Thursday, 23 June 2016

What is Your Style of Parenting?

Parents need to be aware of their child's need
There is no question that parents have a far-reaching effect on their children. Parent-child interactions and the atmosphere in the home are important factors in children's development. 

Diana Baumrind identified four patterns of parenting styles, that is, how parents interact with their children. These patterns are based on two aspects of parenting that result from:
  • the degree to which parents manage their children’s behavior (parental control), and
  • the degree to which parents are accepting and responsive to their children (parental warmth).
Four parenting styles develop when these two aspects of parenting (parental control and warmth) are combined in different ways. They are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful parenting styles. 

This article outlines the four parenting patterns to help you determine your style of parenting.

Authoritative Parenting

Parents who use this style of parenting have a balanced approach to parenting and are attentive, warm, and supportive to their children.  This style of parenting is regarded as the most effective  and creates a healthy environment for children to grow. Children who grow up in this atmosphere tend to be self-reliant and socially responsible. 

While authoritative parents have high expectations for their children, this is backed by  appropriate level of understanding and support for their children. Authoritative parents allow freedom for their children to grow within a structured and secure environment. They encourage their children to be independent, but they maintain consistent rules and boundaries. Important characteristics of authoritative parents include:
  • Encouraging children to be autonomous within certain limits they set for them;
  • Structuring of children's day, for example, household chores, homework, and bedtime;
  • Setting consequences for  breaking household rules;
  • Helping children understand the expectations parents have of them; and
  • Facilitating healthy, open  communication with children.

Authoritarian Parenting

This style of parenting consists of harsh discipline and strict rules and expectations. Parents using the authoritarian style of parenting are usually demanding but not responsive. They expect their children to follow direction and obey the rules without question.
This type of parenting allows little or no opportunity for open dialogue between parents and children.Children whose parents are authoritarian tend to have poor communication skills and unable to make decision for themselves or defiant and rebellious. 
Authoritarian style of parenting while having strong parental control usually lacks the warmth, support, and comfort that children need. Characteristics of authoritarian parenting include:
  • Strict inflexible rules that must be followed;
  • Offering no explanations for rules;
  • Giving children little or no choice in decisions concerning  them;
  • Using mostly punishment to get children to what is required;
  • Demonstrating limited amount of warmth and nurturing towards children.

  Permissive Parenting
A child needs a sense of belonging.
Parents are inconsistent in their behavior with no set boundaries for their children.  This style of parenting is potentially harmful to children. While these parents are responsive, they make little demands on their children.

Permissive parents don’t like to say “no” to their children. Children raised by permissive parents tend to have difficulty controlling their behavior and showing respect for others.

Indulgent parenting, with no set expectations, few rules, and little discipline, leaves children confused about what is acceptable. Permissive parenting could lead to long-term negative effects in children such as insecurity, poor social skills, and lack of motivation to perform well in school.

Characteristics of permissive parenting include:
  • Setting little or no limits for children or compromising rules to suit them;
  • Avoiding conflict with children and so rules are inconsistent or do not exist;
  • More willing to be their children's friends than their parents; 
  • Using bribes to get children to complete tasks such as completing homework.

Neglectful  Parenting

These parents give their needs higher priority over those of
their children. Children are left to do what they want to do and learn from their own experiences. Thus children with neglectful parents show poor self-control and may not handle independence well.  

Neglectful parents spend little time with their children which usually leads to neglect. They do not support their children emotionally and children lack the parental attention they need. Characteristics  of neglectful parenting include:

  • Lack of demonstration of care for child's emotional, physical and other needs; 
  • Having minimal understanding of what is happening
    Teens need opportunities to become self-reliant.
    children's life;
  • Not providing a safe place for children share experiences and receive positive feedback;
  • Makes excuses for neglecting children.                           
Does your parenting style have the right balance of warmth and control?  Assess your parenting style with the "Parenting Style Questionnaire.

Whatever your family structure, whether single parent, nuclear or another type, high expectations and boundaries, reinforced by warmth and support leads the positive well- being of children. Take steps to improve your parenting skills by learning more about child development and practicing more authoritative parenting. 

Ward (2006) points out that, "part of the family atmosphere is created by the parents' own relationship." So it is also important that parents show support and affection for each other to increase children's sense of security and belonging. 

References and Resources for Further Reading
Mgbemer, B. & Telles, R. (2013). Types of parenting styles and how to identify yours. Retrieved July 20, 2016.

Comprehensive Psychology (n.d.). Parenting styles questionnaire. Retrieved June 22, 2016.

Ward, M. (2006). The family dynamic: A Canadian perspective. ONT: Canada, Thomson Nelson.

Images courtesy of photostock at


  1. A child's all round develop is depends upon effective parenting. Parents are able to take a control over children's behavior and teach them about good and bad, positive and negative and many other lessons. So, we need to refine our parenting skills while following experts and develop our child's behavior. There are different types of parenting and from this article, we learn some important parenting styles and hope while implementing these, we are able to get better results.
    Baby Bonding

    1. Thanks for your comments, Ron. I agree, effective parenting is important for the positive development of children.