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes. By striking a balance between being firm and consistent but nurturing and understanding at the same time, you will have the best outcome as your child continues to grow.
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