Although parenting styles vary based on beliefs, culture, and personal upbringing, there are four common types: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Deciding which parenting style to adopt can be challenging, and it can raise fears or anxieties about not wanting to repeat mistakes from your own childhood. No matter what, we all want what’s best for our kids. 

As proud supporters of our local communities, the Crème de la Crème team is here to guide you and your family in developing nurturing relationships. From our research-based developmental programs to our expertise in early childhood education, we aim to help you provide the best life experience for your kids. Learn more about the different parenting styles, which is most effective, and how to make appropriate changes to build a better relationship with your child with our overview.

Authoritative Parenting

Woman and child sitting on the floor of a living room looking at a laptop together.

Woman and Young Boy Sitting on Floor with Laptop by Ian Samkov is licensed with Pexels License

An authoritative parenting style builds off a parent’s assertiveness without being intrusive or restrictive. The disciplinary method within this parenting style is supportive, not punishing. As a result, children become assertive and can self-regulate, be cooperative, and socially responsible. 

Examples of an authoritative parenting style include setting reasonable boundaries while still letting the child explore their independence and allowing the child room for mistakes without harsh judgment. Authoritative parenting is often described as “tough but fair.” While there aren’t many adverse effects on children from an authoritative parenting style, children may still develop:

  • An over-dependence on parental approval.
  • Lack of autonomy.
  • Perfectionism.
  • A fear of failure.

Authoritarian Parenting

An authoritarian parenting style comes with more discipline, often perceived as strict and overbearing. Authoritarian parents expect obedience from their children, with little room for compromise or discussion. Punishments for disobedience are severe, and this parenting style can have damaging consequences on the children that echo into adulthood. Negative effects on children of an authoritarian parent include:

  • Low self-esteem.
  • A constant search for validation from outside authority figures.
  • Becoming a follower and having difficulty making decisions for themselves.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents are the opposite of the authoritarian parenting style, in which there are no rules for fear of upsetting the child. Instead of being a strict, powerful authority in a child’s life, permissive parents attempt to act as a peer or friend to their child, often immediately giving them whatever they want. Parents who adopt a permissive style were likely brought up in an authoritarian home and did not want their children to have the same experience. Because there is a lack of boundaries and limits with the permissive parenting style, its negative effects are long-lasting, causing: 

  • Poor emotional control development.
  • Rebellion or defiance.
  • An eagerness to quit when faced with challenges.
  • Harmful antisocial behavior.

Neglectful or Uninvolved Parenting

A neglectful or uninvolved parent tends to not interact with their children at all. Children with this type of parent likely have no rules or structure and experience a significant lack of affection. As a result, children are left to fend for themselves, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations inside and outside the home. An uninvolved parenting style creates attachment difficulties in children because the bond between parent and child is nonexistent. The negative consequences on a child with neglectful parents are:

  • Depression.
  • Failed relationships.
  • Delinquent or hostile behaviors.
  • A struggle to form close or meaningful relationships.
  • A detachment from others.

Which Parenting Style Is Best?

The most beneficial parenting style is authoritative. Authoritative parenting establishes clear communication and age-appropriate boundaries throughout childhood, which leads to building emotionally stable adults. Some benefits for children from an authoritative parenting style include: 

  • Self-assurance.
  • Independence.
  • An innate ability to handle responsibility.
  • Emotional regulation.
  • Academic achievement.
  • Effective problem-solving skills and ability to overcome difficulties.
  • Confidence in their own judgment.

An effective way to implement an authoritative parenting style is through positive reinforcement, which encourages desired behaviors in the child. Avoid acknowledging negative attention-seeking behaviors unless they are potentially harmful to themselves or others. Another effective method of authoritative parenting is offering rewards versus consequences. For example, express that your child may receive screen time in exchange for completing their homework. Here are other ways to adopt an authoritative parenting style:

  • Set and communicate clear boundaries with your children.
  • Offer your child choices instead of forcing your opinion on them.
  • Listen to your child’s emotional health concerns.
  • Frequently express love and affection.

Can Parents Change Their Parenting Style?

Parents can change their parenting style to something better that aligns with the positive benefits they wish to instill in their children. If you notice your child has behavior issues, it may result from your parenting style, warranting a change. 

While it is challenging to change, it’s best to approach this step by reflecting on your childhood. What parenting methods did your parents try that proved ineffective? Which methods did you appreciate and feel you are a better person because of them? Noting the negatives and positives of your childhood is a practical first step toward addressing the issues with your current parenting style.

Consider looking into parenting workshops or consulting with a family mental health therapist for further assistance. A parenting workshop is an excellent way to find support from your community in a school or early childhood education setting. A therapist can help you process issues from your childhood and guide you in finding a healthy parenting approach that better benefits your family.

Support Your Child’s Healthy Development at School

Choosing the right parenting style and finding the perfect balance for your child is challenging. You can make your load a little lighter by enrolling your child in enriching programs focused on a whole-child approach, ensuring they get ample support for their development. At Crème de la Crème, we have fun, engaging programs, including art, music, and theater, to give children a safe, nurturing environment to express their emotions and creativity. Schedule a tour at a facility near you to discover how our team can support you and your child.