Learning Center

Parenting Styles

Just as every child grows and develops in a unique way, every parent also has their own parenting style and philosophy. Although it is true that sometimes two children that grow up in the same household with the same parents might have very different personalities, and children who were raised in very different parenting environments might grow up to have the same disposition, developmental psychologists have conducted studies that show links between certain parenting styles and the development of children.

Whatever your parenting preferences might be, developmental psychologists have broadly grouped parenting styles into 4 distinct categories. Here is a brief overview of those styles.

  • Authoritarian Parenting
    This parenting style consists of having parents establish strict rules for their children and also punishments if those rules are broken. Children are expected to follow the rules without question, and authoritarian parents do not offer explanations to the rules that they impose. These parents value and expect order and obedience.
  • Authoritative Parenting
    Like authoritarian parenting, authoritative parents also value order and obedience. The difference, however, is that authoritative parents also highly value communication and understanding. They will explain to their children why certain rules are in place and also answer any questions that their children might have, making the process more democratic. Although there are consequences in place if rules are broken, these punishments are geared towards facilitating understanding, not punishment for punishment’s sake.
  • Permissive Parenting
    Like the name implies, permissive parents do not make very many demands of their children and do not strongly believe in rules and discipline. Instead, permissive parents focus on open-communication with their children striving to please them rather than teach them.
  • Uninvolved Parenting
    All of the previous parenting styles require parents to be active in their children’s lives, from creating and enforcing rules to placating and pleasing their children. Uninvolved parents, however, are not as actively involved in their children’s lives. Although they still care for and provide for their children, as parents should, uninvolved parents do not engage with their children in a very meaningful way.

This is just a guideline to help you understand how certain parenting traits might have an effect on your children.