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Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects On Child Development

by Lakshika Thakur,

Parenting Tips
Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects On Child Development



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When it comes to raising children, one of the interesting things about it is that there is great diversification in every families' parenting style. Though, there are also many commonalities from one parent to another. Based on these similarities, researchers have tried to group parents into four common parenting styles. Still, for them, finding actual cause-and-effect links between the actions of parents and the later behavior of children is very difficult.

Parenting Styles and Their Effects On Children Are Interlinked


It has been observed that some children raised in dramatically different environments can later grow up to have remarkably similar behavior and personalities. Conversely, children living together in the same family and raised in the same environment can grow up to have very different personalities.

Despite these challenges, researchers have put forward that the parenting styles and the effects these styles have on children are interlinked. And some suggest these effects carry over into adult behavior as well. 

Your parenting style can have adverse effects on everything in your child’s lifestyle. It can be from how much your child weighs to how they feel about themselves. Always ensure that your parenting style is supporting the healthy growth and development of your child. Because the way you interact with your child and how you discipline them will influence the rest of their lives.

The Four Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Children

On this basis, the researchers have identified four types of parenting styles that take different approaches to raise children and can be identified by several different characteristics. The parenting styles commonly used in psychology today, are based on a study conducted on more than 100 preschool-age children by psychologist Diana Baumrind in the 1960s. Later in the 1980s, Maccoby and Martin also contributed by refining the model.

Diana Baumrind identified some important dimensions of parenting using naturalistic observation, parental interviews, and other research methods. 

These dimensions include disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturing, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control. Based on these, Baumrind identified that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. 

Later research contributions by Maccoby and Martin added a fourth parenting style. Each of these has different effects on children's behavior and development.

1. Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian) Parenting


In this style of parenting, statements used by authoritarian parents might sound like, 

  • Parents believe kids should be seen and not heard.
  • When it comes to rules, parents believe it’s “my way or the highway.”
  • Parents don’t take into consideration their children’s feelings. 

Usually, authoritarian parents expect their children to follow the strict rules established by them. They don’t state the reason behind these rules and if asked to explain, they simply might reply, “Because I said so.” Also, if children fail to follow such rules, it often results in punishment. These parents are not ready to negotiate and focus on obedience.

While parents using this style of parenting have high demands and expectations, they do not respond to their children. Authoritarian or disciplinarian parents expect their children not to make errors and behave exceptionally. They don’t believe in involving children in problem-solving challenges, rather form the rules and enforce the consequences without the child’s opinion. 

They often harshly punish kids for making mistakes, rather than teaching them discipline. Authoritarian parents are invested in making kids feel sorry for their mistakes instead of teaching them better decision-making. The approach of authoritarian parents is “spare the rod and spoil the child” and these parents are often described as domineering and dictatorial. 

Effects on Children

Children raised using this approach often develop self-esteem problems as their opinions aren’t valued. These children tend to follow rules but their obedience comes at a price. They often become hostile or aggressive. They focus more on the anger they feel towards their parents, losing the track of thinking about how to do things better in the future. One of the most damaging effects is these children may grow to become good liars to avoid punishment.

2. Authoritative Parenting


  • You put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with your child.
  • You explain the reasons behind your rules.
  • You enforce rules and give consequences, but consider your child’s feelings.

If statements like these sound familiar to you, then your approach is of authoritative parenting. Like authoritarian parents, those using an authoritative parenting approach establish rules that they expect their children to follow. However, they are more democratic. They are responsive and willing to consider their children’s opinions. 

Also Read: 8 Effective Parenting Tips To Create Positive Discipline In Kids

Authoritative parents expect a lot of their children but they also validate their children’s opinions. When children fail to meet the expectations, they provide warmth, adequate support, and feedback. They are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. But they also make sure that the adults are ultimately in charge. 

The authoritative parenting approach includes parents using disciplinary methods that are supportive, rather than punitive. These parents want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and simultaneously self-regulated and cooperative.

Effect on Children

The children raised using an authoritative parenting style tend to be happy and successful. They likely become responsible adults who are more likely to be good at decision-making, evaluating safety risks on their own, and those who are comfortable in expressing their opinions. The combination of support and expectation helps children develop skills such as independence, self-control, and self-regulation. 

3. Permissive (or Indulgent) Parenting


In permissive parenting, often called indulgent parenting, parents are low on expectations from their children to be mature and self-controlled. Permissive parents rarely discipline their children and have very few demands on their children. 

Statements like,

  • You set rules but rarely enforce them.
  • You don't give out consequences very often.
  • You think your child will learn best with little interference from you.

Relates to the approach of permissive parents.

Permissive parents are very lenient and they only step in very serious matters. They are more responsive than they are demanding, non-traditional, and do not expect mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation. These parents do use consequences but don’t make those consequences stick. The children under permissive parenting are more likely to get privileges from their parents if they start begging. 

The permissive parents may also allow their children to get out of time-out early if they promise to behave in a good manner. These parents are more of a friend to their children and often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems. But they usually don't discourage poor choices or bad behavior of their children.

Effect on Children

Therefore, children raised using a permissive parenting approach are more likely to struggle academically. These kids might also show behavioral issues as they haven’t learned to appreciate authority and rules and also often have low self-esteem. They may also report a lot of sadness. 

Not only this, these children are at a higher risk of various health problems like obesity and dental cavities because permissive parents are low at limiting junk food intake and enforcing good habits, like ensuring a child brushes his teeth.

4. Neglectful (or Uninvolved) Parenting


This fourth parenting style was introduced by psychologists Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin in addition to the three major styles introduced by Baumrind. 

If you’re using statements like, 

  • You don't ask your child about school or homework.
  • You rarely know where your child is or who she is with.
  • You don't spend much time with your child.

Then your parenting approach is Neglectful, often called uninvolved parenting. Uninvolved parents have less idea of their children’s activities and there tend to be few rules in this type of parenting. Children raised using this parenting approach might not receive much guidance, parental attention, and nurturing. 

This parenting style has characteristics of few demands, low responsiveness, and very little communication between parents and children. While these parents often fulfill their children’s basic needs, they expect their children to raise themselves. Uninvolved parents provide food and shelter to children but devote less time to guidance, structure, rules, or even support.   

Uninvolved parents are neglectful but that is often unintentional. They aren’t much aware of their child’s development, sometimes because a parent with mental health issues or substance abuse problems, for example, may not be able to care for a child's physical or emotional needs consistently. And sometimes, because they are simply caught up with other problems, like work, paying bills, and managing a household.

Also Read: 11 Positive Parenting Tips in the 21st Century

Effect on Children

Uninvolved parenting somewhere has similar effects on children as permissive parenting. Children raised using uninvolved parenting are also likely to perform poorly in academics and also might develop self-esteem issues. These children tend to exhibit frequent behavior problems and low happiness. 

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We hope you found this blog helpful and it might help you rectify your errors (if at all there are any), and raise your children more effectively, keeping good care of their growth and development. Visit BaaBee TV for more interesting parenting tips and activities to nurture your child’s holistic development.

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