Four Parenting Styles: Which Are You?

The other day I was listening to my grandchildren play with their friends, and they were discussing whose parents were the easiest, and whose were the most strict. It took me back to my own childhood, when my friends and I would compare our parents’ parenting styles. From a young age, children of every generation are very aware of the importance of different parenting styles.

While each parent is unique, there are four main parenting styles that most of us ascribe to. Ready to find out what kind of parenting style you fall under? Read on.

Parenting Style #1: Authoritative

Authoritative parenting is actually what we consider the optimal approach, because it fosters traits of open communication, rules and consequences, boundaries, maturity and the necessary social skills for healthy relationships.

You might be an Authoritative Parent if you:
• hold high standards and expectations for your child, while also being empathic and kind.
• advocate for your child.
• establish safe, positive, success-oriented environments that encourage strong bonding with your child.
• have clear expectations for your child.
• structure your child’s environment with consistency, follow-through, and clearly communicated potential consequences regarding chores, homework, meal time and bed time.
• communicate regularly with your child, checking in to see how they are feeling and use my empathic process to invest them in the process of rules and consequences.

Parenting Style #2: Authoritarian

This is the strict parent who could be defined by the biblical phrase “spare the rod, and spoil the child.”

You might be an Authoritarian Parent, if you:
• maintain a strict approach to parenting that lacks communication and the possibility of negotiation.
• spend a lot of time punishing your children for not following your rules, compared to time spent communicating both your expectations and potential consequences if those expectations are not met.
• believe you need to always project the image of being in charge.
• are somewhat aloof around your child. You do not want to appear “soft” around your child and do not allow them to see you as vulnerable.

Parenting Style #3: Permissive

The permissive parent is overly lenient and is unable to teach the rules, create structure, and be consistent with consequences.

You may be a Permissive Parent, if you:
• allow your child to disobey rules regularly, without any consistent follow-through or consequences communicated ahead of time.
• would rather compromise rather than confront conflict.
• believe it is most important to be your child’s best friend.
• find yourself spending a lot of time over-negotiating, over-compromising and bribing your child.

Parenting Style #4: Uninvolved

The Uninvolved Parent is neglectful to the physical and emotional needs, safety, and care of his child.

You may be an Uninvolved Parent if you:
• are often gone from home and leave your child to take care of himself on a regular basis.
• find yourself preferring to be in places other than with your child.
• are unaware of the other people in your child’s life, including not knowing your child’s friends or teachers.
• make excuses and rationalize why you are away from your child so much in order to network for business, social connections, and maintain your public image.

Did you find yourself relating to one of these parenting styles more than another? Each parenting style can have a profound effect on children.

I’ll share what the effects are of each parenting style on children in my next blog post.