The role we, as parents, play in our kids’ lives is a big one – everything we say and do with our kids molds their behavior and attitude throughout life. They’re not only building their communication skills but also their personality. This is why we sometimes hear how our kids are either independent, vocal, or playful as they grow because it all depends on the kind of parenting style we take on.
Being a parent doesn’t come with a handbook. We do the best we can. What may work for one family may not work for yours – and that’s okay. No one approach or method suits everyone. Your parenting style affects how they feel about themselves throughout life and how they behave.
I will address four types of parenting styles that maybe you heard of – or haven’t. Here you can learn the style or styles you may have been using without realizing it and precisely what they mean.
Types of Parenting Styles
1. Authoritarian Parenting
This type of parenting style is the “kids should be seen and not heard.” A parent using this method sets rules and expects their kids to follow them without issues. This is also the less nurturing style because parents don’t consider their kids’ feelings.
Examples of something you might hear authoritarian parents say is “it’s my way or the highway.” Expectations are set high for their kids with little to no flexibility to the matter at hand and expect obedience without discussion. This parenting style only allows one-way communication, and if their kids do say something against the parents’ wishes, it’s considered backtalk and is met with consequences.
Authoritarian parents impose harsh discipline and punishment and invest in making their kids feel bad for their mistakes instead of helping them understand. The parent is in control, and the kids must follow. This style can have kids grow unhappy, less independent with low self-esteem and insecurity.
2. Authoritative Parenting
With this type of parenting style, you create rules but put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining positive relationships with your kids.
When authoritative parents make rules, they explain their reasons and expectations in following them. Even with high expectations and boundaries, they encourage their kids to be independent while being warm, nurturing, and supportive. Communication is critical while using this parenting style. While they enforce rules and discipline should it be needed, they use open discussion to explain and provide guidance and use reasoning.
Parents using authoritative methods listen and consider their kids’ feelings and opinions but make it clear that ultimately, they’re the ones in charge. Kids who’ve been raised with this type of parenting style are more independent, have academic success, and have good self-esteem.
3. Permissive Parenting
Permissive parents are lenient. They set rules but rarely enforce them or give out consequences. Their mentality is they believe their kids will learn best with less interference. This style is more “kids will be kids.”
This doesn’t mean they don’t care. They’re nurturing but more of a friend than a parent. While they encourage communication from their kids to share their issues or problems, they don’t offer much guidance or direction. They leave their kids to figure it out for themselves. The only time a permissive parent will step in is if a serious problem occurs.
With this type of parenting style, parents will let their kids do what they want and avoid saying “no” out of fear of disappointing or hurting their kids. Permissive parents are more likely to give in to their kids’ wishes or avoid long-term punishments, like grounding. Kids who experience permissive parenting will have trouble following rules, lack self-control, and have a higher risk of behavior problems.
4. Uninvolved Parenting
Uninvolved parenting means they don’t do much at all with their kids. There is little nurturing, rarely asking about their kids’ activities or school, and they aren’t concerned about where they are or who they’re with outside the house.
When parents use this style, they’re indifferent to their kids’ needs and not involved in their lives much. There are no particular rules or boundaries set in place and give their kids an endless supply of freedom. There isn’t much going on when it comes to communicating, leaving the parents unaware of what their kids are doing. In the end, they believe kids can raise themselves.
In some instances, this kind of parenting style is intentional. However, sometimes it’s due to a lack of knowledge when caring for kids, being overwhelmed with work, or experiencing their own issues. If this is the only method kids experience in their household, they can become more impulsive, unable to handle their emotions, and develop mental health issues.
Closing Thoughts on Types of Parenting Styles
Very few of us can put ourselves into one type of parenting style alone. Instead, parenting is a mix of using each parenting style at different times. I know at one point or another I’ve used these interchangeably.
Sometimes you say no to your kids because they want the most expensive toy, and, even though you explained it’s too much, they keep asking why. Then we use the famous line “because I said so.” This doesn’t mean you’re put into one category of parenting style just because you’ve used a line from any of them or thought, “kids will be kids.”
It comes down to what our kids need at a specific moment in time. It’s all based on what works best for your family. Kids carry what we teach them throughout their entire lives. As parents, our kids’ health and happiness matter most. There is no perfect way to parent, but as long as we do our best, that’s all that matters. Parenting isn’t easy, regardless of what style you believe you fall into.
Maybe mixing up parenting styles is best for your kids. Or perhaps you believe one method will help them more than another. I know your goal as a parent is to help your kids grow to be happy, healthy, and self-sufficient. Find what works best for you and your kids to help guide them through life.
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