By Christen Deering-Wilcock, LMSW
There are 4 types of parenting styles:
1️⃣Authoritarian parents are very strict. Obedience is very important to these parents; behave or be punished… end of story. They tend to be highly demanding but not too responsive for the needs of the child. Children of such parents may do well in school and try to stay out of trouble, but they lack in social skills, tend to have lower self-esteem, and are much more likely to develop depression or anxiety as they grow up.
2️⃣Permissive parents are basically the exact opposite! They are flexible to fault, with few demands or rules for their children to adhere to. They tend to be warm and loving in their approach and are often well intended. They allow their children to self-regulate in many situations, sometimes beyond developmental ability. They tend to play the role of friend rather than parent. Children of permissive parents may misinterpret this style as indifference toward them. They may grow to feel entitled as “No” was not something they heard often. There could be power struggles within this household as the child develops. They tend to have difficulty in school settings and their grades can be impacted by this. They act out and may take dangerous risks as teenagers. They do tend to have higher self-esteem and less incidents of depression.
3️⃣Uninvolved parents are absent and unavailable. They do not show any interest in their child. At its worst, uninvolved parents can be neglectful. Children of such parents suffer greatly with poor direction, structure, and lack safety and security.
4️⃣Authoritative parents (not to be confused with authoritarian) balance structure and responsiveness. They understand and recognize the need for autonomy and self- expression and try to create a secure environment in which the child can do so. They enforce rules when necessary and explain their importance, keeping in mind the developmental stage of the child. They are open to family discussion. Children of authoritative parents tend to grow into well adjusted adults. They have felt love and support and were provided healthy boundaries and structure. They are more likely to maintain good relationships with their parents and less likely to act out in dangerous ways as teenagers. They feel safe at home; which allows them space to explore self-expression and go as a safe haven. They are more likely to identify a parent as a strong support or role model growing up.
What you do for and with your kids today does matter! You are building the foundation they will walk on for the rest of their lives! You want them to feel safe with every step they take! Guide them but don’t force them and don’t let them run off too far ahead.
If you would like to talk to one of o ur clinicians about your parenting or what you are experiencing: