Parenting can be one of the most important jobs you will ever do. To make things even more complicated, everyone has different behaviors and habits that contribute to their specific parenting style.
Did you know that there are many different styles of parenting? Each unique style can have a very different effect on your kids, so it can be helpful to determine which style you use, and the benefits and drawbacks.
You may find that you will want to incorporate some elements from another parenting style in order to support your children in a different way.
Want to learn more about parenting and how parental behaviors can impact children, family relations, and more? At BetterHelp, you can see more information about different parenting styles and their pros and cons as well as access numerous certified mental health professionals who can provide further insight.
Authoritarian parents are strict, rule-oriented parents. They often believe that children should adhere to the rules they set with little area for mistakes.
As they may believe children should be seen and not heard, they like their children to follow specific instructions rather than explore and discover on their own. They also discipline harshly, giving their children punishments for stepping out of their strictly dictated lines.
You may be an authoritarian parent if you:
- Like to say “because I said so”
- Don’t believe your child’s opinion should be taken into account
- Punish your child harshly if they make a mistake
Authoritarian parenting may lead to children developing anger or aggression, or becoming overly fearful of making any kind of mistake.
Authoritative parents tend to set rules and guidelines for their children but try their best to make these rules reasonable and considerate. They understand that their children have needs and desires, and want their children to feel validated and respected.
In order to do this, they maintain some hierarchy and guide their children towards the right decisions, but also allow their children a certain amount of freedom to explore for themselves. With gentle discipline, they also incorporate rewards and praise.
You may be an authoritative parent if you:
- Believe your child’s needs and desires are an important consideration
- Don’t give overly harsh punishment, instead praise for good choices
- Allow your child some freedom to make their own decisions
Authoritative parenting often leads to happier children that know how to take calculated risks. These children often grow up to be independent, maintaining good relationships with their parents.
Permissive parents may set some rules but rarely do much work to enforce them. They instead have a laissez-faire attitude with raising children, believing that kids will learn what to do and what not to do on their own.
You may be a permissive parent if you:
- Take on a “friend” role with your kids
- Rarely punish your child, even for bad behavior
- Give in easily if your child begs for something after you’ve said no
Kids who grow up with permissive parents may struggle to maintain healthy habits. They may also deal with sadness and low self-esteem as well as behavioral difficulties in school.
Uninvolved parents are even more hands-off than permissive parents. Often they have little idea of their children’s interests, friends, habits, or where they are.
They may also leave children on their own almost all of the time. Uninvolved parents may often take on these habits because they are dealing with mental health or substance use challenges.
You may be an uninvolved parent if you:
- Leave your child unattended for long periods of time
- Have little knowledge of or interest in their life
- Are dealing with a lot of stress that preoccupies you or takes you away from your child
Children of uninvolved parents may grow up to develop self-esteem issues and often do poorly in school. They may develop substance use or mental health concerns throughout life.
Which parent are you?
Knowing which parenting style you exhibit can be a great way to know which traits your child may develop as they get older. It can also be a great way to improve upon your parenting style and become more strict or lenient as you see fit.
There is one clear, successful parenting style in authoritative parenting, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t successful behaviors in any style.
The key to being an effective parent is maintaining your authority while understanding that your child has needs, just like you.