How To Evaluate Different Parenting Styles

Mother and daughter talking

Parenting is hard. There is no doubt about that. Every parent struggles at some point to figure out how to handle situations and how to be the best parent possible. Understanding your parenting style is the first step to understanding why your children behave the way they do and how you can improve your parenting skills.

  1. Permissive parenting. These types of parents are overindulgent with their kids. The children of parents who prefer this style are often referred to as "spoiled" or always need to get their way. Permissive parents give in to the child's every wish and are often lenient with discipline. When children misbehave or act inappropriately, it is often ignored. Do you try to avoid confrontation with your children? You may be a permissive parent.
  2. Authoritarian parenting. Do you expect your orders to be followed without excuses and feel you don't need to explain why? You may be an authoritarian parent. You like to lay out the rules, including explicit consequences if they are not followed, and you tend to be inflexible on their interpretation. Some authoritarian parents are considered overprotective and intrude on a child's privacy. This type of parent may cause the child to rebel against the authority. Other parents in this category are seen as strict, but ultimately fair.
  3. Authoritative parenting. Do you like to include your child on decisions about their welfare and explain why rules and consequences are important? You are most likely an authoritative parent. Authoritative parents have high expectations for their children to follow rules, but are more flexible and understanding than an authoritarian. Supportive and involved, authoritative parents listen when their children have complaints or concerns. As an authoritative parent, you value teaching your child responsibility for his or her own actions.
  4. Uninvolved parenting. Do you not have any rules? Do you not spend time with your children? Unfortunately, you could be an uninvolved parent. This style of parenting is potentially the most damaging. Uninvolved parenting can border on neglect and will do damage to the psychological profile of the child. If you feel you are an uninvolved parent, there is still time to change your style. Get more involved in your child's life by creating rules and helping your child follow them. Spend time getting to know your child and what they are all about.

Still not sure what your parenting style is? Try taking a parenting style inventory test at:


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