There are four different types of parenting styles that are commonly identified by an expert by the name of Diana Baumrind in the parenting field. These styles are known as authoritarian parenting, permissive parenting, neglectful parenting, and authoritative parenting. There are important differences between each of these styles, and there is one style that is significantly better than the other three. In order to understand which type is the best parenting style; however, we need to review all of them first.
One of the types of parenting styles is the authoritarian style of parenting. This style is characterized by high expectations of compliance and conformity to parental rules and directions. The problem with authoritarian parenting is that the parental rules and directions often change when the parent feels like changing them, so the child never truly knows what is expected. The situation could be described as unfair and threatening. Many children raised by authoritarian parents live in a constant state of fear. They tend to display less self-confidence and are withdrawn socially. Some children might also rebel by openly defying the parents by leaving home at a younger age, partaking in drugs, alcohol, and sexual behavior at a much younger age, dating or marrying a partner whom they know their parents would disapprove of, and often might be estranged from their parents during adulthood.
The second of the four types of parenting styles is permissive parenting. This style is typically characterized by a warm, loving relationship between parent and child, but is flawed by low expectations of behavior. In other words, the permissive parent is usually afraid to make demands on the child much less hold them to any standard. This type of parent simply wants the child to like them at the end of the day and will do anything the child requests to do. Children raised by overly permissive parents tend to suffer from a lack of focus, immaturity and problems with emotional regulation. The children can not control their impulses and do not accept the responsibility for their own actions. When in trouble, the child will simply blame someone else even if it was their own fault. They tend to live and remain close to where they grew up, still dependent, in early adulthood.
Neglectful parenting is another one of the types of parenting styles. This style is best described as a step beyond permissive parenting. The neglectful parent may provide food and shelter, but is generally emotionally uninvolved in the child’s life. A good example of this would be parents who never ask their child questions about their day, their friends, or their education. A neglected child may have serious issues going on outside the home, but the neglectful parent is never aware of them until something potentially tragic occurs. Many times children will grow up feeling resentment against their parents for being neglectful and often might be estranged from them into adulthood.
The last of the types of parenting styles, and definitely the one that is considered ideal, is authoritative parenting. This type of parent holds high expectations of the child’s behavior while allowing the child to talk about those expectations. Parental rules and directions imposed on the child are fair and expressed clearly. The authoritative parent teaches the child about cause and effect, decision-making and self-sufficiency. Authoritative parents raise children who are successful, articulate, happy with themselves, and generous with others. This results in them being liked and respected by their peers and allows them to be generally well-rounded adults.