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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?

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.

The parenting styles that are frequently employed in psychology today are based on the work of Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who behavioured research in the 1960s. In the 1980s, Maccoby and Martin also helped by improving the model.

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

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Baumrind’s Theory

Baumrind noted that preschoolers displayed diverse forms of behaviour. Each type of behaviour was strongly associated with a certain form of parenting.

According to Baumrind’s thesis, there is a close link between the type of parenting style and the behaviour of children. Varying parenting methods can result in different levels of child development and results.

Baumrind first defined three parenting types based on considerable observation, interviews, and analyses: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting.

Although Diana Baumrind is well-known for her work on classifying parenting styles, it was Maccoby and Martin (1983) that developed this three-parenting styles model using a two-dimensional framework.

They divided Baumrind’s permissive parenting style into two categories: permissive parenting (also known as indulgent parenting) and negligent parenting (also known as uninvolved parenting style).

These four parenting styles are sometimes known as the Baumrind or Maccoby and Martin parenting styles.

Definition of Parenting Styles and Their Influence on Children’s Behavior

Parental styles are classified into two categories based on two characteristics of parenting behaviour and styles:

The extent to which parents regulate their children’s behaviour or require their maturity is referred to as demandingness.
​The degree to which parents accept and are attentive to their children’s emotional and developmental needs is referred to as responsiveness.

Four Types of Parenting

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian)
  • Permissive (or Indulgent)
  • Neglectful (or Uninvolved)

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents exhibit both high levels of parental control and low levels of response.

Although authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles have similar titles, they differ significantly in terms of parenting ideology, demand, and method.

While both parenting styles require high standards, authoritarian parents expect unquestioning compliance with justifications such as “because I said so.” They only permit one-way communication via rules and instructions. Any attempt to reason with them is interpreted as backtalk.

To manage their children’s behaviour, some parents utilize strict discipline and harsh punishment (fear conditioning) (authoritarian parenting), such as physical punishment (fear conditioning). Their disciplinary techniques are coercive, that is, arbitrary, peremptory, and dominating, and they are focused on identifying status distinctions.

Authoritarian parents are inattentive to their children’s needs and are not nurturing in general. They generally rationalize their harsh treatment of their children as tough love.

Children whose parents use an authoritarian parenting style are more likely to:

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents have few norms and limits and are hesitant to enforce them.

These indulgent parents are loving and indulgent, yet they hate saying no or disappointing their children.

The children of permissive parents have the poorest outcomes:

  • Can’t stick to the rules.
  • Have a lack of self-control.
  • You have egotistical inclinations.
  • More issues arise in partnerships and social interactions.

Uninvolved Parenting

Neglectful parents do not set clear limits or high expectations for their children.

They are unconcerned about their children’s needs and are uninvolved in their life.

These uninvolved parents may have had mental health difficulties as children, such as depression, physical abuse, or child neglect.

Children of negligent parents:

  • They are more impulsive.
  • Emotions are unable to be self-regulated.
  • More delinquency and addiction issues will arise.
  • Have greater mental problems, such as suicidal behaviour in teenagers.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritarian parents have high expectations for their children’s accomplishments and maturity, yet they are also kind and sensitive.

These parents establish norms and maintain limits via open conversation, advice, and logic.

These parents explain and justify their actions to their children. Explanations provide childrens with a sense of awareness while also teaching them about values, morality, and objectives.

Their disciplinary tactics are confrontational, that is, reasoned, negotiable, outcome-oriented, and concerned with behaviour regulation.

Authoritarian parents are loving and encouraging. They give their children autonomy and promote their independence.

They can also communicate in both directions. This parenting method is often referred to as democratic parenting.

Children with powerful parents are adored.

According to Baumrind’s studies on parenting styles, children with authoritative parents are more likely to:

What are the 4 types of Parenting Styles? 1

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 childrens 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 styles 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?

Researchers discovered that authoritative parenting is consistently connected to the greatest results in children based on decades of study.

Psychologists and psychiatrists believe that authoritative parenting is the ideal parenting style.

This categorization of child raising methods has been examined in several nations for over 25 years.

The results for each parenting style are typically found to be as predicted.

However, there are still discrepancies and outliers in several regions.

Here are some more elements that may influence a childrens development.

According to certain research, the authoritative approach is not necessarily associated with the highest school success among families of various ethnic (e.g. Asian, Black, Hispanic) and socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g. income level, parental education, number of active parents).

In one study, for example, researchers discovered that African-American kids with authoritarian parents but little peer support did not fare well academically.

In several studies showed Asian-American kids did best in school when they had authoritarian parents and peer support.

A research in Spain found that both indulgent and authoritarian parenting styles were connected with positive results.


Children’s behaviour can influence both the parent’s decision and the outcome.

For example, children with a more sensitive temperament could be viewed as challenging, prompting parents to adopt a more authoritarian parenting style.

A research also discovered that several aspects of kid behaviour, such as friendly and aggressive tendencies, are more connected to the childrens temperament than to their parents’ parenting style.

It appears that parenting style is not the only determinant of a childrens results.

Differences in social environment and child temperament might also play a role.

However, despite being extensively reported, not all of these study outcomes have been successfully replicated by other researchers.

Furthermore, these findings do not hold true for other sorts of outcomes, such as behaviour or mental health.

For example, although some research indicated that authoritarian parenting was connected with the highest academic achievements in the Chinese American community, others found that authoritative parenting was the strongest predictor of school performance.

To far, no research has convincingly refuted the benefits of authoritative parenting, while several others have repeatedly demonstrated its benefits.

Experts continue to suggest authoritative parenting as the best parenting approach.

Nature Vs. Nurture

Nature vs. nurture is one of the oldest disputes in psychology. Which is more important?

Recent research behavioured by the Queensland Brain Institute and the VU University of Amsterdam effectively settled the Nature vs Nurture argument. 14.5 million pairs of twins were collected and evaluated from nearly every twin research behavioured in the last 50 years.

Researchers discovered that genetics (nature) and environment have nearly equal impacts on a person’s behaviour and character characteristics (nurture).

Parenting is one of the most essential aspects of a childrens surroundings from birth. It has a profound and unmistakable influence on a child.

Parenting Practices vs. Parenting Styles

The contrast between parenting style and parenting practice is another factor that might influence the outcome.

The emotional environment and control with which parents raise their children is referred to as parenting style.

Parenting techniques are particular activities that parents do to parent their children.

Even though parents have the same parenting style, they may opt to use distinct parenting techniques, which may influence the degree of results.

When evaluating study findings, keep in mind that the majority of these parenting studies only identify connections between parenting styles and outcomes.

That is, the findings are simply correlative and not causal.

Parents who are kind and responsive, for example, have children that have less behavioural issues. One can argue that warm and responsive parents result in better-behaving children.

However, you can easily flip it and claim that well-behaved children encourage their parents to be more warm and responsive.

Varied children have different temperaments, which might influence their parents’ behaviour.

These studies on parenting do not reveal which is the proper cause-and-effect connection.

So, why do the majority of psychologists and professionals still advocate for an authoritarian parenting style?

One explanation is because there are a plethora of research that regularly reveals these correlations.

Another argument is that there is no evidence that authoritarian parenting styles hurt children.

As a parent, if I were to pick one parenting style based on no scientific evidence, I would think about my parenting objectives and the sort of parent I want to be.

My ultimate parenting aim is to create a healthy, happy, kind, and responsible child who will grow up to love me and our family. I also want to enjoy the experience of becoming a parent.

It’s difficult to believe that being frigid and rigorous (authoritarian), cold and disinterested (neglectful), or warm and indulgent (permissive) will achieve all of my objectives.

To me, authoritative parenting makes perfect sense.

Parenting Style Quiz

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

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Tired Mom Supermom uses personal experiences and lessons learned from Positive Parenting Solutions Classes as well as 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.

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