What’s interesting about parenting is that it’s not a “one size fits all”. There are many variations in which we choose to raise our children, but there are quite a lot of similarities that researchers have come up with four common parenting styles that most parents fall under. Sometimes it’s just one of them but most times it’s a combination of all four.
Your parenting style represents strategies that you use to raise your children. There are different theories and opinions on the best ways to raise children, as well as differing levels of time and effort parents are willing to invest.
The four main parenting styles are:
- Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parents are reasonable and nurturing, and set high, clear expectations. Children with parents who demonstrate this style tend to be self-disciplined and think for themselves. This style is thought to be most beneficial to children.
- Disciplinary rules are clear and the reasons behind them are explained.
- Communication is frequent and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding.
- Authoritative parents are nurturing.
- Expectations and goals are high but stated clearly. Children may have input into goals.
Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable, and successful.
2 . Authoritarian Parenting
Authoritarian parents are often thought of as disciplinarians.
- They use a strict discipline style with little negotiation.
- Punishment is common.
- Communication is mostly one way:
- Rules usually are not explained.
- Parents in this category are normally rigid and cold.
- Expectations are high with limited flexibility.
Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence, and self-esteem.
3. Permissive Parenting
Permissive parents let their children do what they want, and offer limited guidance or direction. They are more like friends than parents.
- This parenting style is the opposite of strict.
- They have limited or no rules and mostly let children figure problems out on their own.
- Communication is open but these parents let children decide for themselves rather than giving direction.
- Parents in this category tend to be warm and nurturing.
- Expectations are typically minimal or not set.
Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.
4. Uninvolved Parenting
Uninvolved parents give children a lot of freedom and generally stay out of their way. Some parents may make a conscious decision to parent in this way, while others are less interested in parenting or unsure of what to do.
- No particular discipline style is utilized.
- An uninvolved parent lets a child mostly do what he wants, probably out of a lack of information or caring.
- Communication is limited.
- This group of parents offers little nurturing.
- There are few or no expectations of children.
Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem, and are less competent than their peers.
5. Conscious Parenting
Allow me to add to the four parenting styles; a fifth one that I believe should go under this list. The woke and enlightened have come up with a new parenting style called Conscious Parenting, also known as Unconditional Parenting. Conscious parenting is about being mindful and conscious in all your interactions with your child. It is about connecting with your children at a deeper level and nurturing their essence and being.
- These parents see their children as they are not what they do or say
- They don’t operate on rules but rather on boundaries
- They realize that their children don’t belong to them, but came through them
- They realize that what their children do is not against them, so they don’t catch feelings and respond harshly.
- They don’t “raise” their children. They guide them through life’s journey
Conscious parenting looks at the reasons why a child is misbehaving and addresses those reasons. A child does not misbehave for the fun of it.