The 15 Styles of Parenting


Which parenting style do you use? Are you an authoritarian parent or an authoritative one? A few years back this type of conversation was never heard of. There was no particular style required for parenting, as it was considered to be a trait that was as natural as breathing.


Have a look at these types of parenting styles and find out the ideal one for your family and your child.

1. Authoritarian Parenting:

As the name suggests, this parenting style is formed with strict rules, harsh punishments for non-adhering rules. They are highly demanding but least responsive towards their children. In this style, parents provide no freedom of expression to their children and hardly show any warmth.

When this style is used for parenting, it is bound to make a child fearful and the one with low self-esteem. Such children might also face difficulty in managing social situations. Some children might also display aggressive behaviour outside home as a means to vent their frustration.

2. Authoritative Parenting:

In contrast to authoritarian parenting, here the parents set rules and regulations which are fair and consistent. They create high expectations from their children, but are highly responsive also. They allow children to express their opinion and encourage them to become independent.

Children nurtured under this style are said to be self-confident with good social skills and emotional control. Such children end up being more successful, competent and happy in life.

3. Indulgent or Permissive Parenting:

Under this type of parenting style, there are hardly any disciplinary rules. They have very few demands from their children. At the same time, they are highly responsive towards them and also quite lenient in their behavior. They often act as a friend than as a parent.

This type of parenting style may make children demanding, insecure and lacking in self-esteem. Children might be too self-involved and possess poor social skills. They tend to be aimless in life because of absence of any boundaries or guidelines from parents.

4. Neglectful or Uninvolved Parenting:

Parents following this style are least demanding and least responsive towards their children. The communication between a parent and child is also at the lowest end. Here the parent fulfills only the basic needs of their children and neglect or reject any other needs that they develop.

They are almost detached from their children’s life. Children under such parenting become emotionally withdrawn and always remain fearful, anxious or under stress. There are more chances of such children going astray in adolescence.

5. Instinctive Parenting:

If you are following this style of parenting then it means that you are most likely to follow your intuition or go with the attitude flow. Under this style parents tries to nurture their children in the same way as they were brought up. They try to follow the same logic and rules that were applied to them during their childhood.

6. Helicopter Parenting:

Here,parents usually interfere to a large extent in the life of their children. It is exactly like a helicopter that hovers! Parents try to overprotect their children and constantly ensure about their safety and security. This style is suitable while the child is an infant, however in the long run this style is considered to make children over dependent on their parents for small as well important things in life.

7. Slow Parenting:

This is also called as simplicity parenting or free-range parenting. In this style, the parents allow children to grow as per their tastes and take the helm of their life. They let them explore the world at their own pace. They allow them to develop their own interests and ultimately let the child be what he actually wants to be.

They interfere less in their children’s life and allow them to enjoy and make their own decisions. The idea behind slow parenting is to make the children happy and satisfied with their own achievements. Such children are believed to cope up with the unpredictability of the real world very well.

8. Attachment Parenting:

In this style of parenting, utmost importance is given to developing a strong emotional bond between parents and children. Parents here are highly sensitive towards their child’s need and are always available for emotional support.

As followers of Attachment Parenting believe more in natural births, no corporal punishments and home schooling, attachment parenting is believed to make the children secure, happy and peaceful humans.

9. Equalitarian Parenting:

In this method, you try to give your children choices which give them a feel of democracy. The whole family works more like a team in tandem to the fair and just rules and regulations. The atmosphere at home gives the vibes of team spirit.

As children are given a say in lot of issues of family, they can learn the art of negotiating and compromising at an early age. Parents are highly responsive towards their children and mistake, if any, is seen as an opportunity for learning.

10. Spiritual Parenting:

Under this approach, enough space is given to a child to develop his own beliefs on the basis of his self-developed personality. Though it is less scientific in approach, a child is encouraged in developing his intimate relationship with God and methods to lead a balanced life. It is believed then when children are imbibed with strong spiritual values, their self-esteem increases and they feel empowered.

11. Positive Parenting:

This is common sense parenting, built on strong family principles. It is an approach where the children are given a loving, warm, supportive, caring and positive environment built based on respect and trust. Parents work on their child’s vision and plan to build self-confidence in them to manage the unexpected circumstances that come up in their lives.

The parental role here is to guide and inspire their children to believe in themselves, control their destiny and dance to their song. Believe, your children will have the best prospect to develop a positive mental attitude, good character traits, productive life skills and positive self-esteem and lead a happy and prosperous life.

12. Concerted Cultivation:

It is a specific form of positive parenting characterized by the attempts of parents to help hone their child’s talents through extra-curricular activities in their lives. It is commonly noticed in middle and upper-class Americans. It is also marked by developing the use of language and the ability to interact with social institutions.

A child reared through this form of parenting will express greater social skills than other children. It is because of their exposure to musical groups, sports, academic clubs and more.

13. Narcissistic Parenting:

A narcissistic parent is a parent affected with narcissistic personality disorder or narcissism. They make extremely bad parents. They are so possessively close to their children and become envious of their child’s independence. The child is solely considered to fulfill the parents needs and wishes.

This kind of parenting will adversely affect the child in areas of emotional, reasoning, societal and ethical behaviors as they grow up. The children grow developing a false self of being co-dependent in relationships.

14. Nurturant Parenting:

In this parenting style, children are reared to explore their surroundings by parents’ protection. Parents believe that the children should be aware of what they need and should be allowed to explore. They are responsible for offering protection to their child through their exploration. It focusses on creativity, empathy and responsibility.

One major concern is the nurturant parenting model can increase the risk of sexual deviance in boys.

15. Toxic Parenting:

This kind of parenting describes parents whose own negative behavior damages their child’s sense of self. They abuse their children physically, verbally or sexually and are also inadequate or ignore their child’s emotional requirements. These patterns remain so established in children that they continue into adulthood and replicate the same behavior of their parents.

Parenting Styles Differ For Male and Female Children:

Parents also tend to pick up different parenting styles based on the sex of the child. Studies reveal that fathers affect their daughters’ emotional adjustment through the parenting style they impose rather than using disciplinary perspective like punishment. To be simpler, fathers tend to favor their daughters, and likewise mothers tend to favor their sons.

Why Do Parenting Styles Differ?

After learning through these many parenting styles, you may wonder why all parents do not take up an authoritative parenting model. Because this is the most wonderful parenting to create a happy and confident tot.

Some potential causes of varying parenting styles include personality, culture, parental background, family size, religion, education and socioeconomic status. Moreover, individual parenting styles also combine to produce a different blend in every family. For instance, the mother may offer an authoritative parenting while the father offers a permissive style.

Therefore, it is essential for the parents to cooperate and combine the various approaches to produce a unique parenting style.

Are There Any Limitations & Criticisms In Parenting Styles?

There are some significant limitations of parenting styles one should note. The link between parenting style and behavior is based on correlation research, which helps finding relationships between variables. Of course, it cannot establish a definitive cause and effect relationship.

There is evidence that a particular parenting style is connected to a certain behavior pattern. Researchers also say that the correlations between the parenting model and behaviors of children are sometimes weak. In most cases, parents who adopt authoritative parenting will produce children who are aggressive or disobedient, while parents with permissive styles produce children who are academically successful and self-confident.

There is specifically no “best style of parenting”, says the author Douglas Bernstein in the book ” Essentials Of Psychology.”

The Outcome:

Parenting styles are associated with different outcomes in children. The authoritative parenting is usually linked to positive behavior in children like self competence and strong self esteem. Also, other factors like culture and social influences play a major role in a child’s behavior.

We hope this article has satisfied your curiosity about the different parenting styles. Individuals tend to mimic the way they themselves have been raised as a child, but it is entirely possible to choose a better parenting style that will benefit the child to the maximum. Choose your style with care!

Palak Shah

One thought on “The 15 Styles of Parenting

  • September 4, 2016 at 5:14 PM

    I believe the article about patenting styles had a big mistake. Please revisit the study on nurturant parenting. The study found an inverse relationship, meaning that low nurturing was a risk factor for deviant behavior.


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