Did you know that there are different parenting styles? Your particular style often develops from the style you were raised with, as well as your own personal temperament. When you have a better understanding of your parenting style, you can make better choices about how to adapt it to your child’s temperament and needs.
Psychologists identify four primary types of parenting styles. We’re going to take a look at three of them, as the fourth and final style is “uninvolved,” which often implies neglect and rejection. (“Uninvolved” is an extreme parenting style that is dysfunctional and not common.)
This style of parenting is considered to be strict and controlling. You view yourself as the authority and children need to follow your orders without question. Obedience is important to you and you prefer your children to be quiet and compliant. Parents with this parenting style don’t leave much room for negotiation or give and take. Children are not allowed to disagree with decisions or verbalize discontent. Instead of a discussion about a rule you might say, “Because I said so.” Instead of consequences, children receive punishments. These parents aren’t generally emotionally or physically expressive when communicating love and reassurance.
This is the most moderate type of parenting style. Authoritative parents make rules but allow for children to argue their point of view. They set limits and rely on consequences to teach children about mistakes. Children of these parents are motivated to be independent and encouraged to attain high standards. Positive reinforcement is often used to help teach children life skills. These parents are emotionally and physically expressive.
These parents are often indulgent. They’re physically and emotionally present and expressive. However, they exhibit little or no control over their children. They allow children to create their own rules and expectations. They don’t make demands on their children nor do they inflict consequences or punishment. If you consider yourself more your child’s friend than their parent, then you might fit this parenting style.
Studies have shown that the authoritative style generally rears the most well-adjusted and productive children. However it’s fair to say that many parents lie somewhere between two styles and that one parent may be more permissive where another may be more authoritative or one may be stricter when another is less so.
The more critical element to a child’s wellbeing and development is whether the parenting style fits their temperament. For example, a child with a very rigid temperament and who may be difficult may not thrive with a permissive parent. Likewise, a very flexible child may struggle with an authoritarian parent. Learning your parenting style can help your make adjustments that are in the best interests of your entire family.