parenting styles

Understanding parenting styles

Understanding the principles of different parenting styles can empower you to choose the approach that best supports your child’s development and well-being. Let’s explore the four main parenting styles based on the work of developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind and Stanford researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin.

1. Authoritarian Parenting 

Authoritarian parenting is characterized by one-way communication – parents set strict rules without explanation. They tend to have high expectations of their children with limited flexibility. The home environment is less nurturing and mistakes are met with punishments rather than opportunities for learning and growth. While this approach may secure obedience, it can hinder emotional and self-esteem development. Furthermore, children may lack autonomy and hence have develop problems making their own decisions.

2. Authoritative Parenting 

Despite their titles may sound similar, authoritative parenting style is very different from the authoritarian style. Authoritative parents nurture the relationship with their child with clear expectations and rules communicated openly. Open communication fosters a supportive environment where problems are solved together and children are encouraged to express themselves. While parents are respected, they are not feared or blindly obeyed. 

Authoritative parenting is widely accepted as the most recommended parenting style as it leads to the healthiest outcomes. Research show that children raised by authoritative parents are confident, responsible, and able to self-regulate.

3. Permissive Parenting 

This parenting style is mainly child-driven with warmth but lacks discipline, rules and clear expectations. Parents are often indulgent, taking on a friend-like role instead with little structure and respect. This can result to children having issues with self-regulation, respecting rules or boundaries, and developing healthy habits. They are more likely to have problems with authorities and to avoid confrontations.

4. Uninvolved Parenting 

Uninvolved parenting is characterized by minimal engagement and responsiveness to a child’s emotional and developmental needs. Parents provide basic necessities but little emotional support, guidance, or supervision. This can lead to feelings of neglect and insecurity in children, impacting their overall well-being. Children raised this way more often show low self-esteem, lack of self-control, and are less competent than their peers. They might encounter academic, social, and emotional challenges.

Take this opportunity to reflect on your own parenting approach. What aspects resonate with your values and goals for your child’s future? Every child is unique, and parenting styles can be adapted based on individual needs and circumstances. By understanding and choosing a parenting style that aligns with your family dynamics and values, you can create a nurturing environment where your child can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically.

At Anykind, we are committed to supporting parents on their journey of understanding and implementing effective parenting strategies. Contact us if you need support on your own unique journey. 

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Baumrind, D. (1991). Parenting styles and adolescent development. In J. Brooks-Gunn, R. M. Lerner, & A. C. Petersen (Eds.), The encyclopedia on adolescence (pp. 746-758). Garland Publishing

Pinquart, M., Gerke, DC. Associations of Parenting Styles with Self-Esteem in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis. J Child Fam Stud 28, 2017–2035 (2019).

Gao, D., Liu, J., Bullock, A., Li, D., & Chen, X. (2021). Transactional models linking maternal authoritative parenting, child self-esteem, and approach coping strategies. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 73, 101262.

Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development, 16(2), 361–388.

Lavrič, M., & Naterer, A. (2020). The power of authoritative parenting: A cross-national study of effects of exposure to different parenting styles on life satisfaction. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105274.

Baumrind, D. (2013). Authoritative parenting revisited: History and current status. In R. E. Larzelere, A. Sheffield, & A. W. Harrist (Eds.), Authoritative parenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal child development. American Psychological Association.