Parenting Styles: Types & Its Effects on Children

The Different Types of Parenting Styles and Their Impact on Kids

Once you become a parent and start taking care of your child, you realise that raising kids is a hard (and arduous) job. There’s no one parenting approach that works for all the children and you will have to rely on the trial and error method to understand the kind of parenting approach that would work well with your child.

No two families use the same kind of parenting styles, but then there are some common parenting styles that most of us use. If you are looking for ways to raise your child better, you can explore the various parenting styles and understand the impact of each style on kids to see what would work for your little fellow!

Types of Parenting Styles

Each parenting style uses a different approach towards raising kids. Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California, Berkley, carefully studied different patterns of parenting styles. Her work in the 1960s in this regard is called Diana Baumrind parenting styles.

Diana noted that toddlers exhibited different kinds of behaviour. Each kind of behaviour is attributed to a specific style of parenting. After extensive research, surveys and interviews, she defined parenting styles psychology. Later in the 1980s, two more psychologists, Maccoby and Martin, contributed to refining the work of Diana Baumrind.

Diana Baumrind identified three parenting styles, namely: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Martin and Maccoby expanded permissive parenting into two. Thus we have four common parenting styles today, they are:

  • Authoritarian
  • Authoritative
  • Permissive
  • Neglectful

These parenting styles are differentiated based on two factors. The first factor being the support extended by parents to their children in day-to-day life. And the second being the amount of control exerted by parents on their children. Read on to understand each type of parenting style in detail.

Authoritarian Parenting Style

In the authoritarian parenting style, parents do not listen to their children and tend to govern them. Authoritative parents set rules for their child, and if their child doesn’t follow the said rules, they punish the child. The child’s feelings are not considered at all. If you can relate to these points, then chances are you are an authoritative parent.

What It Is and How It Looks Like

The major attribute of this parenting style is the high level of parental control and least responsiveness. These parents use the strictest approach towards parenting. Authoritative parents know only one way of communication, that is the parents’ way, and there is no room for negotiation. There is no limit to the expectations set by such parents. These parents set the rules, and if they are not followed, punishment follows. They neglect their child’s feelings completely.

Authoritarian parents focus on teaching their child to obey. They use punishment when the rules are not followed. They constantly make the child feel sorry for his/her mistakes. They demand unrealistic cooperation from the child.

Effects on Children

Just by reading about this parenting style, you can imagine how suffocated and neglected a child must feel. Children parented by authoritarian style become proficient and obedient. But this proficiency comes at a cost. And the cost is too high. The negative effects of this parenting style on children are many. Let’s look at how authoritative parenting impacts children.

  • Children remain sad or unhappy.
  • They feel socially incompetent throughout life.
  • They may have low self-esteem.
  • Children may show behavioural issues like depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies on growing up.
  • Children have a habit of spoon-feeding. They cannot take any decision on their own. They are dependent.
  • They always have a feeling of insecurity.
  • They may become prone to mental illness.
  • They can turn to use drugs to calm their mind and nervous system.
  • Children may have little or no affection towards their parents.

Authoritative Parenting Style

In the authoritative parenting style, parents put efforts into building a healthy relationship with their child. They take time to explain the rules to their child and the child’s feelings are considered if he or she disobeys.

What It Is and How It Looks Like

Authoritative parents also set rules and create boundaries for their kids but with an open discussion. The boundaries are set by giving reasoning and guidance to the child. These explanations create awareness in the child and teach morals, values, and goals.

The ultimate goal of the parents here is to discipline the child, but with negotiation and reasoning. Authoritative parents are outcome-oriented but are reasonable as well. These parents are supportive and affectionate. They encourage the child to be independent and are all ears to their children!

Parents who follow the authoritative style of parenting value appreciation a lot. They believe in giving rewards and praises.

Effects on Children

Authoritative parenting style has a positive impact on children. Parents who are raised by authoritative parents tend to be happy.

  • Kids who are raised by an authoritative parenting approach grow up to be happy and satisfied human.
  • They value independence in life.
  • They tend to active throughout life.
  • They tend to achieve academic excellence.
  • They become socially competent and easily keep their point in public.
  • They have high self-esteem.
  • They have better mental health.
  • They are emotionally attached to their parents.

Attachment Parenting Style

The attachment parenting style is the same as the authoritative style, but you give importance to physical touch and affection as well.

What It Is and How It Looks Like

Many experts see it as a subset of the authoritative parenting style. The emotional and parenting aspects are similar to the authoritative style. The thing that is new here is that the parent puts greater emphasis on physical touch and affection. These parents believe that babies are given birth to stay physically close and be nurtured.

This physical closeness mostly applies during the toddler years, when the child remains physically close, especially to the mother. This parenting style involves skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding on demand, and minimizing separation from the child.

Effect on Children

The effects of attachment parenting style on children are positive as well. Let’s look at how attachment parenting benefits a child.

  • Children cope with life adversities and stress better.
  • Children grow up to be happy and content.
  • Children are socially competent and have great self-esteem.
  • Children have better mental health.

Permissive Parenting Style

In the permissive parenting style, parents create rules but do not impose them. Parents who follow the permissive parenting style think that their child will learn eventually without their interference. In this form of parenting style, parents do not explain the consequences of a particular action to their child. If any of the above stands true, then you are a permissive parent.

What Is It and How It Looks Like

These parents act like friends to their kids. They rarely set rules and regulations for their kids. The parent with the methodology of ‘kids are kids.’ They will discipline the kids rarely because they think the kids aren’t mature enough to understand. These parents are more responsive than demanding. They cannot say NO to their children or disappoint them. This is why these parents are called indulgent parents.

Parents here do not even speak against the child even when they are required to. This is because they think they might disappoint the child. They also do not discourage bad behaviour or wrong choices.

Kids who are raised through attachment form of parenting style enjoy a lot of freedom and are not monitored closely. They are not taught responsibilities or chores and the child’s day is also not structured.

Effect on Children

Let us now look at how this parenting way affects children.

  • Children become free-thinkers and are not afraid to speak their mind.
  • They cannot be convinced easily for supporting something wrong in their beliefs.
  • These children are more likely to struggle academically.
  • These children cannot follow rules.
  • They do not have self-control.
  • They have egoistic tendencies.
  • They have major issues in social interactions and relationships.

Free-Range Parenting Style

The free-range parenting style is the same as the permissive parenting style but with a few restrictions.

What It Is and How It Looks Like

The free-range parents are the ones who allow their kids to do things that they think the child is capable of doing. Parents who follow the free-range parenting style do not allow their child to do whatever their child wants, but they want their child to be independent. A free-range parent will let the child explore new things without helping or interrupting (only till the point the child is safe).

Effect on Children

The possible outcomes of this parenting style are explained below.

  • The child becomes more capable of handling shock and challenges in life.
  • It encourages creativity.
  • The child has strong problem-solving skills.
  • The only possible downside could be society talking about your negligence as a parent. In certain countries, there could be laws against such kinds of parenting, especially for toddlers.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

Parents who follow this form of parenting style do not spend time with their children. They also don’t show interest in knowing anything about their children like how they are doing in school or if they are completing their homework on time. Parents don’t have much idea about their child’s progress.

What It Is and How It Looks Like

Uninvolved parents are the ones that are not at all involved in the child’s life. They have little or no idea what their child is doing. They set little to no rules and the child remains deprived of nurturing, guidance, and parental attention.

Parents who follow uninvolved parenting style generally stay out of the child’s way. They want their child to raise themselves. They do not invest much energy or time into fulfilling the child’s basic needs. Some parents can choose this kind of parenting consciously. But there could be a case where the parent is struggling with some mental health issue or is a victim of abuse. Such parents cannot take care of the child properly.

There can also be a possibility that the parent lacks parenting knowledge and are more engrossed in other household and office work.

Effects on Children 

The possible outcomes of uninvolved child-rearing styles are:

  • Children have low self-esteem.
  • Children show behavioural issues.
  • Children tend to be unhappy and discontent.
  • Children perform badly in academics.
  • Children become impulsive.
  • Children are unable to regulate emotions throughout life.

The circumstances and environment in each household are different, but they play a vital role in the development of a child. As parents, you should protect your child from a negative environment and try to teach them to do good and be a good person. You can try one or more or a combination of parenting styles to see what works for your child. Remember, whichever parenting style you choose, your aim should be to raise your child into a happy, content, and responsible individual. Happy parenting!!

Also Read:

Bad Parenting and its Effects on Children
Snowplow Parenting Style and Effects on Children
Uninvolved Parenting Style and Effects on Children

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