Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles

Research in the area of parenting has identifies 4 major parenting styles that vary along two major dimensions: control and interpersonal warmth. For most children, the authoritative style provides the best results and the uninvolved the poorest outcomes.

The four styles are as follows:

1. Authoritative/Democratic

  • High control and high warmth
  • Rules and expectations for the child are clearly expressed and monitored
  • Parents present directions in a polite and respectful way and give choices when appropriate
  • Parents use rewards and praise more than punishments
  • Parents are very warm and accepting of their child but firm in their expectations as well
  • Roles are clearly defined

2. Authoritarian

  • High control and low warmth
  • Rules and expectations are clearly verbalized and monitored
  • Little explanation given for rules
  • Tend to use more punishable punishments to get children to obey
  • Rules are extremely strict and when rules are broken, the punishments are often extreme
  • Parents may care for the child but tend to be cold and distant
  • Parent and child roles are clearly and strictly defined

3. Permissive

  • Low control and high warmth
  • Parents don’t establish many rules or expectations for the children
  • Parents allow the children to make their own mistakes to learn from them
  • Parents are very loving and accepting of their children

4. Uninvolved

  • Low control and low warmth
  • Parents don’t establish many rules or expectations for the children
  • Parents don’t spend quality time with their children and often leave children to care for themselves
  • When parents interact with their children, they tend to be negative and critical rather than loving and accepting