The way we were parented often dictates our own parenting. Perhaps your parenting reflects one of these four parenting styles?

Authoritarian This parenting style leads the parent to expect obedience from their kids without question.

Authoratative. This style is parenting that sets standards and has rules, but the parents also respond to their kids individuality.

Permissive. This parenting style allows for child-led behavior with few consequences

Uninvolved These parents are completely apathetic to their responsibility as a parent.This can lead to neglect.

So in articles on parenting styles lets take a look at each one of these in more depth. Before we do that it is important to say that your parenting style may change; as your children grow up, or if your circumstances change.

There is no right or wrong either, unless of course, you are completely neglecting your children or abusing them (verbally or physically). Good parenting skills are something that we can learn however, and sometimes we become aware that our parenting style may not be the best for our child.


This style of parenting is very traditional and can be an oppressive form of parenting. Parents may feel that they need to be in control and that their word is final. There are probably strict rules to be adhered to and punishment when these rules are not kept. Sometimes the parents will appear overly angry at their child's bad behavior.

Often there seem to be rules with no apparent reasoning given for them. Of course, there are times when we need strict obedience without giving reasons If your child were about to run into the road in front of a vehicle for instance; in this instance you don't need your child to question but to simply do as they are told.

Toddlers often need set rules without reasoning, children with autism often need to live with very clear rules and may not understand the reasoning that goes behind it.

Children may find it difficult to build a relationship with authoritarian parents and indeed the parents may not want this either. This may be because they want to feel in control at all times, they may be afraid to let go of the reigns a little, some will have been parented that way themselves, others may be afraid of letting anyone too close to them, even their own children.

The danger of this parenting style if it is predominant, is that we don't allow our children to grow themselves. They may be afraid to try new things in case they earn their parents disarm. To know that you must not do something but not know why is disempowering We empower our children when we give them the information needed to make good choices in life.

The other danger of this style is that children can feel very unloved, if the parents appear very cold in their parenting. This can lead to depression, low self esteem, low confidence levels and a need to be loved by someone, anyone!

Often children once free of this dominant force in their lives can make wrong choices, such as drinking, getting involved with dominant partners who then abuse them, sleeping around (remember, anything to be loved)

If you are an authoritarian parent then just take a bit of time to think about your style, are you happy, are your children happy. If not perhaps balancing out with another style may be the key.


Experts seem to agree that this is the most balanced type or parenting style. These parents have rules in place and set the standards by which the family live. Normally these parents are not afraid that by showing love they will lose control, they also tend to love unconditionally.

This parenting style allows for rules to be set but allows children to have a say. For instance you may set a particular time for bed. Your child asks if they can stay up for a while longer to finish a chapter in their book. You agree "okay you may stay up an extra 15 minutes", this makes for win-win situations. The child feels they can communicate their needs and wishes without having to push the boundaries you have set.

Of course there are times the boundaries will be pushed, very young children and teenagers are very good at this. They are often trying to see where the limits are, and what the consequences will be if they disobey. This is different to a situation where you agree through calm discussion to loosen a set rule

Authorative parents often are very good at encouraging children to try new things, will encourage discussion about rules and limitations and will ask questions to help a child to think things through for themselves. These parents are not worried about having to appear to be in control, but do carry authority that their children recognise.


Often these parents love their children very much but appear to be fearful of setting boundaries and saying "no". They can appear to be more like their child's peer than their parent.

They feel that being a friend is what their child needs rather than being an authority figure. in fact, often these parents dislike authority themselves and can be quite childlike in their own behavior.

Conflict is something that these parents avoid, they can often feel the need to give into manipulation and often give up their parenting authority to their children who then abuse it. For instance I am aware of a situation where the daughter has full control over her mother, making her life an absolute misery. If this mom put her foot down and regained her authority this could be sorted.


These parents though mostly love their children and often are warmly responsive to needs and wants. Perhaps overly so; which can lead to selfish, spoilt children.

Parents may place few demands on their children for instance; they do not expect their children to do chores. There may be little expectation for controlling behavior and the children of these parents may learn little about internal government. This may mean that they resist authority at all levels. The parents may become involved in this too often stepping in for their children to protect them from the demands of other adults.


These parents can appear to be totally disinterested in their children and may even see them as a hindrance to their lives. Often unresponsive to their child's needs these parents are detached and emotionally cold.

Sometimes this form of parenting is from parents who are working all hours to pay the bills, and simply don't realise the impact of this parenting on their children. Other parents may be ill or are clinically depressed; because of this the parent may not care nor have the ability to teach, encourage nor enable their children.

Often the child can be left to their own devices and have to sort out their own clothing, and food. The parents are often unable to supply basic needs. This can lead to neglect which is a form of abuse. |Often these are unhappy homes with high levels of stress. Children may be fearful, withdrawn and have a very low self esteem.

ARTICLES ON PARENTING STYLES - Conclusion Both parental responsiveness and parental demands or setting limits are important components of good parenting. The balance of these two components defines our parenting style. Experts seem to agree that authoritative parenting is the best parenting style. However most of us will have a combination of the above.

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