The Four Types Of Parenting Styles

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Learn about the different styles of parenting to figure out the best way to raise your kids.

• Parenting: Age 0-2 Infant / Baby • Parenting: Age 11-12 Pre-Teen • Parenting: Age 2-5 Toddler • Parenting: Age 5-11 School Age • Parenting: Discipline

A lot of focus and attention has been places on different ways in which people parent their children. Understandably, there has been a fair amount of different approaches in how one raises their child. While you can take multiple aspects from the various styles of parenting, many can be narrowed into the four most prominent styles for parenting. Not everyone uses these, some use a blend of different styles others will use an entirely new style that is far less common, but in most cases you can pinpoint the majority of parenting styles into four categories.

These categories will greatly impact the way in which your child is raised, and the affect it will have on them into adolescence. In choosing to discipline your child using one of these styles, there will also be an influence on their temperament, their relationship with their parent along with important factors such as education and social skills. Each parent can change and evolve their styles as their children age, and more often than not circumstances can dictate which type of parenting style they use.

So what are the four parenting styles and how do they compare to one another?


Authoritarian parenting is the style in which parents will expect their children to follow their rules and disciplines unequivocally. There are no exceptions to this, so children have no involvement in the development or problem solving aspects of discipline. They are expected to 100% follow the rules without any questions. A common reply to children questioning the rules when disciplining them would simply be ‘because I told you so’.

While in later life, children will grow up to always follow rules, it can lead to some less than appealing character traits that would not be found using other styles of parenting. Self-esteem can become an issue, as well as become angry in nature towards their parents when disciplined. This is due to the fact there is no reasoning behind punishment, with the threat of consequences not used to enforce discipline.

Comparing this to authoritative parenting shows that this is a far more stringent, with authoritative parenting more open to exceptions to their methods of discipline.


As mentioned, this is similar to authoritarian parenting yet with some differences. Parents still expect rules to be followed, but are willing to allow exceptions in some cases making them more lenient. They also tend to provide reasons for discipline to help the child understand why they are being punished. Sometimes a child’s feelings are considering when disciplining them also, as not to adversely affecting them.

When compared to authoritarian, they also differ in punishment methods, preferring to use consequences as the tool for discipline. Negative can be used to warn the child to behave, while positive consequences are often used to promote and reinforce good behaviour. In later life children will tend to be happier and more prone to success when compared to other styles.


Permissive parenting is on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of discipline when compared to both authoritarian and authoritative. This can be attributed to the fact discipline plays little or no part in this parenting style. Children will get away with most of their bad behaviour, with only the more severe cases coming with consequences.

For this reason, any type of bad behaviour is rarely discouraged through punishment and discipline, with a friendlier approach taken instead. Parents more so try to be more of a friend than an authority figure. This can directly influence them later in life though, as children reared from permissive parents show a lack of care or understanding for rules in general, which can cause bad behaviour to become a very common trait. Educationally speaking, children could also struggle with learning.


Uninvolved parenting shares some similarities with permissive parenting, although the lack of discipline is due to much more difficult circumstances. Where permissive parents want to be friendly and close with their children so therefore enforce less rules and discipline, uninvolved parenting is a result of an all-round lack of input into discipline and most other areas of a child’s upbringing.

These situations tend to derive from harsher circumstances in the home life, often with parents suffering from mental health issues or addiction problems. While the child’s bare essentials are covered, with the likes of food and clothing provided, they are essentially required to be very independent, doing a lot for themselves where the other parenting styles would see it provided by the parents.

Children can often perceive that their parents care more for aspects of their own lives more so than the child’s. There will be lack of discipline, rules along with more essential aspects of parenting such as love and affection. This can develop into a lot of problems in later life, with many struggling with education and self-esteem. More troubling is how it can negatively impact future relationships due to the lack of affection and love shown from uninvolved parenting, which is the only style that exhibits such behavior from parents.