Every parent has their own unique parenting style. The way you parent your child can be informed by many outside influences, from your own upbringing to advice from trusted friends. In addition, every parent can turn to their own intuition in figuring out what’s best for their children.

However, there are some very common similarities amongst parenting styles. Most approaches to parenting can be separated into a few distinct categories. Some parenting styles can be more beneficial for children than others.

Let’s explore the four main parenting styles and their effects on children.


An authoritarian parent places a strong emphasis on enforcing strict rules. They may be more likely to punish their child for minor infractions. Making sure that children face consequences for their mistakes is important to parents with an authoritarian style.

They want to instill a sense of obedience, and they are typically not willing to negotiate a rule or a punishment. Furthermore, they aren’t always open to explaining their reasoning behind a particular rule.

Children who grow up with authoritarian parents may stick to a straight and narrow path early in life to please their parents. But they might also feel like their opinions aren’t valued since their parents rarely consider their perspective. They may have self-esteem issues since they weren’t allowed to make most decisions for themselves.

Furthermore, they might have a tendency to rebel later in life, and some have harbor anger towards their parents for restricting them.


A permissive parent imposes few rules on their children. And even if their child breaks a rule, they might not punish their child or hand out any sort of consequences. In fact, permissive parents generally don’t interfere much at all in their children’s lives. They often think of themselves as a friend to their children rather than an authority figure.

Children thrive with structure and routine in their lives. Therefore, the children of permissive parents often struggle in school. With little involvement from their parents, they may fall off track with their schoolwork and have trouble turning in all of their homework.

They might display a lack of respect for rules in the classroom and in other people’s homes. In addition, they can be more susceptible to low self-esteem.


A passive or uninvolved parent takes little interest in their child’s life. It’s important to note that a parent who is uninvolved does not always intend to be; they might struggle with a medical condition that prevents them from being a hands-on parent.

An uninvolved parent will not have much input or involvement in their child’s day-to-day life. They spend little time with their child, and they won’t have much knowledge of their child’s life.

For instance, they might not know what their child is doing in school. In some instances, a child with an uninvolved parent is basically left to raise themselves. This leads to low happiness and self-esteem, as well as behavioral problems.


An authoritative parent takes a healthy approach to raising their children with a balance between discipline and freedom. They enforce clear rules, but they do this with a consideration of their child’s feelings.

Authoritative parents explain why certain rules are necessary, and they make an effort to reward good behavior rather than just punishing bad behavior. Children with authoritative parents generally grow up with a healthy sense of independence, good decision-making skills, and higher self-confidence.

Are you interested in changing your approach to parenting? Talking to a therapist can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

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