What are Some Different Parenting Styles?

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  • Written By: J.Gunsch
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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The three main parenting styles identified by the research of Diana Baumrind circa 1978 are called authoritative, permissive and authoritarian. Some people include a fourth, neglectful, which falls under the category of the permissive parenting style.

An authoritarian parenting style means that a parent typically sets high standards and expectations for their children. These standards are accompanied by a large set of rules and restrictions. Methodical studies show that children that are raised under an authoritarian parenting style often lack confidence and feel inadequate because they are not given the freedom to make their own choices. Furthermore as it is difficult to adhere to many rules, tight restrictions often are accompanied by criticism from parents. An authoritarian parenting style creates responsible and productive adults that are however at risk for nervous breakdown due to their perfectionist nature. The children of authoritarian parents are also more likely to rebel in adolescence.


A permissive parenting style means that parents tend to set few if any rules or limitations for their children. Children are free to do whatever they like and consequently tend to have a hard time getting along with other people. Permissive parents care for their children but do not set rules for a variety of reasons. Neglectful parents are similar in that they do not set limitations however they rarely provide affection or basic needs and in affect are absent from their child’s life. For this reason many people don’t consider neglectful as a parenting style because neglectful parents don’t make an effort to raise their children.

Children that are raised under a permissive parenting style often tend to feel insecure and very dependent because they were not given the direction, routine and model that is required for children to learn confidence. These children also tend to have a weaker sense of responsibility and remain dependent on others. The children of permissive parents are more likely to use drugs or get into legal trouble as teenagers and adults.

An authoritative parenting style means that parents determine and lay down a certain set of rules which are not too numerous but which are understood by children to be important. The authoritative parent discusses these limits with their children in a respectful way and provides them with the reasons for why they need to be upheld. Authoritative children have a good sense of responsibility, independence, respect and confidence.

Derived from years of research, developmental psychologists believe that an authoritative parenting style results in the most well adjusted kids and adults. The authoritarian parenting style comes in second over the permissive parenting style as a preferred way to guide children. Although most parents love their children and raise them in the best way they know how, determining and adjusting one’s parenting style can help to avoid later conflict especially in the adolescent years.


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Post 2

travel28- Thank you for the interesting opinion. I agree with you to an extent. I think that all children need boundaries. You have to set clear rules or children feel lost. However, this doesn't mean that you should rule your child's life. Let them make their own decisions, just make sure that you offer lots of guidance and set a good example.

You don't want to be too hard on your children or they will often act out in rebellion. On the other hand, you are the parent. It is your job to protect them and help them make wise decisions.

Post 1

I disagree with the article when it says that children of permissive parents are more likely to use drugs or get into legal trouble as teenagers and adults.

I had parents that allowed me to do many things that I wanted and did not set many boundaries. This helped me to learn the difference from right from wrong on my own terms. Because I felt no pressure from my parents, I did not rebel against them. I have an honest, open relationship with my parents and I know that I could always talk to them about things. Because they let me make my own choices, I did not feel the need to rebel.

Many of my friends who

had very authoritative parents usually ended up rebelling from their parents. Because these parents put so many rules and expectations on their children, the children felt overwhelmed and would act out.

In my opinion, setting too many rules causes your child to want to rebel more. More often than not, you need to let your child make their own decisions. They may learn things the hard way, but that is often the only way that they will learn.

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