The Four Parenting Styles and Knowing Where You Fit In

A lot is made of parenting styles nowadays, with books, magazines, and just about everyone on the Internet trying to tell you where you fit in, and usually, why you’re wrong. Because… everyone has an opinion.

But before you can really begin to understand where those opinions come from, you need to have a solid understanding of what the four main parenting styles consist of:

  1. Authoritarian Parenting: This parenting style is defined by strict rules and strong punishment. Authoritarian parents often don’t explain why those rules exist, and instead expect “Because I said so,” to be reason enough.
  2. Authoritative Parenting: Authoritative parents also create rules for their children to live by, but they are more likely to answer questions about those rules and tend to be more forgiving than punishing. Their disciplinary methods are designed to encourage their children to be the best versions of themselves they can be, rather than to simply win the battle and be seen as “in charge.
  3. Permissive Parenting: This style of parenting often calls for over-indulgence. There is little discipline taking place and expectations of maturity and self-control are low. These parents are very communicative and nurturing, but sometimes come across more as friends than parents.
  4. Uninvolved Parenting: These parents are very hands off, often meeting basic needs but otherwise being detached from their children.

There are a lot of psychological theories about these parenting styles and the types of children they create, and many modern parenting philosophies (like Love and Logic and Attachment Parenting) have roots in these initial styles, though it could be argued that many current philosophies call for more of a blend of these theories than a strict adherence to any one.

Which is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind. Not everyone will parent precisely in line with any one parenting style or philosophy. You might find that as you read more, pieces of various parenting styles and philosophies resonate with you, and so you find yourself creating almost a hybrid philosophy that works for you. That’s okay, and perhaps even ideal! Because trying to fit into a box of parenting styles defined by any book, magazine, or Internet critic would be an exhausting task for any parent to take on.

Instead, learn more about the styles that appeal most to you, and delve into the parenting philosophies that have been borne of those styles. But then? Be willing to pick and choose what feels like a good match for you and your family. Because at the end of the day, as long as you are meeting you child’s needs and engaging as a parent, there is no definitive proof that any of these philosophies is the “right” way to parent for all children and families.

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.