The Four Parenting Styles and their Effects on Kids

Your parenting styles can influence your children for the rest of their lives. It can affect everything from how your child behaves to how they feel about themselves.

In Judges 2:10, Joshua’s generation failed to teach the next generation to love and follow God. We read that the people of Israel served the Lord but they failed to prepare the next generation. It is tempting to pass the responsibility of teaching our children to the church and schools, and yet God says this responsibility belongs primarily to the family. 

Parenting is one of the most important roles a person takes on. It entails skills, attitudes, and values. Parents have different styles of child-rearing. But even though that’s the case, there are many universal ways to raise children. These ways foster good parent-child relationships. They also mold children to be their best selves. As well as contributing citizens of the world.

What is Parenting Styles?

Parenting style is a combination of strategies. These strategies include one parent’s behavior, values, and attitude in child-rearing. It also includes the emotional environment. In this, parents convey these behaviors to their children. Parenting may encompass dimensions such as responsibilities, communication, and discipline. Parents’ actions, gestures, language, tone, the substance of the message, and other behaviors manifest their parenting styles.

Two Dimensions of Parenting

There are two dimensions when it comes to parenting styles. They are:

Responsiveness

This dimension of parenting includes affection and open and gentle communication. Also, a climate of support and involvement. It also refers to the extent that parents accommodate and are keen on their children’s needs. These are needs identified through interaction with their children. Such needs cover emotional, physical, psychological, and developmental needs.

Demandingness

Demandingness can be seen in the light of the degree to which parents control their children. This sense of control includes aspects like expectations on maturity and discipline. It also pertains to the willingness of parents to lay down boundaries. Demandingness covers how parents give consequences. But also how they follow through with consequences for unacceptable child behaviors. 

What are the Four Types of Parenting Styles?

The four parenting styles can be described based on dimensions of responsiveness and demandingness. They can as well be viewed in terms of strategies and values done by parents.

Authoritative

Parents with authoritative parenting styles support a sense of independence and individuality in their children. They display both high demandingness and responsiveness. This means that they are keen to balance discipline with reason and affection. They are also open to listening to their children’s feelings and perspectives on things. They impose consequences based on the children’s behaviors. Such consequences are thoroughly and gently explained.

Authoritarian

The authoritarian parenting style is characterized by great control over children. Parents with an authoritarian parenting style put a premium on obedience and adherence to strict rules. Such rules are often unreasonable. They also impose punishments as consequences. These punishments are frequently unexplained and more than what the behavior warrants. Authoritarian parents tend to be critical, rigid, and uncommunicative. They are parents with a high level of demandingness but low responsiveness. 

Permissive

Permissive parents are also called indulgent parents. They incline to lose rules that do not set limitations to their children’s behaviors. Parents with permissive parenting styles are described to be more a child’s friend than a parent. This suggests that they shy away from conflict and confrontation. It also means that they disregard fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability for their child. These parents are described to score low in demandingness but measure high in responsiveness. 

Uninvolved

Uninvolved or disengaged parenting styles are synonymous with neglect and detachment. Uninvolved parents do not engage with their children in conversation and activities. Uninvolved parents are apathetic and rejecting. They neither impose rules nor show affection. 

Why is it Important to Understand Your Parenting Style?

Since there are different types of parenting styles, it’s best to know the impact of each style on your children and the whole family in general. 

It brings forth self-awareness

No parent is perfect. But that does not mean taking for granted parenting roles. Understanding one’s parenting style opens doors. Through this, parents identify and check one’s methods in raising children. This paves the way for reinforcing helpful strategies. This is possible while also reflecting on areas that need improvement. 

It has an impact on children

Parents impact much of a child’s values, attitudes, personality, and skills. They are vital in molding a child’s character.  They influence how their children speak and act. Children look up to their parents. They also look to their parents for guidance and mimic everything they do and say. 

It plays a crucial role in the family and society

The family is said to be the fundamental unit of society. The home, where the family belongs, spells out much of a child’s readiness for the bigger society. Everything they learn at home is what they will impart to the world. When a child grows up in a loving environment, he or she also has love to give to the world. 

Effects of Different Parenting Styles on Children

Children grow up with distinct personalities, preferences, beliefs, attitudes, and values. Some tend to be submissive while others tend to be assertive. Others can control and regulate their emotions easily while others can’t. Parenting styles impact these variations. But how do the four parenting styles affect children?

Effect of an authoritative parenting style on children

Children from authoritative parenting styles tend to be mature, self-reliant, and responsible. They are also confident, achieving, self-regulating, reliable, trustworthy, and decisive.

Effect of an authoritarian parenting style on children

Authoritarian parents raise children inclined to have social struggles. They also tend to have self-esteem concerns and assertiveness issues. These children usually grow up scared. They also appear to be unsure of themselves and doubtful of their capabilities. These children are also susceptible to depression and anxiety.

Effect of a permissive parenting style on children

A permissive parenting style may result in children with decreased levels of self-control. They also have no respect for others, motivation, generosity, and consideration. They grow up to be insensitive, disrespectful, indifferent, tactless, inconsiderate, careless, and thoughtless.

Effect of an uninvolved parenting style on children

Children raised in an uninvolved environment may have problems with self-control. They may tend to be rebellious and resistant. They tend to perform poorly in school and may have trouble maintaining healthy relationships. These children are also vulnerable to drug abuse, depression, and anxiety. 

Factors in Determining How a Child Turns Out

Cultural differences

Parents in different cultures approach parenting in different ways. Cultures affect how parents treat their children. This also guides them in interacting with their children. This is why parents have unique experiences. These unique experiences have different patterns based on values and beliefs. 

For example, some cultures teach mothers to be more assertive. In European countries, mothers usually approach parenting in a friendly and diplomatic manner. Some parents will follow cultural beliefs. It does not matter if these go against what they think or feel. For example, Asian children usually grow up as obedient children. This is because Asian parents tend to be authoritarian. 

Child temperament

Every child has different reactions to his or her environment. Children who are always happy and well-behaved are easy to manage. Children who are more aggressive and hard-headed may be more difficult to handle. This is because different environments affect children in different ways. In turn, children’s behaviors also determine others’ treatment of them. Our treatment of children affects how they turn out. 

For example, difficult children tend to have stricter parenting. Some studies show that tough love parenting produces mentally unhealthy children. While easy-going children tend to have out-going parents. In this situation, they tend to grow up feeling loved and self-assured.

Child’s peer group

Gaining friends gives children the opportunity to practice and strengthen their social skills. Children’s social interactions reveal a capacity to switch roles and take turns. Children love interacting with others. Children love playing games like running, playing hide and seek, and sharing toys. Parents need to be aware of the conduct of their children. If the behavior is positive, children should keep doing it. Otherwise, parents should teach their children a different behavior. 

Well-developed social skills are important. These are critical for enabling children to lead a more fulfilling and healthy life. To do this, children must be practiced and reinforced. Playdates are a wonderful way to experiment with social skills for children. Playing games and interacting with other children make children better. Learning how to connect with others and conduct themselves well are important. Through games, children have the opportunity to design and explore different roles. 

Teacher’s style

Our parents, teachers, and other influential adults are important in our life. They were also as significant when we were children. Teachers provide an important parental function. This is because they spend most of their time with their students when they go to school. Teachers help us develop a wealth of life lessons via all we do. They offer moral support and empower us to treat people well in our society. They show us the importance of life, teaching us that it is up to us to keep our civilization alive.

Everything that a child learns in his or her youth is critical. These will continue to influence that person throughout his or her lifetime. They will put their acquired knowledge to work, influencing society. 

Teachers improve the quality of life in the world. One could argue that teachers have a significant impact on an individual’s development. Students can enjoy the aid of a teacher who helps them become better persons. Young children will tend to imitate what they observe, especially if it is a teacher who is showing them how. So teachers contribute greatly to the destiny of any nation.

Ways to Improve Your Parenting Style

Be open

Parents need to have teachable and open hearts. Parents can also learn from their children. To allow this to happen, parents should not always be guarded. For example, children always have stories to share. No matter how weird or senseless they may be, parents should take the time to listen to them. It is also important to react to these stories with the same vivid imagination as children. 

Be flexible

Parenting is not a straight line. There are many curves, detours, and humps along the way. Parents who can change with circumstances are closer with their children. Flexibility in parenting also means that parents can make mistakes. And parents can also learn from them. For example, when parents get mad, it is okay for them to apologize after.

Be consistent

Consistency in parenting results in predictability and formed habits. Consistency builds trust. Children need to grow up with a structure. They must have a sense of the good behavior expected of them. This can only happen when parents are consistent in teaching and guiding them as they grow up. For example, some parents are consistent in making sure they have dinner with their children. This habit makes children value family time. 

Be a good role model

Children pick up a lot by observation. Values are more caught than taught. Parents need to follow through in action what they teach their children. Children are also known to replicate what they see and hear. And they are most likely to replicate the behavior of their parents. 

Teaching positive language is optimal when parents themselves speak the positive language. Doing what is right is also important when we expect children to behave. For example, teaching children to be courteous. Parents who teach this should not shout at each other in front of their children. Doing so may cause children to think this behavior is acceptable. 

Be intentional

A healthy parent-child relationship involves being intentional with time, attention, language, and behaviors. Parents need to carve out time out of their busy schedules for their children. During this time, they have to converse, play, and do activities with their children. Children become more comfortable with house help when their parents are always away. It is important for parents to also prioritize their children. For example, parents can allot 2 hours per day devoted to having playtime with their children.

What is the Best Parenting Style?

The most recommended parenting style is the authoritative parenting style. They exhibit the following qualities:

  1. They are more sensitive and aware of other’s feelings
  2. They are independent thinkers and can decide for themselves
  3. They are reliable and responsible.
  4. They have respect for people in authority
  5. They get along well with others and are likable.
  6. They get along well with their parents and communicate well with them.
  7. They are trusting and trustworthy

In Summary

Children are a wonderful gift from God. They are entrusted to us so we are accountable for how we raised them. But there is no school for parenting. Most parents have their fair share of “trial and error” in raising their kids. 

For me, the best parenting style is the Authoritative Parenting Style. Through this style, children show great independence and respect for others. Authoritative parents are approachable, warm, and loving. They also communicate well with their children. 

In this parenting style, children feel seen and listened to. They are also more secure. Authoritative parents encourage their children to be independent and have their own opinions. Authoritative parents have the best effect on their children. Their children have well-developed emotions, social skills, health, and mental strength. 

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.