There are four different types of parenting styles:
- Authoritarian parents are very strict parents. There is a high demand for respect and obedience, and oftentimes no room for negotiation or open communication between parent and child. Disobedience or unmet expectations frequently result in strong punishments.
- Authoritative parents have clear expectations for their children, and parents clarify the basis for their expectations. The lines of communication are kept open between parent and child, and appropriate consequences are given for breaking rules. Authoritative parents practice patience, affection, and consistency.
- Permissive parents are described as “overindulgent”. They have very few rules, and low or no response when rules are broken. This style of parenting mostly consists of satisfying the materialistic needs of the child, and has few understood boundaries. Children are not given responsibilities in the home, and are regularly protected from negative consequences for their actions.
- Uninvolved parents are described as being “neglectful”. Although these parents are willing to provide the basic physical needs, they are uncommitted to the social or emotional needs of the child. These parents are unwilling to look past their own personal stresses and life situations, and the child is placed at the bottom of the priority list. There is no guidance, and punishments are often very harsh.
The key to successful parenting is to provide your child with patience, love and appropriate guidance. Experts agree the authoritative style of parenting is the most effective. If your parenting style differs from your partner, all concerns should be discussed, then strengths from both parents can be combined to provide the best for your family. Remain flexible with each other and respectful of differing backgrounds and childhood experiences. Always remember to settle conflicts and disagreements about parenting styles in private. The ultimate goal will be to find a common ground that will provide your child with the greatest opportunity for growth and development.