What Are The 4 Types of Parenting Styles?


Jan 27, 2021     

Read Time: 6 minutes


Parenting styles are a combination of strategies used by parents to raise their children. Every parent chooses their parenting style based on the values and learnings they want to instill in them the most. 

Parenting styles majorly fall into 4 broad categories. Every child is unique and so parenting can’t be done with a one size fits all approach.

Here is a basic overview of the four major styles of parenting. Each of these styles has its own pros and cons and some of these styles are generally considered to be more beneficial than others.

Parents can choose any of these styles of parenting or a combination of them according to their parenting philosophies.

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📥 What Are The 4 Types of Parenting Styles?


Here Are The Four Types Of Parenting Styles

  1. Authoritarian

Strict parent who is closing laptop

  • Authoritarian parents are thought to be strict disciplinarians when it comes to child-rearing. They believe that the child should be seen and not heard.

  • Their parenting style is based on the saying “my way or the highway”. It is difficult to negotiate with authoritarian parents as they expect their children to follow their rules without any exception.

  • There is limited flexibility to their approach to upbringing and they often give punishments as opposed to teaching children about making the right choices. 

  • They also might become aggressive and hostile towards their kids to discipline them. As compared to authoritarian v/s authoritative parenting, children that grow up with authoritarian parents are good at following rules most of the time but are susceptible to self-esteem issues.

  • The children are never really able to take charge of their lives and might resort to lying all the time to avoid punishment. Among all the four types of parenting styles, this one produces the most undesirable outcomes.


An authoritarian parent generally withholds warmth.

When you ask your child to do something, and he asks why saying something like "because I said so” in response to the child is an example of being authoritarian.

When a parent exerts a lot of control and withholds warmth and affection the children tend to get detached and disengage from the family which damages relationships.

  1. Authoritative

Parents who are friendly

  • Authoritative parents are seen as reasonable and nurturing and put in a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their kids

  • Their aim is to make their kids independent and their parenting style leans towards self-discipline.

  • They believe in open communication and set high and clear expectations from their kids. 

  • They give regular explanations to their kids about the rules that have been set for them and encourage them to take responsibility for their actions.

  • As compared to authoritarian v/s authoritative parenting, the latter is more beneficial for kids as they are raised with positive discipline outcomes by parents who care for and validate their feelings. 

  • Kids who have authoritative parents also perform better academically and in social settings.


If you listen to your child and validate their emotions more often than just demanding blind obedience then your parenting style is authoritative.

If a child commits a mistake, an authoritative parent would not use corporal punishment directly. 

Instead, they will use statements like “What can you do next time you get upset so that I don’t have to hit you?” and then go on to teach about the consequences to their kid’s mistake and alternative punishments than hitting. 

  1. Permissive

Parents who are friendly with kids

  • Permissive parenting is a different style of parenting where parents are more indulgent and lenient. 

  • They are very warm and responsive and amongst the four types of parenting styles, this one is quickly gaining popularity.

  • Children raised by permissive parents are more emotionally stable and secure but find it difficult to follow rules and carry out orders as they have no self-control.

  • They are not disciplined at all as the parents set limited or no rules for them. There is freewheeling and open communication and the children perform exceedingly well in social interactions.


A permissive parent represents a unique kind of parenthood.

One where a parent is not really an authority figure but more of a friend.If you have ever heard a parent say 

‘I don’t say no to my child,’ then you are talking to a permissive parent. As long as the child is pleased and gets their way, a permissive parent would be happy and satisfied.

  1. Uninvolved  

Child who is ignored by parents

  • Uninvolved parents are generally focused on staying out of their kids’ lives. Some parents consciously decide to be this way, while most parents who adopt this style are not interested in parenting.

  •  Among the four types of parenting styles, this one is particularly peculiar as communication between the parents and kids is extremely limited. 

  • There are no rules set for the children and the parents are neglectful of their kids’ needs apart from providing for their necessities like housing, feeding, and education.

  •  Children with neglectful parents are prone to mental health issues and are more inclined to engage in antisocial behaviors.


An uninvolved parent lacks emotional attachment altogether. Their main goal is to just focus on their problems and desires.

An uninvolved parent can be recognized at any stage of a child’s development like with an infant an uninvolved parent feels disengaged or detached from their baby.

They have no desire to hold, feed, or play with the baby. And when given the opportunity, they might give the baby to their spouse or a grandparent.

The Most Preferred Parenting Style By Parents

Kid who is parented

The most preferred parenting style is the Authoritative approach to raising kids. Authoritative parents not only listen to their kids and give respect but are also assertive and pay attention to the required needs for their child’s optimal growth and development.

The Authoritative approach makes use of parenting techniques that strike a balance between nurture and structure.

The parents develop the flexibility to meet the needs of the child and ensure that their expectations are met by rewarding kids - a positive reinforcement.

The Authoritative approach to parenting helps kids develop Maths Self- Efficacy 

  • Parenting styles, directly and indirectly, influence abilities. Arithmetic capabilities are essential for academic success.

  • Parents play the primary role in shaping their child’s interests which has a direct effect on their future career prospects. Math is an extremely important subject to consider while evaluating your child’s career prospects

  • It is required in many trades such as scientific and technical fields, business, commerce as well as social sciences.

  • Parents that adopt the Authoritative approach to parenting create a positive impact on their child’s learning capabilities. 

  • Authoritative parents have a balanced level of involvement in their children’s academic chores which gives the child the confidence to cope up with math tasks while keeping them focused and motivated.

  • On the other hand, parents who adopt the Authoritarian or Permissive style of parenting raise kids who develop higher levels of math anxiety. 

  • Authoritarian parents are restrictive and controlling, forcing their opinions on the child which creates a lot of unnecessary pressure on the child. This reduces the child’s interest and motivation to practice maths, lowering the chances of academic achievement. 

  • Permissive parents have quirky parenting techniques, they choose not to be actively involved in their child’s life, especially academics, making the kids impulsive and unable to practice self-regulation which has been linked to low academic performance.

Tips for Effective Parenting

Kid loving learning with her mom

  • Shower your kids with unconditional love to create a long-lasting bond with them, but strike a balance as to not make them spoilt or indulgent.

  • Take care of your children’s diet. Incorporate healthy foods and snacks early on in their diet to set a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.

  • Spend quality time with your children. Take out time daily to bond and spend time with your kids to avoid communication gaps.

  • Control your child’s use of the internet and television. Teach them the importance of spending time with oneself, without constant visual and mental stimulation.

  • Use praise and rewards- focus on your child’s strengths to correct adverse behaviors. It keeps their confidence and self-esteem intact and helps them to achieve their full potential. 


No matter what types of parenting styles you may adopt, the ultimate goal of parenting is to provide positive affection and warmth to set a strong foundation for your child’s mental and physical growth. 

A child’s acquisition of problem-solving, language and socio-emotional skills is facilitated by their interaction with their parents.

Hence parents must apply effective parenting strategies that promote acceptance, self-regulation, and cooperation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best parenting styles?

Authoritative parents have been found to have the most effective parenting style in all sorts of ways: academic, social-emotional, and behavioral. Like authoritarian parents, the authoritative parents expect a lot from their children, but also they expect even more from their own behavior.

What is a democratic parenting style?

There is a third style known as “democratic parenting.” Rather than the parent running the show (authoritarian) or the child steering the family (permissive), democratic households are based on respect for both the parent and the child.

What is a permissive parent?

Permissive parents are not demanding. Kids do not have many responsibilities and are allowed to regulate their behavior and the majority of their choices. When a parent is permissive, they look at their child as equal rather than children of a parent. Permissive parents are not demanding.

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