Different Types of Parenting

Have you ever wondered if you were raised right or spoiled by your parents?

  • Do your parents show lots of affection, or remain aloof?

  • Do they expect blind obedience, or encourage you to ask questions?

  • Do they enforce limits, or let you do as you please?

Photo Source: Mangtre Team

Parenting styles are the representation of how parents respond to and make demands on their children.

In the 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children. She identified some important dimensions of parenting, including disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturing, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control.

She suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. Each of these has different effects on children's behavior.

1. Authoritarian Parenting

The parent is demanding but not responsive. Your parents are authoritarian if:

  • Your parents expect you to follow their strict rules without questions. They don't explain the reasons behind these rules. If they are asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, "Because I said so."

  • Parents punish you for your mistakes but do not tell you what you can learn from them, including what you should do or should avoid in the future. They might punish you harshly for your mistakes.


  • Children of authoritarian parents may be less socially competent because they are told what to do rather than be allowed to choose by themselves.

  • Children tend to be conformist, highly obedient, quiet, and not very happy.

  • These children often suffer from depression and self-blame. Some, by contrast, even rebel in adolescence and/or young adulthood.

2. Authoritative parenting

The parent is demanding and responsive. Your parents are authoritative if:

  • Parents are willing to listen to their children’s questions and often let them make their own decisions with their guidelines.

  • They are not very controlling and allow their children to be independent.

  • When punishing their children, parents tend to explain their reason for punishment. These punishments are appropriate and are not arbitrary nor violent.


  • The combination of expectation and support helps children of authoritative parents develop skills such as independence, self-control, and self-regulation.

  • Because an authoritative parent makes the reasons for punishment clear, children tend to be more understanding and complying.

  • In the long-term, children are more likely to be successful, well liked by those around them, generous and capable of self-determination.

3. Permissive parenting

The parent is responsive but not demanding. Your parents are permissive if:

  • Parents buy their children whatever they ask for, and allow them to do whatever they want.

  • Parents do not require their children to regulate themselves or behave appropriately.

  • Parents are more like a "friend" to their children, and do not play much of a parental role.


  • These children will become self-centred adults who show little to no consideration for the feelings or needs of others.

  • They experience problems with authority and could not be able to work with others.

  • They may tend to be more impulsive and as adolescents may engage more in misconducts such as drug use or drunk driving.

What can we learn from these types of parenting?

  • On the one hand, some studies have found a superiority of the indulgent style in Spain, Portugal or Brazil, but the methodology of these studies has been contested.

  • More recently a study has shown that in Spain the authoritative style continues to be the best one for children.

  • Most studies have shown that children with authoritative parents have the best outcomes in different areas (behavior, mental and social adjustment...).

So, how would you describe your parents' parenting style, and how do you want to raise your children?


Cover Photo Credit: Mangtre Team