The 4 Types of Parenting Styles Explained

Featured here are the 4 parenting styles explained in detail.

There are management styles in the workplace, just like there are parenting styles in the home environment. Raising children is considered a job, especially when one parent chooses to stay home. This is their job to manage a house, set schedules, organize routines, manage the money, cook and plan meals, clean the house and do yard work. Discipling children is never an easy task so parents might want to look at the four different types of parenting styles and decide if one of these styles fits into your beliefs and ethical behavior. It’s important to raise children to be successful and good upstanding citizens that follow the rules of the city or town they live in. In addition, there are school rules they will be following as well, and your rules too.

4 Types of Parenting Styles

There are four types of parenting styles and the style you choose will affect your children.  The styles are authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved parenting. These are the styles that researchers have come up with and your parenting choices and style can affect all aspects of your child’s life. This includes their weight and how they feel about themselves. Make sure your approach to parenting styles is supportive of healthy growth and development. The way you choose to interact with your child and your choices of discipline will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Every style uses a different approach when it comes to raising children. Each style is identified by many different characteristics when it comes to parenting.

Authoritarian Parenting

Think about this title and the information that follows and see if this sounds like your style of parenting.

  • You believe kids should be seen and never heard
  • When you set the rules, there is no room for deviation from the plan, it’s your way or “no way!”
  • You never consider how your child feels about anything

If this sounds like your style of parenting, you are close to being an authoritarian parent.  This style of parenting is very strict and you stick to the rules with no room for any exceptions.

The issue here is authoritarian parents constantly say ” because this is the way it is” with no explanation. Your child can’t question the rules because you aren’t interested in any kind of negotiations and your main focus is on absolute obedience.

Authoritarian parents never let kids get involved with any kind of challenges or problem solving on their own. You make the rules and consequences are enforced without any reasoning. You never take your child’s opinion into the picture.

Authoritarian parents punish instead of discipline. This doesn’t help your child when it comes to making better choices because you only dwell on making your kids feel bad about making a mistake.

Kids who grow up in this type of strict environment actually do obey most of the time, however, their obedience costs them. Children that grow up with authoritarian parents have more problems with low self-esteem because their input isn’t considered valuable. These kids can also turn into bullies and become angry and aggressive. They start feeling anger towards their parents and don’t think about how they can correct their mistakes. The problem with the authoritarian style of parenting, is the kids often become adept at lying so they don’t suffer any punishment.

Authoritative Parenting Style

Parents can review this content and decide if any of this information sounds like them.

  • Parents take the time and put the effort into developing and keeping their relationship positive with their child
  • Parents use reasoning in regards to explaining the rules
  • Parents enforce these rules and use consequences, however, they also are considerate about their child’s feelings

If this sounds like your style of parenting, then you are probably parenting by authoritative style. Authoritative parents use rules and consequences, but the huge difference is they value their child’s feelings. They also are interested in their child’s opinions, but still, remind their child that parents are still the boss.

Authoritative parents put time and energy into stopping their child from having problems with their behavior before things start to go wrong. This style of parenting uses more of a positive approach toward discipline and reinforces good behavior. Parents choose to praise and reward their children for good deeds done and good grades and accomplishments.

Researchers say that children who are raised by authoritative parents become more responsible as adults and feel good about sharing their opinions with their family and other people in their lives.

Children that are raised with this style of parenting and authoritative discipline techniques are also happier and more successful. They can solve problems and make their own decisions and figure out the risks of being safe by themselves.

Permissive Parenting Style

Does any of the next remarks sound like the type of parenting you use?

  • You create the rules, but never follow through with them
  • You never set any consequences for your child
  • You let your child learn by themselves, and think it’s better if you don’t follow up on what they are learning

This is the style of a permissive parent and these parents are very lenient without any major discipline or consequences. This can cause problems when your child enters their teen years because this is the time, you won’t be able to have any control. Permissive parents only interfere when their kids’ problems become too serious.

These parents are very forgiving and have a ho-hum attitude about “kids being kids”. If they choose to use consequences, they revert back to not following through with any type of punishment. When their child pleads with them, rather than listen to the child bother them, they let the child go back to doing what they want. They also don’t follow through on grounding and let the kids off early. They ask their child to behave themselves and if the child says yes, most of the time they just say yes because they want things their way.

Permissive parents are more of a friend than a parent. These parents want their kids to tell them everything going on in their lives including their problems. Permissive parents don’t put much effort into helping their children make the proper choices. They also don’t do anything about discouraging poor behavior.

These children that are raised with the permissive style of parenting most often will have a hard time with school and academics. They have more behavioral issues because they have never had to follow any type of authority or any kind of rules. These children also suffer from low self-esteem and are sad quite a bit of the time.

They suffer from more stress so they have more health issues like being overweight. The reason is their parents just let them eat what they want and the majority of their diet is junk food. Permissive parents don’t watch what their children are eating and probably don’t put much effort into meal planning or make frozen easy food for meals. These kids also have more dental problems like cavities because permissive parents don’t teach their children good hygiene habits from little on. It’s very important to teach your children how to bathe and brush their teeth.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

If some of this information sounds like you, then your parenting style is close to the uninvolved parent.

  • Parents aren’t interested in asking their child about how their day at school went or if they have any homework
  • Parents never really know what their child is doing or where they are
  • Parents never spend time with their children

This is a difficult style of parenting for children because the uninvolved parenting style includes parents that don’t have a clue in regards to where their children are or what they are doing. There are very few rules if any and the kids barely receive any love and attention. This means they miss out on nurturing, guidance and all the attention parents should be giving their children.

These parents expect their kids to raise themselves. They don’t have time or energy to take them anywhere or do things like go to the park with their kids. They are not meeting the basic needs of their children. This is a case of neglect but it’s not always an intentional case of neglect. There are some parents who have mental health issues or substance abuse problems. These parents may not have the energy to care for their children because they suffer from depression or withdrawals and spend much of their time in bed. They don’t understand the physical and emotional needs of the child they have because they don’t understand themselves. They do what they were taught. These parents are not consistent with the needs of their child.

In addition, uninvolved parents don’t always have knowledge about raising their children and how they develop. They might have comprehension and reading issues. There are times when they don’t have much money and can’t pay the bills so they become overwhelmed with other issues that keep piling up. These issues could be work-related, bill paying and lack of knowledge when it comes to managing their households.

Kids that grow up with parents that are uninvolved will struggle with self-esteem problems. They also will not perform well in a school environment. In addition, they also will have behavioral issues frequently and usually are very unhappy children. Eventually, they drop out of school, unless they have a good support system at school who believes in them.

12 Ways to Introduce the Authoritative Parenting Style

There is not a book that is written, that gives you the ingredients for raising kids.  Parenting isn’t considered a science but there definitely is an art to parenting. There are researchers who have studied parenting styles that have found that authoritative parents tend to raise healthier, happier and well-nourished kids who can problem solve and face the challenges of the world. You are bettering yourself and the life of your child so there are 12 ways that will be discussed on how to become more authoritative!

Everyone can become an authoritative parent and the good thing is you can do this by taking these parenting strategies and matching them with your child’s special qualities.  This ensures you that you aren’t using the cookie-cutter approach to parenting, where all children come from the same mold.

1. Listen to your child

Authoritarian parents use the parenting style that children should be seen and not heard, where authoritative parents enjoy their children’s opinions. These parents are interested in listening to the concerns of their child and enjoy the ideas that they share with their parents. If your child decides to tell you the same joke the 20th time, or they start going on and on about a story, remember to listen to them. Parents that give their children positive attention find that this does help in the future with preventing behavioral issues.

2. Listen to your children’s emotions

Authoritative parents are concerned about their children’s feelings. They teach their children the names of their emotions and help them understand how to recognize how different feelings cause different behavioral issues. When you realize your child is upset, don’t make their feelings sound like anything to your children. Don’t make comments like “it’s not a big deal,” or “stop being dramatic or “ quit whining”. This might be a really big deal to your child so don’t tell them “it’s no big deal”. Acknowledge your child’s emotions and tell them you really do understand how why they are upset at the moment.

Parents can correct their children’s behavior, but never their emotions. Let them know it’s ok to feel upset, but if they begin to hit, there will be consequences. Another example is to tell them that it’s fine to feel excited, but running through the mall is not appropriate.

3. Think about how your child feels

Parents that are using the authoritative style of parenting always take their child’s feelings into consideration. This doesn’t mean that your kids have equal say in matters of the household. If they did get an equal say, this is the style of permissive parenting. Parents still have to show their kids that they are the boss, and help them understand that you are concerned about how your choices affect everyone in the family as well.

Parents, if you are planning on a huge move because your company is transferring one of you, include your children in the decision and ask them how they feel about it. Don’t ask their permission though, because children don’t have the necessary wisdom or experiences to make these major decisions in life yet. Children rely more on their parents for the larger decisions in the household to feel safe.

4. Create clear and concise rules

Parents that choose the authoritative style of parenting should devise rules that are clear, concise and to the point. They work with their children so that they know what the expectations are ahead of time and they explain the reasoning for these rules.

Instead of telling them what to do because, “parents said so”, reword the sentence and tell them the reasoning behind the rule or expectation. For instance, you set bedtimes for your children and when they ask why parents should respond by saying “you need your rest to learn and make healthy choices in school tomorrow.”

This is how your child will start to understand the reason parents have safety concerns regarding hazardous materials, moral behaviors, and socialization rules to help them develop a clearer understanding of the world they live in. This is also how your child learns to follow the rules when parents aren’t around to keep reminding them.

5. A warning in exchange for a minor problem

Parents that are authoritative give out the consequences immediately if their kids break the rules. For example, if one of their children uses aggressive behavior, the child might get a time out for this kind of behavior or lose some of their privileges. Minor issues are given a warning and parents tell the child the consequences of their behavior remains the same.

Parents shouldn’t use empty threats just to vent either because the threats don’t mean anything to the child. It doesn’t pay to say comments like “cut it out’, or “I don’t want to tell you this again!” The authoritative way would be to say “if you don’t start using your table manners, you might not be able to watch that video tonight,” or another example is if you don’t clean up this mess, we aren’t going to the park this afternoon!”

Parents have to teach their kids that they mean what they say and if your child prefers not to listen to warnings than consequences are next on the list. Stay away from constant warnings because it doesn’t make sense to keep repeating yourself. This only encourages your child to shut down their listening tactics when you start to talk.

6. Research consequences that will teach your children good life lessons

Parents that chose the authoritative style of parenting don’t make their children suffer for doing something wrong. There is no shame put on a child and severe punishment is never used. Parents don’t use the term “guilt tripping” either or say things about how disappointed they are in their child. These parents help encourage their child to understand their mistakes and show them this doesn’t make them a bad person.

Parents use logical consequences that make sense and are age appropriate for the child.  An example of this is if your child is glued to YouTube all day and night, may lose these privileges the next day. Parents should devise consequences that help your child make good choices as they grow up. If your child hits a sibling, don’t hit the child back. Take away one of their privileges. Then it’s time to sit down and discuss anger management with your child so they can learn to resolve their conflicts with more maturity. Parents can also ask their child how they will handle the next conflict without hitting. Have the child come up with an alternative result.

Consequences should be time sensitive as well. They shouldn’t last for weeks or months. You can explain to your child that when they can show you that they are more responsible, they can have a few of their privileges back. Some responsibilities might include cleaning their room, doing homework, getting their chores done and being kind to everyone in the family.

7. Motivate your child

Parents that choose the authoritative style of parenting also use rewards to help motivate their children. They don’t buy them expensive gifts, but they will use different incentives to help them stay on track if they are struggling. Here are some examples:

  • You have a preschooler that refuses to sleep in their bed. Try a sticker chart and offer the child a sticker for every night they sleep in their own bed, would be the choice of the authoritative parent.
  • Your child is pokey when it comes time for getting ready for school in the morning. The authoritative parents decide to use a timer every morning and if the child is ready before the timer rings, the child has earned the chance to use their electronics for the day.
  • Your child keeps forgetting their homework at school. The authoritative parent decides to check on their child’s work after school. The parents tell the child for every assignment they bring home, they receive a shiny token. The child is then allowed to trade the shiny token for a special event, like a trip to the zoo or a sleepover with a friend. Parents can be creative on this one!

Parents can always brainstorm and think about how they can use these rewards to teach their kids efficient skills that are new and exciting. It’s the little things in life that count, so a tiny reward option is a great way to encourage your child to change their behavior and choices.

8. Encourage your child to make choices

Parents that choose the authoritative style of parenting can allow their child to have options. This not only builds their self-confidence, but it helps your child to become empowered for life’s larger decisions when the time comes as they get older. Authoritative parents can ask their child what kind of vegetables they want for dinner? or they ask them if they care to do some of their chores after dinner? The outcome the authoritative parent is looking for is to be sure you are ok with whatever they choose to do.

9. Freedom and responsibility should be balanced

Parents that choose the authoritative style of parenting should have the expectation that they are raising responsible children so they should also set their child up for success.  Here are a few examples:

  • Sometimes children forget to gather everything they need if they are going on an overnight outing. Their parents may devise a list for their child and before the child leaves, their parents ask them to check their list.
  • Some children struggle when it comes time to get ready for school and be on time. The child’s parents devise a schedule to help their child remember what time they should be dressed for school, when breakfast is, and when their teeth should be brushed. They help their child by telling them to look at the clock and follow the schedule they devised for their child.

When your child starts to struggle with anything, this is the time when the authoritative parents could devise a time and behavior management plan that will help support the effort your child is putting into becoming more independent. Parents can always give them extra support, and also remember to make sure that you aren’t turning your child into an overly dependent person who starts relying on your constant judgment. Eventually, your child will become more reliant on themselves.

10. Turn a mistake into a learning adventure

An authoritative parent should never make a fool out of their child for making a mistake.  This is where the parents should sit down and help them figure out why the mistake was made. This is how authoritative parents help their kids turn mistakes into a learning adventure.

When your child makes mistakes, parents should just explain to them why their choice was a wrong decision. If your child takes another child’s toy at the park, sit down and tell them that they have to ask to play with the toy to be polite. If the child says no, they have to accept the answer because this toy isn’t their toy. In addition, tell your child that taking things that don’t belong to them hurt people’s feelings and other kids might think they are mean.

If your child hurts someone else, teach them why apologizing is important. You might have to teach them what apologizing means the first time around, but they will understand it sooner or later. If your child is constantly hurting other kid’s feelings, then it’s time to sit down and figure this problem out together so your child has a clearer understanding.

11. Teach self-discipline

Parents that choose the authoritative style of parenting decide they don’t want to be controlling parents, instead, they want their children to learn how to control themselves.  Don’t baby your child every time an incident occurs, it’s now time to teach them how to self soothe themselves. Don’t lose control and scream in a rage when it comes to your child doing chores. Instead, you can show them how to be more responsible for getting their work done in a timely manner.

This might be a good time to come up with a behavior management plan that helps them to learn the skills of life. Some of this might include, controlling their emotions like impulses, anger, and self-discipline. These are the types of emotions that need control to help them get through life on a daily basis. In addition, parents have to have complete control over their emotions as well when it comes to simple parenting.

12. Keep your relationship with your child healthy for life

Parents that are authoritative don’t bark orders at their children like a drill captain. They don’t control their children nor do they expect constant obedience. These parents choose to be good role models for their children and insist on teaching their children healthy life skills.

Authoritative parents are nothing like authoritarian parents because they are very kind and loving towards their children. Authoritative parenting skills are all about giving and loving unconditionally and not being embarrassed to show affection. This type of parenting knows how important the nurturing aspect of their children is.

Parents should take a few minutes daily to share your undivided attention with your child.  This includes the days when your children are having a bad day. The importance of parenting is to spend quality time as a family and include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as much as possible. Grandparents offer a wealth of knowledge to your child. This time as a family will help your child feel loved, safe, secure, accepted and happy. These are the ingredients that go into making a child feel confident about their ability to succeed, who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing in life.

There’s a strong line of genes in many families and it’s important for your children to find out the backgrounds of their ancestors because many have survived across the frontier and built this country of America. It’s important for them to sit down and talk to their great grandparents and grandparents because someday when they face some hard obstacles to overcome in life, they will remember back to how their ancestors survived. They will know that they came from strong stock and have ancestors that parented using the authoritative style of parenting.

Defining your style of parenting

Parents, you don’t have to go into shock when you have read these four styles of parenting because most parents don’t fit into one category completely. Don’t be nervous and upset if you find out there are things you should change because you fall between two categories.

The healthiest style of parenting is to encourage your child to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. If you find you fall more into another style of parenting, there are ways you can take to turn around and try the authoritative parenting style. This will take some hard dedication and commitment to be the best parent you can. This way you will be able to keep your relationship positive with your child and still use your authority as a parent in a healthy way. 

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