What are the 4 types of parenting styles?

What are the 4 types of parenting styles?

Inside this post: What the 4 types of parenting styles are as well as the benefits and pitfalls of each. What kind of parenting style do you follow?

Parenting styles

What Is A Parenting Style?

Being a parent means finding your own way within your parenting journey and figuring out how you want to raise your kids.

There are so many different ways of raising your children and out of the 4 different parenting styles there is quite a bit of overlap between the beliefs.


Your unique parenting style is basically just a combination of strategies that you use to raise your children.

The 4 different parenting styles that psychologists use today is based on the work of Diana Baumrind, who was a developmental psychologist from Berkeley.

Let’s explore the different parenting styles together and see if we can figure out which parenting style you use at home.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

*This information is for educational purposes only, if you need medical attention, please consult a physician.

Baumrind’s Theory

During the 1960s, Diana was observing preschoolers and noticed that they all had different types of behavior. 

Looking at this a little bit closer, she was able to determine that the children’s behavior was directly related to what kind of parenting was happening at home.

With Baumrind’s theory, she believes that there is a direct correlation and distinct close relationship between children’s behavior and parenting styles. Different parenting situations will lead to children developing differently.

Initially, she identified 3 different parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.

Later on, 2 other psychologists, Maccoby and Martin, expanded on Baumrind’s theory and divided permissive parenting into two parts: permissive and neglectful/uninvolved.

This is how the 4 parenting styles came to life using extensive research!

What are the 4 types of parenting styles?

Baumrind Parenting Styles: Four Types of Parenting

  • Authoritarian Parenting
  • Permissive Parenting
  • Uninvolved Parenting
  • Authoritative Parenting

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents are often strict and follow hard discipline rules.
The often use discipline with no negotiation, and punishment is widespread.

A lot of the time, communication runs from parent to child, and rules are often not explained but enforced.

Parents who use this approach are often not nurturing and have high expectations of their children with little to no flexibility and understanding.

Permissive Parenting

Parents who use permissive parenting often let children do as they wish and offer hardly any direction and guidance. These are parents who are more “friends” than parents.

Unlike authoritarian parenting, these parents are not strict, have hardly any rules, and allow children to figure out a lot of issues all on their own.

While communication is often a 2-way street, children usually decide for themselves rather than being provided direction.

These parents are warm and nurturing, but they do have low expectations for their children.

Uninvolved Parenting

An uninvolved parent is much like a permissive parent where the children are allowed to do whatever, whenever they like.

They like to give children a lot of freedom and typically do not get involved in their lives.

Sometimes uninvolved parents make the decision to be uninvolved due to a lack of caring. However, some parents are not informed about parenting and don’t know what to do.

Communication is often limited between parent and child, and these parents are typically not very nurturing. Parents often have low or no expectations from their children, and these kids generally grow up without guidance.

Authoritative Parenting

Positive parents use an authoritative parenting approach.

These types of parents are nurturing and have high but clean expectations from their children. 

They teach their kids to think for themselves and teach self-discipline to their children at young ages.

These are the parents who teach self-regulation skills during the early developmental stages and offer free play as a learning tool too.

Authoritative parents set clear rules and explain their reasoning behind these rules. 

Communication is a 2-way street and is age-appropriate. These parents are very kind, warm, and nurturing and set high expectations for their children.

Related: 6 Positive Parenting Techniques That Will Make You A Better Parent

What is My Parenting Style?

It is much easier for parents to figure out their parenting style if both parents practice the same kind of parenting.

That being said, it’s not terrible if children grow up with 2 different parenting styles, as long as they complement one another. This can give children a more comprehensive view of adulthood values.

As long as the parents come together as a united front, it’s perfectly fine to have different parenting styles in one household.

A lot of the time, a child’s temperament determines how a parent will discipline and raise their child.

While it is easy to try to hop onto the “helicopter parenting” or the “Free Range Parenting” bandwagons, you can make yourself fit across the 4 types of parenting style by using different strategies in the way you parent.

Self-reflection and talking to other parents can help you figure out which type of parenting style you use.

Here is a helpful video to help you find your parenting style.

Which Parenting Style Is The Most Effective?

Related: What Is Authoritative Parenting

Parenting Style Quiz

Check out this parenting style quiz to help you find your parenting style!

References and resources

Tired Mom Supermom uses personal experiences and research to help you in your parenting journey. Tired mom supermom is not a psychologist and you should seek professional help and advice if you are having difficulties with raising your children.

Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Raising a Successful Child

Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior.: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6032134

Authoritative parenting and college students’ academic adjustment and success: https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0022-0663.91.1.146

Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies: https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3285

Elizabeth is a mom of 3 and has a passion for helping children reach their human potential. She enjoys helping parents raise confident and healthy kids by explaining how to handle situations using positive and peaceful parenting.

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