The Four Major Parenting Styles

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Understand the four parenting styles - authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved - and discover their impact on child development.

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There are many ways we become parents and how we choose to raise our children. However, there are also many commonalities between parents as well. According to research, parents can be grouped into one of four of the following parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative. It is important to note that these parenting styles are United States-centric. The parenting styles focus on four main areas of parenting: discipline, communication, nurturance, and expectations.

       1. Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents are strict and believe children should follow the rules with exception. If children were to ask for reasoning behind a rule, an authoritarian parent might respond “because I said so.” The focus of this type of parent is obedience. 

Authoritarian parents do not involve children in problem solving or challenges. This parenting style does not take the child’s opinion into account. Parents use punishment instead of discipline. However, children will miss out on learning how to make better choices with this parenting style. 


2. Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents are considered to be more lenient. They set rules but don’t enforce them often. They also don’t give consequences often and they believe children learn best with little interference. 

Permissive parents are very forgiving in terms of their children and sometimes cave into begging or promises from their children after being bad (i.e. promising that they will be good). 

Permissive parents will take on a role closer to friend than parent. They have good communication with their children and will talk to them about their feelings and problems. However, they don’t discourage poor choice making. 

Children raised by permissive parents might exhibit more behavioral problems since they don't respect authority figures or rules. Low self-esteem is also common in these children. Further problems with parents raised by permissive parents can be unhealthy eating habits, obesity, poor dental health, and more due to their struggle to set and enforce rules. 

3. Uninvolved Parenting

Permissive parents have little knowledge of their children. This can include information about their school or homework, where they are, and who they are with. Permissive parents have few rules and their children receive little guidance, nurturing or parental attention. 

Permissive parents don’t spend much time with their children and expect their children to raise themselves. Permissive parents can be neglectful but it’s not always intentional. They don’t devote much time or energy to their children’s basic needs, this can include parents with health issues or substance abuse problems. 

Some permissive parents just lack the knowledge about parenting and child development. They might be overwhelmed with work or managing the household. 

Children raised by permissive parents can struggle with self-esteem and tend to perform poorly in school. They can further exhibit behavioral problems. 

4. Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents put great effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their children. They explain the reasoning behind their rules. They enforce rules and give consequences, however they also take their children’s feelings into consideration. 

Authoritative parents validate their children’s feelings, although it is made clear that the adult is in charge. Time and energy is both invested by authoritative parents to prevent behavioral problems before they happen and positive reinforcement is used (i.e. praise, reward systems, etc.). 

Children with authoritative parents are more apt at making decisions and evaluating the safety risks. They tend to be much happier and successful than children raised in other parenting styles. 

Don’t despair if you are a parent, most parents don’t fit into just one category. Sometimes we can be more permissive and other times authoritative. Balancing life and parenting can be difficult, so cut yourself some slack.However, studies are clear. Children raised by authoritative parents are the happiest and healthiest. So, consider doing the research and implementing more authoritative parenting approaches today in your parenting.One step to try is more quality time with your little one. Try a massage or meditation session today with Storybook for a happier and healthier child.{{cta('04f7e245-6c89-4066-9bfb-38c273f83d4e','justifycenter')}}

Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.


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