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What is Your Parenting Style?

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What is Your Parenting Style?

Having had extensive experience working with a variety of families, I found it interesting how the parenting styles varied so dramatically. Recognizing this, I thought it might be helpful to give a brief overview of the varying styles and how they affect the child’s development.

Parenting Styles

There are 4 basic types of parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian
  • Authoritative
  • Permissive
  • Ignoring/ Uninvolved


Authoritarian parents tend to be demanding and rigid, using harsh punishment to try and change behavior.

  • “You better be on green (or blue or get straight A’s) or else you will be sorry!”
  • “Because I said so!”
  • “It’s my way or the highway”

This style generally leads to children who are obedient
and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social
competence and self-esteem.



These parents maintain a reasonable amount of control, but do it in a collaborative way based on mutual respect. Reasonable rules and consequences, and are supportive of their children.

  • “ I know you enjoy spending time with your friends, however it is important that you do well in school. We want you to get a good education so that you can move on to get a good job when you grow-up. If your grades start to drop, then we will do your homework together AS SOON AS you get home to ensure you understand it, if after that is done there is still time then you may go play with your friends”

This style tends to result in children who are happy, capable and successful.

Authoritative 2


These parents think they can’t stand conflict, so they give in because it is easier. These parents generally have few rules, and they are under involved in their children’s lives.

  • “ok honey, whatever you want”

This parenting style often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.



These parents tend to put their own needs first and provide children with little parental guidance.

  • “Mommy and daddy are going out, there are fish sticks in the freezer, you are 6 now, you can figure it out. Bye!”

These children rank lowest across all life domains. They tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.


It is important to remember, at times I am sure every parent can identify with all of these styles. It is important, as parents, that you realize there is not perfect way of doing this. However, it seems to be most advantageous when parents make an effort to balance attention and discipline, while always keeping the mutual respect between parent and child at the forefront of your mind. When approaching with that mind set, you will still make mistakes, but you will also have the insight to make adjustments along the way that best supports your family.

Authoritative 1


Cherry, K. (2013). Parenting Styles:The Four Styles of Parenting. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/parenting-style.htm

Vernon, A. (2009). Counseling Children and Adolescents. (4th ed.). Denver, CO: Love publishing Company. Pg. 449.

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