Parenting Styles and Their Impact on Child Development

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

Over the years, parenting styles moved from being research to a household term. In today’s time, it’s seen as part of the contributing factors to how children grow up.

The four primary parenting styles of parenting are: uninvolved, permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. There is, however, a fifth one, over-involved, but it hasn’t been official yet. The four primary ones are still considered staples.

Today, we’ll give you the goggles to dive through what these parenting styles are. How are they important? What can they do with my child’s development? More importantly, can I do this for my growing baby?

Disclaimer 

Please note, this article is intended to provide general information on pregnancy and diet, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The article has been reviewed by medical expert Margaret Dogwood, BSN, RN.

Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or dietary modifications during pregnancy.

To start, let us first dive right in and uncover what a parenting style is, in the first place.

What Are Parenting Styles?

The 4 Parenting Styles in an Image
Source: BYJU’s Future School

Of course, we can’t just jump to it without defining it, right? In a nutshell, a parenting style is known as parents’ stream of attitude, behavior, and emotion toward their child. Diana Baumrind found these three main parenting styles back in the 1960s.

These were permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian. The fourth style was later added by John Martin and Eleanor Maccoby in the 1980s. We’ll get to that and talk about that later!  

What is the Importance of Parenting Styles

I know that a lot of parents usually ask it, but are parenting styles important?

In truth, yes, they are. In fact, parenting styles play a major role in a child’s progress. In addition, they have a lifetime impact on their overall personality and well-being. The is from the fact that these methods of parenting can impact children’s lives.

From behavior, emotional control, to general adaptability to their environment and overall well-being. According to studies, authoritative parents are most likely to raise the best children.

This parenting style teaches them to be socially competent, self-reliant, and independent, overall.

But, let’s not rely on that statistic alone! Let’s go ahead and take a look at the different parenting styles we know and see if they’re right for their children.

How Many Parenting Styles Are There?

Initially, only three parenting styles have been coined. Then, a fourth one came through and was added because they felt the need to define it based on how it had an impact on a child’s life.

However, a fifth style, from helicopter parenting (1969 from Dr. Haim Ginott’s book) was born. From his book, Between Parent and Teenager, over-involved parenting was seen as a possible addition to the styles. It has only been defined by Ann Dunnewold in 2007.

What Are the Five Parenting Styles?

Originally, there were just four parenting styles coined in the 1960s. Approaching the 70s and late 60s, a fifth style was introduced. So, let us thoroughly deep dive and look at the different types and styles of parenting!

Authoritarian Parenting

An image of what authoritarian parenting looks like
Source: Getty Images

Authoritarian parenting is known as one of the first, if not the first identified type of parenting. I mean, in most cultures, this is the common and most-used parenting style.

It is characterized by high levels of demandingness and low responsiveness. It involves strict rules, rigid expectations, and a focus on obedience and compliance from the child. In other words, in this parenting style, parents are extremely strict.

WebMD states that authoritarian parenting has certain effects and consequences on children. This style places parental authority and control over the child’s autonomy and individuality.

Clinical psychologist, Dr. Laura Markham, says that these parents are like military superiors.

Parents who are authoritarian are like military sergeants. They give commands and demand immediate, unquestioning obedience. They think youngsters should obey the rules without question or explanation.”

As a result, children might feel constrained. They could lack confidence, with low self-esteem. Based on studies, this could limit a child’s problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative Parenting in Graphics and What It Does, How It Looks Like
Source: Parents

Deemed as the best parenting type, authoritative parenting is the type of parenting all parents want to imitate.

By definition, it is a parenting style known by its high levels of response and demand. It shows parents being firm, but also being warm, helpful, and attentive to the child’s needs.

Dr. Baumrind, the world-renowned psychologist, coined and discovered the three main parenting styles. She also said that this is the style that fosters and nurtures children.

In a positive sense, authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. This parenting style produces a pleasant and caring environment. Children may feel secure, respected, and understood easily. It also encourages healthy growth, self-esteem, and self-discipline.”

So, as a result, children are able to establish high standards while being given warmth and support. Furthermore, this parenting tactic provides the development that children need! We’re talking about things from communication and social to decision-making and problem-solving.

Permissive Parenting

What Permissive Parenting Looks Like in a Nutshell
Source: Only My Health

The next type of parenting is the permissive style. Parenting that is permissive is characterized by high levels of responsiveness but low levels of demands.

It entails having little restrictions or expectations for the child. All the while, being caring, indulgent, and understanding of their conduct.

Sometimes, overly caring. In other words, parents would respond to their children, but would lack discipline and strictness.

Lack of self-control, discipline, and problems with authoritative figures are few of the negative effects of this parenting type. It could also add to a feeling of entitlement and make it harder to deal with annoyance or hardship.

Dr. Laurence Steinberg said that this type of parenting is warm, convenient, and comfortable.

Warm and indulgent parents who are permissive are those that let their kids determine their own rules and decisions.”

Uninvolved Parenting

How Uninvolved Parenting Could Possibly Affect Your Child
Source: Right For Education

And for the last traditional parenting type, neglectful or uninvolved parenting. It’s an approach known for being less demanding and responsive.

It’s not a great parenting tactic due to the lack of emotional investment and commitment. Along with those, it also doesn’t give much focus on the needs of the child.

Some parents might think of it as “honing and developing” the independence of their child. However, it’s done in the wrong way.

In turn, uninvolved parents may appear to be careless, uncaring, or concerned with their personal issues more than their child.

This leaves a huge gap in parental support and direction, resulting in negative development.

Dr. Jane Nelsen, Founder of Positive Discipline and renowned Psychologist says that uninvolved parents have detachments from their children’s needs.

Parents that aren’t involved are emotionally aloof and have no concern about the requirements of their children. They offer meager to no oversight or direction. Children who experience neglect, lack of support, and a sense of alienation from their caretakers may suffer severely as a result of this style.”

Ultimately, this style can have adverse effects on the child’s relationship-building skills. This will manifest and show when they mature and get older.

The Fifth Type: Over-Involved Parenting

How Over-Involved Parents Can Affect a Child
Source: Ladders

This type of parenting, although hasn’t been observed as an official one (yet), is also known as a parenting type.

From what it’s called alone, this type of parenting is when parents are overly involved in their baby’s life.

The Washington State University says that it’s like taking over your child’s life, in general. Don’t take it the wrong way, though.

This parenting type can have the black or white side. On the plus side, children may benefit from this style. A loving and supportive atmosphere where their parents are actively involved in their lives.

From early child development to their scholastic advances, and even extra-curricular activities!

The negative implications of over-involved parenting, on the other hand, are causes for concern.

Because their parents have always been too engaged in their lives, children may struggle to acquire autonomy, self-confidence, and decision-making abilities.

Clark University Psychology Professor Dr. Wendy Grolnick said that this can alter their child’s natural development.

Overly engaged parents are so concerned with shielding their children from injury, disappointment, and failure that they don’t allow them to learn from their own experiences. As a result, these youngsters may grow too reliant on others and lack confidence in their ability to deal with situations.”

It is vital for parents to understand that not all parental participation is damaging. A healthy degree of parental support, direction, and involvement in the lives of a kid is beneficial, and can be pivotal to their adult lives.

How Do You Choose the Right Parenting Style?

Choosing the right parenting style is like choosing what to have for lunch – it’s complicated! Not all parenting styles are fit for everyone.

However, the authoritative style is what many consider as the best as it leads children to becoming independent, problem-solvers.

I mean, it’s kind of evident. Authoritarian parents either choose not to explain or find it hard to explain why they decide. The permissive style parents want their children to feel comfortable, sometimes leading to them being “too comfortable.” Uninvolved parents – you know that it’s outright bad. 

If we consider over-involved parenting, you’re stripping your child of their own decision-making and problem-solving skills. This is detrimental to their development and their ability to build relationships in the future. 

What are we left with? Authoritative parenting – the best parenting there is. Being this type of parent will help your kiddo be calm, relaxed, and disciplined. It doesn’t just come with that – you allow them to be positive and hone their critical-thinking skills, too! 

This is your call, though, you have the option to follow or not follow this parenting style if you think your child needs something else. However, choosing the parenting style that’s right for your kid is essential in making sure that they grow up and develop with a positive and upright attitude!

Authoritative Parenting Tips For Parents

Being an authoritative parent, contrary to what many people believe in, is not difficult. Well, it may not be as easy as it sounds, but at least, it’s not rocket science. 

In fact, there are a few techniques and strategies on how you can do it successfully. Set the tone of parenting for babies and younger children and allow them to develop in the best ways possible!

We’re lucky, Very Well Family gave a few tips and tricks in doing it! According to them, here’s how to successfully set your authoritative parent to your little angel.

NOTE: The information here has been medically reviewed by Dr. Ann-Louise T. Lockhart.

  • Listen and Understand What Your Child Needs
  • Validate Their Emotions. Avoid Invalidating What They Feel
  • Consider Their Feelings, Too
  • Establish Rules. Be Hard and Strict About It, But Explain Well
  • Offer and Provide Incentives
  • Allow Your Child to Make Their Own Choices, Even If They’re Little
  • Encourage Self-Discipline. Refrain From Calming Your Child Down 100% of the Time
  • Maintain a Great and Healthy Relationship With Your Child

NOTE: All of these things contribute to being an authoritative parent. However, you need to back it up with an explanation. This is for them to be self-aware and prepared.

What About Children With “Different or Special” Needs?

Parenting is such a colorful thing, especially if your child is in need of special care and assistance.

It’s not surprising that these children actually excelled and were boosted in both academic and social areas with the authoritative style or discipline. It means that the children were able to balance it out with their parents.

The More Restrictive Mode of Parenting

Woolfson and Grant were able to discover that parents of youngsters diagnosed to have developmental delays (DD) who are around three to five years old, who used the authoritative style that it was some type of moderating differences in groups of parental stress with some of the DD children’s parents.

In other words, this parenting style can be challenging for parents as the days go on because the demand increases by age. To sum it up, parents may be stressed when it comes to cooperating because the demand would not be substantially removed – it’ll tone down, but it’ll still be there.

Ultimately, several approaches have been tried and are currently being tried and tested to see and gauge how it can be of impact.

Don’t treat and look at parenting styles like how you would choose an order from a restaurant, it doesn’t work that way. You’ll want to be mindful of what you’re exhibiting because it will affect your child’s behavior. 

FAQs

If you’re still left confused and don’t know how to address it, don’t worry, we got you! Here are some of the most asked questions about parenting styles that are of importance!

What is the Most Ideal Parenting Style?

According to experts, authoritative parents are considered the best in terms of raising highly-independent, skillful, and social children. The reason why is because this style allows their kids to commit mistakes and learn from them. However, that doesn’t erase their feeling of their parents’ support.

Can Cultural Differences Affect Parenting Styles?

Absolutely. Differences in terms of culture have huge effects on how parents raise their children. Ethnic ideas, values, conventions, and traditions impact parenting behaviors, which vary between nations and ethnic groups. Cultural factors can impact the expectations put on children. This could be with the amount of autonomy, independence, disciplinary tactics utilized, and parenting objectives.

What Are the Baumrind Parenting Styles?

These are the four parenting styles that we are aware of. Don’t confuse yourself – the Baumrind name is just the recognition of the psychologist who founded and coined these.

Final Verdict

Out of the many different parenting styles you can do, which one do you think fits you and your baby? Remember, whichever you choose, your little munchkin will react to it – and they will carry it until they grow up and develop.

Overall, being an authoritative parent is the way to go. It is what many psychologists recommend. Why? Because it was the one that reflected the best, most independent, and most outstanding individuals. If you’re still unsure of your parenting style, check this out!

So, it’s best to choose the parenting style that will both educate, teach, and nurture your little angels altogether

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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