What Are The Three Styles Of Parenting?

November 30, 2023

Parenting techniques vary from family to family, and even within the same family on a daily basis. At times, all parents make decisions for their children that are more or less permissive. The majority of parenting styles, however, fall into one of three categories. These parenting styles are authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.


Parents with authority are tough, caring, and compassionate. They establish rules and expect their children to comply. Neither too rigorous nor excessively indulgent, authoritative parents maintain a fair balance between excessively high and excessively low expectations. These parents enable their children to make age-appropriate decisions, encouraging them to assume greater responsibilities as they mature. They are attentive to their child's needs, yet do not give in to every demand. They provide their kid with justifications for specific rules and standards and allow natural consequences to occur wherever possible and when there is no genuine risk of damage. As they mature into young adults, children with authoritative parents frequently exhibit social competence, independence, and a strong sense of responsibility, according to the Cornell University Cooperative Extension.


Authoritarian parents are rigid, unyielding, and unbending. They may strive to control every part of their child's life and forbid them from making decisions. Authoritarian parents expect unquestioning submission. They may employ harsh techniques of punishment with their children and be indifferent to their emotional needs. They frequently do not explain the reasoning behind the regulations they establish and apply their own punishments when rules are disobeyed. Children with authoritarian parents may be unable of acting independently and have difficulty expressing themselves.


Permissive parents are indulgent and do not wish to force their will on their child's personality development. They frequently establish neither rules nor consequences. In an effort to protect their child from perceived pain, misery, or hurt feelings, they may encourage him to avoid even natural or reasonable outcomes. When a kid exhibits rebellious or undesirable conduct, permissive parents may grow frustrated. In spite of their aggravation, permissive parents often do not intervene to influence their child's behavior as long as he is not physically hurt. According to Cornell University Cooperative Extension, permissive parenting may cause adolescents and young adults to stay egocentric or to lack self-control.

According to some psychology textbooks, there should be a fourth parenting style for parents with poor communication and low expectations. This reasoning would logically follow. However, a parent who has poor communication skills and minimal expectations is not adopting a "parenting style." Such an attitude is a denial of parental responsibility. Consequently, this is child neglect. The children of inattentive parents are at a disadvantage. They cannot have much prospect of maturing into useful individuals unless they are surrounded by responsible people (other than their parents). However, children of authoritative parents acquire self-assurance, as do those of authoritarian and permissive parents.

Annie Archibald has a PhD in Family Studies from York and has taught in universities for decades. Along with her professional career, she also is a mother of five and now a grandmother to two loving boys.

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