What Are Parenting Styles?

A little while back, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog comparing the behavior of dog owners at my local park to the parenting styles of many adults with children.

However, understanding your parenting style is central to becoming a successful parent.

As with everything, you can go to the web or a glossy magazine and find articles that mention four, six, twelve parenting styles, and you can take your pick as to which works for your parenting style.

At Confidential Parenting, we speak of ten different parenting styles, but we recognize that there is no hard and fast rule as to the number of parenting styles; as with everything related to people, there is lots of grey to consider.

Sometimes, the literature replaces parenting styles with the phrase parenting types, but they are complementary and interchangeable.

So, why is the concept of parenting styles important in the first place?

The pattern of parenting practices that parents use in raising their children the views that parents hold about their children, and the emotional climate they build within the family unit is what forms the basis of each unique “parenting style”.

It represents a certain set of strategies that parents use in their efforts to raise their child, and the parenting style they exhibit is the result of personal temperament, the parents’ own childhood history of being parented, and the prevailing culture around parenting styles.

Different parenting styles are likely to create different outcomes. Every parent wants to do best by her child, but in trying to reach a successful conclusion in child rearing is emotionally draining.

Each parenting style has both pros and cons, and only the parent can decide which of the parenting styles is right for you.

temperamentsImportant Considerations About Parenting Styles

There are a number of very important points to consider in thinking about parenting styles.

First, the parents of a child may not possess the same parenting styles. This is more likely than not.

In such a scenario, the different parenting styles of the couple may lead to disagreement about both the behavior of their child and the possible ways in which to move forward together as a family.

Moreover, parenting style cannot be viewed in isolation from the key component of temperament.

Each of us has a unique temperament that represents a combination of our mental, physical, and emotional traits as a person; and our natural predisposition.

So, imagine this not untypical scenario: two parents (perhaps four, if there are step-parents)-each with his and her own natural temperament.  Add on to this four potentially different parenting styles. 

Thirdly, it is important to remember that it is the rare person that belongs to a single parenting style category; there is always going to be some overlap.

Finally, the cherry on the top, add the distinct temperament of the child.

It should be clear just how emotionally and psychologically difficult this family relationship may become.

Supporting such families by coaching them to effectively combine their parenting style with their temperaments is the work of Confident Parenting.

You do not have to do this alone!

Using our library of screenings, we help parents learn about their unique parenting styles and temperaments, and those of their child, and the significance of the intersection of the two.

So, briefly, which parenting style do you best resemble?  Remember, this is just a snapshot of your parenting style, and we urge you to contact us for deeper insights and discussions.

  1. The Positive Parenting Style:
  • Parents learn to guide their children to a happy, successful life.
  • Build expectations on sound principles and values
  • Provide positive parenting strategies
  • Understand that success is long term

     2. The Attachment (Natural) Parenting Style:

  • Parents seek to strengthen the emotional bond with their child
  • Believe emotional security is core in healthy child development
  • Believe that a child’s needs must be met quickly
  • Believe they can help the child  to build a positive attitude to life
  • Teach the child that the world is a good place that can be trusted
  • Believe in preparing the child for healthy independence

     3. Unconditional Parenting Style:

  • Parents reject traditional parenting strategies
  • Reject practice of reward and manipulation with the child
  • Believe that a child should not have to work for our affection
  • Show their love unconditionally rather than conditionally
  • Love their children for who they are rather than for what they do

     4. Holistic or Spiritual Parenting Style:

  • Respect each child’s individuality
  • Create the space for each child to develop his own beliefs
  • Believe in raising strong, healthy children through example
  • Such parents see themselves as role models

     5. Slow-Go Parenting Style:

  • Are present, and in the moment, for their children
  • Believe that a 24/7 family lifestyle negatively impacts our children
  • Seek to limit such negative impact
  • Are wary of technology in their child’s life
  • Seek more natural experiences for their child

     6. Authoritative Parenting Style:

  • Parents communicate in a warm, nurturing manner
  • Maintain strong expectations
  • Demand much of their children
  • Expect rules to be followed
  • Have high academic expectations
  • Provide consequences for poor behavior
  • Offer a relative freedom of choice (and consequences).

     7. Authoritarian Parenting Style:

  • Families are often patriarchal
  • Intolerant of child’s freedom
  • Offer no parent-child discussion; parents must be obeyed.
  • Rigid in their practices
  • Seek psychological control
  • Suppress emotions and emotional growth of their child.

     8. Permissive (Indulgent) Parenting Style:

  • Parents take an extremely relaxed approach
  • Are generally warm, nurturing, and affectionate
  • Are overly accepting of their child’s behavior, good and bad
  • Seek manipulative control- will bribe and shame their child
  • Believe in individual autonomy of each family member
  • Are non-punitive, and believe in self-development
  • Prefer a flat hierarchy within the family unit
  • Expect self-regulation from the child, without guidance
  • Often are uninvolved in the child’s life
  • Leave children to make their own decisions    

     9. Uninvolved (Neglectful) Parenting Style:

  • Parents are disengaged and emotionally uninvolved in their child’s life
  • Provide little expression of love and affection
  • The family is low in nurturing
  • Parents are low in providing structure

     10. Toxic: Helicopter and Narcissistic Parenting Styles:

  • Parents hover over their children to ensure no harm comes to them
  • Use overprotective strategies driven by fear of their child losing out
  • Take an aggressive stance towards an aggressive world
  • Mistrust their child’s ability to take care of themselves
  • Controlling, blaming, self-absorbed
  • Unaware of their child’s needs.
  • Parents view of their worth is related to how the rest of the world views their children.