Different Parenting Styles: Know What Kind Of A Parent Are You 

Parenting style has a lot to do with a child’s upbringing. Different Parenting styles affects a lot. Starting from a child’s self-esteem to their academic success. It is absolutely important to make sure that your parenting style is supporting your child’s development and growth.  

The way you behave with your child, how you interact with them, and how you are disciplining them influences them for their entire life. Researchers have identified that there are four different types of parenting styles that influence a child’s growth and development. 

Different Parenting Styles That Have Been Identified 

According to research, there are four different parenting styles, which are unique in their own approach. 

  • Authoritarian 
  • Authoritative 
  • Permissive 
  • uninvolved 

It is a common notion that people want to know what their parenting style is, or which are they actually using, and which is the best of all. But the actual truth is there is no correct way of raising a child.  

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and what most people think, authoritative is believed to be the best approach. Read along and know the different parenting styles, with a few of their subtypes. 

Authoritarian Parenting 

Do you think you sound like any of these statements? 

  • Do you believe that kids should always be seen and not heard? 
  • When you are deciding or talking about rules, is it always “my way or the highway?” 
  • Do you not consider your child’s feelings? 
  • Have you ever said, “Because I said so.” when your kid has asked you the reason behind the rule you stated? 

If any of these statements are true, then you are an authoritarian parent. This style of parenting mostly focuses on strict rules, discipline, and obedience. Parents who are authoritarian have high expectations of their children, and they never hesitate to punish their children when they fail to follow those rules. 

Authoritarian parents take the power of decision-making to themselves and never consider their children’s opinions or input on any matters.it is a lot like an army drill sergeant. Authoritarian parents are not lenient, communicable, or nurturing.  

They make their own rules and enforce the consequences with little to no regard for their children’s opinions. 

How can authoritarian parenting affect children? 

When an authoritarian parent raises a child, they are mostly well-behaved at home, but outside, they turn out to be rebels. They often indulge in fights with friends and classmates. They also struggle in the following aspects: 

  • Social skills 
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Aggression and hostility 
  • Poor judgment of character 
  • They find it difficult to make a decision on their own, indecisiveness 
  • Resentfulness and anger management 

Even in some research, it has been seen that children with authoritarian parents are more prone to substance abuse and have high chances of depression. 

Permissive parenting: 

Let’s go through the same drill again. Does any of these statements ring a bell? 

  • You make the rules but almost never enforce them. 
  • You do not give out any consequences most of the time. 
  • Do you think that your child is going to learn on their own and get the best learning if you do not interfere with them? 
  • You allow your child to do anything they want, even if that is an unhealthy habit or drinking soda while having every meal. 

If any of these statements sound familiar to you, then you are a permissive parent. Permissive parents are mostly lenient and only step in when it is extremely necessary. They are very forgiving and have an attitude of “kids will be kids.” 

Most of the time, they behave as their friends and not as an authoritative figure. They look after their children’s needs and do not exercise much discipline. Even when trying to use consequences, it almost never sticks.  

For instance, they give back their privileges if their child nags or begs for it. They often release a kid from their time-out early when they promise they are not going to do that again. They are never strict with their kids. 

How can permissive parenting affect children? 

As they have a high standing in their household, children who have permissive parents are used to getting whatever they ask for. They often show behavioral problems as they do not like rules, and they obviously never appreciate authority. 

Some of the other downsides of permissive parenting are: 

  • They lack responsibility 
  • Academic struggles 
  • They find it difficult to make decisions 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Aggressiveness and impulsiveness 
  • They lack personal and independent responsibility. 

Kids with permissive parents often act egocentric, selfish, and entitled. They often ever put effort into their work, school, or any kind of social endeavors, as they are not used to putting any effort at home. 

Additionally, kids with permissive parents possess a higher risk of getting health issues like obesity. Permissive parents find it difficult to limit their intake of unhealthy food, promote healthy sleeping habits, or promote regular exercise. They do not even enforce good habits for maintaining their hygiene. 

Authoritative parenting: 

Does any of these sentences resonate with you? 

  • You try to create a positive environment and try to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with your kid. 
  • You explain to your kid why you have set up that rule after setting it. 
  • Your kid’s feelings are more important to you, so even after setting limits, enforcing rules, and telling them about the consequences, you consider how they would feel. 
  • Positive reinforcement is one of your characteristics. 

If any of these sentences sound anything like you, then you are an authoritative parent. It is considered the “gold standard” parenting style. One special thing about authoritative parenting is that it sets rules and boundaries. But they also give their kids the freedom to make their own decisions. 

Parents with an authoritative parenting style validate their kids’ feelings but also make sure that the parents are ultimately in charge. They invest a lot of energy and time to deal with the behavior problems even before they start. 

These parents also use positive reinforcement as a positive discipline strategy. They make mistakes as a learning experience. However, this kind of parents do not keep unrealistic expectations from their kids. They are warm and nurturing, yet they know the importance of discipline and responsibility. 

How can authoritative parenting affect children? 

Kids who have authoritative parents are mostly happy, successful, and confident. They make sound decisions most of the time and try to evaluate risks and safety on their own. However, this kind of parenting is linked with resiliency, heightened self-esteem, and academic achievement. 

Kids who experience authoritative parenting show the following positive effects: 

  • Nurturing and close relationship with their parents 
  • They are mostly respectful and responsible 
  • They know how to manage their aggression 
  • Able to express their emotions clearly 
  • They tend to be successful and happy 
  • They have high self-confidence, self-regulation, and self-esteem 

Kids who deal with authoritative parents, can be trusted. Moreover, they take the right call in difficult times, are capable of making decisions on their own, and set high expectations for themselves. Their academic results are also a reflection of that. 

Neglectful or Uninvolved Parenting: 

I am going to follow the same thing here as well. See if any of these sentences sound familiar or not. 

  • You never ask your child about their homework or their school 
  • You do not have an idea about where your child is or who their friends are 
  • Quality time is not really your thing 
  • There are mostly no rules and regulations and no expectations as well 

If any of these statements resonate with you, then you are not so much involved with your child or you are a neglectful parent. Neglectful parents tend to ignore their children; they give little guidance and almost no attention to their children. Moreover, there are no expectations or rules, and they do not have knowledge about their child. 

Parents who are not involved in their child’s life expect their kids to raise themselves. They spend no energy and time to meet even the basics of their kid’s needs. Moreover, they do not have any knowledge about the development of their child, and they believe their child will do it on their own. 

Uninvolved parents are neglectful, but they do not always do it intentionally. A parent with substance abuse problems and mental health issues are unable to take care of their child’s emotional and physical needs consistently. 

How Uninvolved Parenting Affects Children 

Without any parental involvement, guidance, and structure, children with neglectful parents tend to act out. However, according to research, kids whose parents are not as involved in their lives have the worst outcomes. They most likely experience these things: 

  • Rebellious 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Diminished self-esteem 
  • Lower emotional and cognitive empathy 
  • Delinquency 

Children whose parents are not that involved in their lives often get into trouble in school and with the law. Along with that, they often hesitate to make bonds with other people and sometimes get into depression. Social competence and academic performance also suffer. 

Sub-Types of The Following Parenting Styles 

There are a lot of subtypes of parenting styles, and some of those are: 

  • Helicopter parenting 
  • Free-range parenting 
  • Lighthouse parenting 
  • Tiger parenting 
  • Attachment parenting 
  • Snowplow parenting 

Free-range parenting 

Free-range parents allow their kids freedom. They do not keep an eye on them all the time when they are in public. They do not supervise them all the time. Parents who follow this type used to be considered neglectful and dangerous for kids. 

But recently, after a lot of debate, many states passed laws in favor of this hands-off parenting style. Utah changed the definition of neglect in a way that does not include some independent childhood activities like playing outside or walking to school alone. However, proponents are saying that it installs qualities like resilience and self-sufficiency. 

Helicopter parenting 

If you are overprotective about your kids and feel that you need to control them over every aspect of their lives, then you are a helicopter parent. Helicopter parenting is something where you constantly interfere in your kid’s life, and they get obsessed about their failures and successes. 

The techniques of risk assessment of helicopter parents are mostly driven by anxiety and fear. However, if you interfere in your child’s life this way, it can tamper with their ability to learn important self-sufficiency, life skills, and confidence.  

Snowplow parenting 

Snowplow parents are also known as bulldozer parents or lawnmower parents. They are the parents who would go to any extent to fulfill their kid’s demands and wants. It doesn’t matter how small the wish is. They will plow everything and anything that is standing in their child’s way. 

These parents have good intentions in their hearts and do not want their kids to struggle for anything. However, these habits do not get them long-term happiness. This can make their anxiety about failure worse than ever.  

For instance, you will often hear that high-profile celebrity parents are bribing a college to get their kid admission to a certain college; this is what snowplow parenting is. 

Lighthouse parenting 

Lighthouse parenting is one of the more balanced methods of parenting. Author and pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg coined the concept of lighthouse parenting in the book Raising Kids To Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection With Trust.  

He wrote, “We should be like lighthouses for our children. Stable beacons of light on the shoreline from which they can measure themselves against.” 

However, there are different parenting styles, and this is just one of them. It involves finding the sweet spot between communicating, loving, nurturing, and protecting your child. Parents want to support and guide their kids, just like a lighthouse does. 

Attachment parenting 

Attachment parenting is something that involves a hands-on and nurturing approach. They feel that if they put their kid’s needs first, it will make them more emotionally stable and independent.  

Parents who want to go by this parenting style value co-sleeping, bed-sharing, and physical closeness. They often extend their breastfeeding time and try positive discipline and other attachment-based approaches to raise their child. 

Tiger parenting 

Often displaying harsh and rigid characteristics, tiger parents expect success and obedience. This particular term gained attention because of the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua.  

In this book, she describes tiger parenting as an authoritarian parenting method mostly used in Chinese culture. According to some research, tiger parenting is one of the main reasons for anxiety in kids because of the parent’s high demands. 

So, what kind of a parent are you? 

Different parenting styles are mentioned in this article. Read and find out which is the best parenting style for you and what kind of a parent you are. Not everything you do is going to be good for your kid, and not everything is bad. 

So, figure out the sweet spot that is best for your child and make sure that you take good care of your kid. And if you find that you need to change anything in your parenting style, then do not hesitate. It is for your child’s best. 


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Subhasree Nag


Subhasree is a content writer who is passionate about traveling, writing, and reading books. In her leisure time, she is seen listening to music and watching web series. Writing along with music and dance are ways in which she expresses herself.

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