What are the 5 parenting styles? Comprehensive answer!

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn a commision from qualifying purchases.

So, what are the 5 parenting styles- you know, the most common one bearing in mind that there are quite a few less known parenting styles out there?

Well, that is what this article will be looking at- and as you might aware, when it comes to the parenting style one adopts, it mostly comes down to your personality though we cannot rule out other factors like your beliefs and the parenting style your parents practiced.

Having said that, let us jump straight to our focus question: What are the 5 parenting styles?


What are the 5 parenting styles?

Authoritarian parenting

To start with, we have the authoritarian parenting style.

But what is authoritarian parenting exactly?

For starters, this is a parenting method whereby child/children have to do exactly what the dad or mom wants them to (the rules are very rigid and it’s your way or the highway!).

Now, this parenting style makes parents refuse to acknowledge that children have very real and immediate emotional needs.

Here is the thing about the authoritarian parenting style:

When it comes to this type of parenting, you must stick to it completely because you can’t try to be authoritarian and at the same time want to be your child’s friend (permissive)- this will only confuse your boy/girl which may potentially prevent his/her ability to develop the proper social and emotional skills.


Characteristics of authoritarian parenting

Below are some of the things/actions that typically indicate that you’re an authoritarian parent:

  • You have very high expectations of your children.
  • You provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturing- and when feedback is given, it is often negative
  • Yelling and corporal punishment is your reaction in case your child does wrong.
  • You focus more on punishment rather than discipline.

Authoritative parenting effects on children / basic authoritative parenting pros and cons

With any parenting style, there must be some effects on our children so let us look at some of the typical effects of authoritarian parenting on children.

Now, when using this parenting style, children are never given a chance to express their emotions- and this is the main cause of the below effects on the child:

  • Children have a higher likelihood of becoming independent
  • The child often becomes self-reliant
  • These children are, in general, socially accepted
  • These children often become academically successful
  • The kid is usually well-behaved
  • Some children withdraw socially
  • Kids develop low self-esteem
  • Children show signs of anxiety

We can turn our attention to a style that has majorly evolved from authoritarian parenting- Authoritative parenting- now that you have understood what the former is all about..


Authoritative  parenting (also called gentle parenting)

In simple language, authoritative   parenting is a parenting approach that encourages a partnership between you and your kid.

In other words, you try hard to encourage your child to make choices based on an internal willingness instead of putting external pressure.

Consequently, it’s a good style because parents respect children’s emotions while also healthily setting boundaries.

Which is the main thing here- while you listen (and respond) to your children’s feelings, there are clear boundaries and rules they should never cross.


Authoritative parenting characteristics

So, could you be an authoritative parent? The answer is yes in the following describe you:

  • You are a nurturing parent.
  • You listen to the kids a lot.
  • You allow autonomy and encourage independence.
  • You tend to reason with children instead of demanding blind obedience.
  • You have established clear rules for good behaviors.
  • You consistently enforce boundaries.
  • Finally, you earn-not demand- children’s respect.

I must say this:

Multiple studies have concluded that authoritative parenting is the best way to raise kids that are well-rounded (emotionally balanced, socially adept, super confident, very responsible, etc.).

Next up is permissive parenting…

Permissive parenting/ indulgent parenting/lenient parenting

Permissive parenting is a type of parenting style where parents tend to love their kids but yet provide few guidelines and rules.

In short, these parents do not expect mature behavior from their children, and most of the time they seem more like a friend than parental figures…

The main thing is that this style is characterized by low demands by parents from the children and high responsiveness to the children’s needs.


Characteristics of Permissive parenting

Permissive parents have the following typical traits:

  • They’re loving and nurturing but have no strict rules and boundaries.
  • They’re emotionally supportive, highly responsive, and less demanding.
  • They’re more of a friend than a parent to your child.
  • They offer minimal structure, order, or schedule
  • They avoid conflicts and confrontations with the child.
  • They work more on being liked rather than upsetting the children.
  • They provide no consequences for their children when they err.
  • They frequently give in to children’s demands.
  • They use rewards excessively to get things done.
  • They use toys and gifts to motivate your child to behave well.

Effects of Permissive parenting

Overall, permissive parenting causes not only emotional neglect but also long-term harm to children.

Take a look:

  • Most of the children brought up with this style tend to grow up without a strong sense of self-discipline.
  • These children are less aware of the limits of acceptable behavior- behavioral problems can be the order of the day.
  • Kids register poor academic performance.

But it can have some goodness too.

For example, permissive parents are warm and responsive which promotes psychological development and protects children from toxic stress.


Free-range parenting

Free-range parenting is the opposite of cosseting parenting/ helicopter parenting (parents who watch their children like a hawk).

In a nutshell, when it comes to this style of parenting, you raise your kid in the spirit of encouraging them to function independently and with limited parental supervision


Characteristics of free-range parents

  • They don’t parent out of fear.
  • They tend to set their children free-for instance, these kids have unscheduled activities.
  • They have no control over what your child is doing
  • They do not set rules and regulations for their children to follow.
  • Kids have plenty of freedom and are extremely independent.

Effect of free-range parenting style on children

  • Kids become problem solvers- this style encourages the development of problem-solving skills.
  • Kids get creative – it again promotes creativity.
  • It strengthens personality formation.
  • It builds confidence in children because they are used to doing things on their own.

Now to the last of the 5 parenting styles we wanted to discuss here….

Uninvolved parenting/indifferent parenting/ unresponsive parenting

What is uninvolved parenting?

Well, it is a parenting style where child/children are raised by parents with low emotional responsiveness.

There is also – and alarmingly, it has to be said- lack of proper supervision or support.

Meghan Downey calls it a parenting style in which parents do not really meet their children’s needs.

The truth is these parents provide little guidance, discipline, responsiveness, or nurturance to the kids.

Unsurprisingly, uninvolved parenting is considered the most harmful parenting style and has the most negative effects on kid/kids.

Effects of uninvolved parenting on kids

Here are some of the specific effects that uninvolved parenting cause to kids:

  • These children tend to be anxious or stressed due to the lack of family support.
  • Children become emotionally withdrawn.
  • Kids must learn ways to provide(and do stuff) for themselves.
  • Children exhibit more delinquency during adolescence.

What are the 5 parenting styles? – Final words

Parenting may sometimes become stressful especially if you don’t have ideas about how to bring up your kid/kids.

Luckily, I have introduced you to some of the best-known parenting styles to help choose a style that will raise your child/children in the right way and not necessarily with military discipline.

Be wise when choosing- and if possible, consider the style that will involve both you and the child because communication is very important when raising a child.

PS: Some talk about 4 types of parenting styles but in our opinion, the above 5 are pretty dominant these days..

Leave a Comment