16 Parenting Styles | Psychology and Impact on Children

Updated: December 13, 2023 | Published:

Parenting is one of the most challenging and fulfilling jobs on the earth – being a parent is like riding a roller coaster. Every day you come across a new and challenging task.

One minute you have an unforgettable cheerful moment, and the other minute, you face an uncertain, distressing time that you want to put away from yourself.

Juggling through these ups and downs, you always try to be the perfect parent you can be for your child.

However, none of us are perfect at raising children, but by applying different parenting approaches, we can get the best child outcomes. These parenting approaches are referred to as parenting styles in today’s world.

It can be defined as a “psychological plan comprised of different levels of strategies that parents use in raising children.”

Parenting style is one of the most determining components of your child’s development and outcomes. It has a great impact on your child’s behavior and his psychological and social development.

The style you opt for your children can influence everything, from how they look to what they think about themselves.

Therefore, you need to ensure that the one you choose should support your child’s normal health and growth and help them become socially skilled and competent in their later life.

Links between Parenting Styles and Child Development

Parenting Styles and Child Development

Diversity in parenting styles and the parent-child interaction grades have always been well-established and prevailing research subjects of developmental psychology.

Several research studies have been conducted to find the relationship between the parenting style you apply to your child and its impacts on your child’s development. These researches have shown that there are links between parenting styles and the effects produced by these styles on your children.

How you interact with your children and your disciplinary action directly influence all aspects of your children’s behavior and development.

These effects on children produced as a result of your parenting techniques can influence the rest of their lives and can persist in their adult behavior.

Theories on Parenting Styles

What kind of parent do you think you will be? And which parenting form will be best for your child’s development? To answer this, developmental psychologists have put a lot of thought and effort into these questions for a long period.

Over the past decades, several attempts have been made to explore the different parenting styles, as different styles of parenting affect children in different ways.

Developmental psychologists have proposed different theories on parenting methods after carrying out profound research, observations, and surveys on several parents and their families.

The following are the major theories. These theories show us the origin of different types of parenting styles that we use now!

Diana Baumrind’s Parenting Style (1967)

The concept behind parenting styles was first introduced in 1967 by Diana Baumrind, an American developmental psychologist who studied preschoolers in her landmark study.

Diana Baumrind was one of the most renowned researchers of parenting styles. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. Baumrind’s work set the pillars for different parenting styles commonly applied in today’s psychology.

In 1960, Baumrind observed preschoolers from American European middle-class families and found that each exhibited a distinct behavior. She noted that each child’s behavior correlates to a particular style.

According to Baumrind’s theory, “there is a direct relationship between a specific type of parenting style and children’s behavior which ultimately leads to unique child outcomes.”

After this research, Baumrind developed a two-dimensional framework for parenting styles, i.e.

  • Demandingness means the measure of a parent’s control over child behaviors – parents with high demandingness set boundaries, enforce strict rules, and demand a high degree of obedience from their children.
  • Responsiveness refers to parents who are highly responsive and supportive of all kinds of their child’s developmental requirements. Parents with high responsiveness set clear and open communication and show attachment and warmth to their children.

After prolonged and extensive studies, observations, surveys, and analyses, based on her two-dimensional framework, Baumrind demonstrated three main categories:

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive

Each of these parenting styles has a great impact on your children’s behavior and development. The definition and their effects on children are explained below in this article.

Maccoby and Martin’s Parenting Style (1983)

Although Baumrind built the base for different parenting styles and categorized them, two psychologists, Maccoby and Martin, further extended the work of Baumrind. They put forward the fourth type, i.e., neglectful parenting style, also known as uninvolved parenting.

Using the two-dimensional frame of parenting styles, Maccoby and Martin elaborated on Baumrind’s third parenting style, the permissive style, and developed the fourth parenting style in this framework.

Darling and Steinberg’s Parenting Style (1993)

Another important aspect of parenting style was studied by Nancy Darling and Laurence Steinberg in 1993, and there is a distinct difference between parenting practices and techniques.

Parenting practices are the specific physical behaviors that parents use to socialize their children in different situations and domains. At the same time, these are the non-physical, emotional setups that parents use in child-rearing.

They present the integrative model of parenting style. According to that, the “parenting method can be visualized as a cluster of attitudes or a plan that involves the autonomy and parental authority that parents apply to their children within an emotional framework and climate.”

Darling and Steinberg studied the impact of parenting behaviors on adolescents’ development and outcomes. According to the integrative model of Darling and Steinberg, parenting style can affect the adolescent’s outcomes.

Zhang et al. Parenting Style (2006)

Several factors can change parenting styles, such as culture, society, parental behavior, political and economic attitudes, and parent-adolescent relationships. One of the major studies on parent-adolescent relationships and their effects on parenting styles is discussed here.

A Chinese psychologist, Zhang et al., studied the impact of parenting techniques on parent-adolescent relationships.

He researched high school children from mainland China and found that adolescents’ beliefs and expectations for behavioral autonomy and parenting authority can change parenting methods effectively.

Adolescence is a critical stage of development, where children are not considered passive social individuals. Adolescents perform an active role in changing and shaping parenting techniques and parents’ behavior.

This ultimately leads to modifications in their outcomes.

Zhang’s study of adolescents has shown links between parenting methods and parent-adolescent relationships. It has been examined that child-raising techniques greatly impact mediating roles and behavioral autonomy expectations of adolescents.

Adolescents’ demands for behavioral autonomy mediated the links between child-rearing style and parent-adolescent relationships. Adolescents demand quick behavioral autonomy than their parents grant them.

Types of Parenting Styles

In addition to the parenting styles given by various developmental psychologists, many other child-rearing styles have been introduced in our modern society.

Since each individual is different and imposes unique behaviors, each of these kid-rearing styles affects children in different ways.

The characteristics of each style of parenting and their effects on kids are given below. This will surely help you determine which type of child-raising style is best for your child’s development.

Authoritarian parenting

Do you think in any of these ways?

  • children shouldn’t be given any choice but to express their feelings
  • Rules are made specifically for children, and they’re supposed to follow them at any cost
  • Children don’t need any feedback. Natural consequences can improve their behaviors.

If anyone of these statements relates to you, you’re an authoritarian parent. Authoritarian parenting is one of the three parenting styles proposed by Baumrind.

Following the two-dimensional parenting framework designed by Baumrind, authoritarian parenting is high in demandingness and low in responsiveness.

It is the rigid style in which children are expected to follow the rules without exception.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Authoritarian parents enforce strict rules without giving any specific reasons for these rules.
  • Authoritarian parents demand high obedience and discipline from their children.
  • Instead of encouraging self-control, they force their children to stick to parental authority for managing their behaviors.
  • Authoritarian parents are the least users of nurturance, warmth, and love. They remain cold, harsh, detached, and unresponsive to their children.
  • Authoritarian parenting is based on one- communication, i.e., from parent to child. Parents of this parenting style believe children don’t need feedback and negotiation.
  • Authoritarian parents lack patience for the misbehaviors of their children. They have a zero-tolerance policy for undesirable attitudes of their children. They often use strict discipline like repeated time-outs, spanking, scolding, yelling, and corporal punishments to ensure that their children don’t make any mistakes.
  • They use criticism and shaming as the best tactic for improving their children’s behavior.

Effects on Children

The following are the effects of authoritarian parenting on children:

  • Children of authoritarian parents tend to be obedient at home and are good at following rules.
  • They fail to develop social skills and communication with their peers
  • They tend to show aggressive behaviors, especially outside their home in the absence of their parents.
  • Children raised by authoritarian parenting depend completely on their parents; they remain hostile and have poor self-control.
  • Children seem to be unhappy in normal situations and fail to develop self-esteem.
  • Children tend to develop bad habits like smoking, drinking, and drug abuse and are more likely to undergo anxiety and depression.

Authoritative Parenting

This is considered the most effective and successful parenting style among all of Baumrind’s parenting styles. The Authoritative style of parenting is high in responsiveness and high in demandingness.

It is also known as the democratic style of parenting. Unlike authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting revolves around children and is child-centric.

It develops good parent-child interaction.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Authoritative parents are good listeners, highly communicative to their children, and open to discussion.
  • They set clear, precise, and structured rules and give reasons and explanations for setting these rules.
  • Authoritative parents possess warmth, nurturance, and affection for their children.
  • They offer choices to their children to discuss and teach them to solve their problems on their own
  • Authoritative parents use positive disciplines and consistent consequences in the case when rules are not followed by their children

Effects on Children

Children raised by authoritative parenting tend to exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They are more adaptive and socially skilled as these children are given space to discuss and communicate
  • Develop good problem-solving skills
  • Children of authoritative parents have strong self-respect and self-control
  • They tend to have happy moods and have an urge to learn new things, which develops self-confidence in them
  • These children are independent and have decision-making abilities because they recognize the difference between right and wrong. However, parents provide consistent guidelines for making decisions.
  • They’re good followers of rules as they know the reason and logical explanation behind the existence of rules.

Permissive Parenting or Indulgent Parenting

The third type of Baumrind’s parenting style is permissive parenting. It is identified by high responsiveness and low demandingness. It is also known as indulgent parenting.

This parenting style focuses on children’s freedom and independence rather than parent-child mutual interaction.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Permissive parents play the role of a friend rather than being a parent
  • They exhibit high levels of warmth, nurturance, and love towards their children
  • Permissive parents have very low expectations from their children
  • Indulgent parents hardly enforce rules and sometimes tend to enforce inconsistent rules
  • They tend to have very little parental authority and parental control
  • Indulgent parents use very few disciplines and consequences and tend to be lenient and lax
  • They offer children the freedom to make decisions on their own without providing any essential guidelines to them

Effects on Children

The following are the child outcomes of a permissive parent

  • Children raised by permissive parenting tend to show low levels of academic achievements because their parents have very low demands and low expectations from their children
  • They fail to develop self-discipline and self-control because of the lack of implementation of rules
  • Children of permissive parents are the least socially skilled and develop aggression in situations where they feel stressed
  • They have poor decision-making and problem-solving skills as they’re not given any essential guidelines and are left open in making their decisions
  • Children raised by permissive parenting are not good at following rules, and due to the lack of consistent rules and consequences, they tend to develop bad attitudes like alcohol, drug abuse
  • They develop poor time-management skills because there are no limitations and boundaries for any task

Uninvolved or Neglectful Parenting

After several research and studies, Maccoby and Martin (1983) added the fourth parenting style into the original set of Baumrind’s parenting styles.

By name, it is obvious that parents using this neglect their children by all means. It is characterized by extremely low levels of responsiveness and low demandingness.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Uninvolved parents are highly unresponsive and show minimal or no involvement with their children.
  • They lack warmth, nurturance, and affection and express no feelings for their children.
  • Uninvolved parents have least to no expectations regarding their children’s behaviors.
  • Parents of this parenting style set no rules and boundaries and have no demands from their children.
  • Neglectful parents make little or no use of parental authority and show poor supervision.
  • Neglectful parents often neglect their children’s basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and health.
  • Uninvolved parents are occupied by financial, social, and economic problems and sometimes face excessive workloads, forcing them to neglect their children.

Effects on Children

Children raised by uninvolved parenting tend to show extreme negative outcomes. The following are the effects of neglectful parenting on their children

  • Children of uninvolved parents lack self-esteem and self-control and fail to develop social skills.
  • They’re negligent in following rules, especially in school and outside their home, because they’ve not been imposed any rules.
  • Children raised by uninvolved parenting show poor academic achievements because of a lack of involvement and minimal expectations of their parents.
  • These children tend to develop anxiety and fear and feel stress under competing situations.
  • Children have poor disciplinary skills and problem-solving skills
  • They’re at high risk of drug abuse and alcohol and tend to develop bad behaviors due to the emotional detachment of their parents

Helicopter Parenting or Over Parenting

Dr. Haim Ginott (1969) introduced this type of parenting style in his book “Between Parent and Teenager.” It is referred to as overparenting sometimes.

This parenting style got its name from parents who tend to “hover like a helicopter over their children all the time, i.e., show over-involvement in their children’s behaviors.

Previously, this seemed to be common in adolescence, but it starts at a very early stage.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Helicopter parents tend to show extreme levels of responsiveness and are hyper-interactive
  • They show extreme involvement and heavy interest in their children and their tasks.
  • These parents are highly concerned about their children’s academic achievements and results; they’re anxious about the failure and disappointment of their children.
  • Parents tend to administer every task to their children, from cleaning their room and tying up shoes and clothing to selecting their sports activities, peers, and jobs.
  • Children are not given chances to make their own choices
  • Helicopter parents are over-protective and act as a shield to their children against failure and disappointment
  • Instead of assisting children in their homework and assignments, helicopter parents complete their children’s projects and school work by themselves to avoid the chances of failure

Effects on Children

Children raised by this style of parenting exhibit the following behaviors

  • Children of helicopter parents develop poor self-control and self-esteem
  • These children are entirely dependent on their parents to make a decision and sometimes feel anxious and stressed when their parents are not around; this ultimately leads to mental instability and depression
  • Children of this style of parenting fail to develop problem-solving skills as they have never been given a chance to solve their problems on their own
  • These children are non-adaptive and are the least socially skilled
  • Children of helicopter parents, however, show good grades and high levels of academic achievements as their parents are directly involved in their studies
  • These children are unaware of hit and trial strategy and don’t know how to improve after failure as they are never being given a chance to make errors and mistakes

Attachment Parenting

This is one of the modern styles of parenting based on attachment theory proposed by two child psychologists, William Sears and Martha Sears.

According to this theory, parents’ relation and response to their children at the infant stage has a long-lasting effect on their emotional and social development.

It is believed that parental behaviors of attachment parents can affect their children in their future life.

Attachment parenting is focused on developing the parent-infant bond and closeness. This parenting style’s impacts are everlasting and can be seen in adults’ behaviors.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Attachment parents are highly responsive and show their children maximum empathy, warmth, and love.
  • They believe physical contact with their babies can develop a strong parent-infant relationship. Therefore, they use specific parenting tools like mother feeding, child-wearing, and co-sleeping.
  • They used to wear or wrap their babies around them using a sling or sheet and hold them in their arms as long as possible to provide close interaction and a feeling of touch and love to their children.
  • Attachment parents respond promptly to their children’s needs; they understand their babies’ body language and facial expressions and use their baby’s cries as signals or communication.
  • They use structured and well-known decisions like they have multiple options for dealing with their baby’s illness.
  • Attachment parents use gentle and positive discipline to deal with their children’s misbehaviors.
  • Attachment parents are highly organized and keep a balance between family relationships.

Effects on Children

Children raised by attachment parenting show the following outcomes

  • Children of attachment parents develop quick and good language skills as their body actions have been used as a way of communication by their parents
  • These children feel more secure and protective as they have physical contact with their parents
  • They are assured that all their needs will be fulfilled as their parents are highly responsive to their behaviors
  • Children of attachment parents have non-aggressive, happy, and contended moods as their parents are always attentive and available for their cries
  • Children of attachment parents have shown some negative outcomes like they develop emotional distress in the absence of their parental touch
  • Co-sleeping and sharing of bed can lead to risks of breathing problems in infants, suffocation, and SIDs (infant death syndrome)
  • Attachment parenting is highly demanding on physical contact that can hamper parent’s health and routines

Unconditional Parenting

This parenting style was first coined by Alfie Kohn, a famous author who wrote many books on parenting and child education.

In his book, Unconditional Parenting, he gave the concept of providing unconditional love and support to children in any situation.

This parenting style provides children with rewards and punishment and gives them a message that they’ll be loved and cared for only when they meet their parent’s expectations for their behaviors.

Therefore parents should not love their children based on their behavior. Instead, they should love them unconditionally, regardless of their behaviors and actions. Children should be loved as persons no matter who they are or what they do.

This should not be confused with the permissive parenting style. Unlike the permissive parenting style, with no rules and boundaries, unconditional parenting has structured and comfortable rules and limits.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Unconditional parents are highly caring, responsive, and nurturing to their children.
  • They don’t practice traditional discipline techniques like punishments, time-out, and spanking; instead, they use natural consequences to improve the bad behaviors of their children.
  • Unconditional parents believe that providing rewards, stickers, stars, and gifts are wrong ways of managing children’s behaviors because this will give them the idea that they’ll be loved only when they perform well!
  • Unconditional parents talk less and ask more – by leaving a question about their children’s misbehavior. They offer their children a chance to think about their mistakes. This way, they can improve their behaviors
  • as unconditional parents enforce flexible and gentle rules. They’re more focused on long-term goals
  • Instead of using the traditional ways of time-out, they use time-in to provide their children time to discuss what went wrong and why they misbehaved.

Effects on Children

Following are the effects of unconditional parenting on their children:

  • Children raised by unconditional parenting develop strong self-esteem and self-confidence as they know their parents would love them even if they fail to meet their parent’s expectations
  • These children are free from the fear of failure, which ultimately reduces the anxiety and stresses these children
  • Children of unconditional parents develop good problem-solving skills as they’re given chances to make amendments to their behaviors on their own
  • They develop good communication and social skills as they’re open to discussion, and by providing answers to the questions put by their parents, they can find solutions on their own
  • Children raised using this style develop an ever-lasting, healthy and powerful bond with their parents due to their unlimited and unconditional love.
  • The negative outcome of unconditional parenting shown by these children is that they don’t know the value of rewards and praises, and this can lead to low levels of academic achievement.
  • In some cases, unconditional parenting seems to show the loss of parental control over their children as there is less use of parental authority in maintaining children’s behaviors.

Toxic or Narcissistic Parenting

While raising children, all parents make mistakes since no one is perfect in child-rearing, but if these mistakes are made repeatedly from time to time, they can build a toxic environment around the child.

The type of parenting done in an unloving, cruel, and insensitive way is called toxic or narcissistic parenting.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Toxic parents usually suffer from mental disorders, emotional instability, or immaturity.
  • Generally, they’re abusive, selfish, vicious, and sometimes addicted to alcohol or drugs.
  • They usually leave a painful unloving effect on their children and cause a psychological breakdown.
  • Narcissistic parents are highly self-oriented. Their life revolves around their own needs and feelings. They don’t consider others’ feelings.
  • They are discourteous, impolite, and disrespectful; there is no room for respect, courtesy, and kindness for others in these parents’ attitudes.
  • They are extremely manipulative. They can easily twist ant situation and put their blame on others, sometimes their behaviors are unpredictable, and they tend to overreact
  • Toxic parents are highly criticizing and demanding. They demand their children leave everything for their happiness and satisfaction.
  • They never appreciate their children’s achievements. Instead, they compete with them and express jealousy of their children’s success.
  • Narcissistic parents hurt others’ egos intentionally with their humiliating jokes.
  • Toxic parents offer money and expensive gifts to their children and expect something in return. If their children cannot meet their demands and expectations, then these parents make them feel guilty and ashamed.
  • These parents cross boundaries and limits and interfere with their children’s privacy by opening the door of their children’s bedroom without knocking and using their cell phones.

Effects on Children

Children raised by narcissistic parenting show extreme negative outcomes

  • These children become highly anxious, mentally and emotionally crippled, and distressed
  • They have extremely low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence due to the constant criticism and blaming of their parents
  • Children of narcissistic parents have poor communication, and they’re least socially skilled because their feelings have always been suppressed by their parents
  • These children remain insecure and untrusted as their parents always scare and blame them for their mistakes and failure
  • Being Children of addicted parents, they suffer from physical and health problems like depression, anxiety, and post-turmeric stress
  • These children show poor academic achievements as they never get encouragement and support from their children
  • These children are unaware of their self-worth as their parents always neglect their needs and constantly remind them that they are worthless, which also leads to damage to their personalities
  • Children of toxic parents show their anger and frustration to other people because they couldn’t express their feelings before their parents and lack love and affirmation from their parents

Holistic or Spiritual Parenting

Adopting the holistic style of parenting means that you bring out all the aspects of your child’s development. This is focused on your children’s physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social development.

This parenting style suggests that children should be given a healthy natural environment for better growth and development. It shows the relationship of the child with the natural environment.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Holistic parents are open-minded and proactive; they use informed and tested decisions for their children. They have alternative options and holistic choices for the development of their children, and they use the one that suits best to their children, such as childbirth, mother feeding, vaccination, health, nutrition, and education.
  • They are highly empathetic, nurturing, and loving to their children and sometimes use attachment parenting styles such as child-wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and positive discipline.
  • Holistic parents believe in the child’s development as a whole, i.e., Their mind, body, and spirit.
  • They teach their children to respect and care for their natural environment and to protect their nature.
  • Holistic parents teach their children moral values and ethics, lead a simple life, and avoid exposure to the non-virtual, materialistic, and toxic environment that disconnects them from their natural environment.
  • They balance all aspects of a child’s life and maintain healthy principles like eating healthy food, exercise, regular walking, natural healing, and effective communication.
  • They’re open to discussion and spend time with their children to encourage their ideas and explore their innate talents.

Effects on Children

Following are the outcomes of holistic children

  • Children raised by holistic parenting are physically, emotionally, and morally strong as getting their upbringing in a non-toxic, non-materialistic, green, and natural environment.
  • They develop high self-esteem, self-control, and social skills as they are allowed to express their ideas and explore the world.
  • They develop a sense of security as their parents are in direct contact with them and provide them with unconditional natural love.
  • Holistic children develop positive behaviors and mutual understanding with their parents and natural environment.
  • Following a healthy and balanced routine, these children can take good personal care and become healthy and active.

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Positive Parenting

Positive parenting focuses on developing healthy parent-child interaction. It fosters positive behaviors in children.

It’s a democratic style of parenting in which parents play a dynamic role in developing a healthy and stronger relationship with their children.

Positive parents are highly responsive and consistent in their behaviors.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Positive parents exhibit optimistic parental behaviors; they are highly supportive, nurturing, caring, and guiding toward their children.
  • They’re empathetic, affectionate, non-violent, empowering, and highly communicative.
  • They practice positive discipline and natural consequences instead of traditional punishment and reward methods.
  • They enforce rules and set reasonable and healthy boundaries that help their children to become self-disciplined and structured.
  • Positive parents are open to discussion and encourage their children to express their emotions and explore the solution of a problem on their own
  • They find the reason behind their children’s misbehavior instead of criticizing and scolding them for their bad attitudes.
  • Positive parents play their role as guidance or leader who leads their children on the right track to the self-development

Effects on Children

  • These children develop strong self-esteem and powerful self-control
  • Positive children develop mental and emotional stability in their behaviors as their parents have a close interaction with them which also lead to the mutual understanding of both
  • Children of positive parents foster good problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities as age-appropriate guidelines by their parents are offering them
  • These children are extremely socially skilled, adaptive, and have excellent communication skills
  • Positive children acquire ever-lasting positive behaviors and remain happy and contented, which strengthens their self-confidence and self-respect
  • Being confident and independent, these children show high levels of academic achievements and produce good results

Free-range Parenting

It’s a style of parenting that aims at children’s freedom and independence, providing them with little parental supervision. This style of parenting focuses on children’s autonomy and allows them to explore their environment freely on their own.

Free-range parenting was introduced by Lenore Skenanzy, an American writer who left her nine years old child alone to find his way home upon his insistence.

She provided her with the subway map, money, and cell phone to assist him and ensure he could reach home safely.

The boy just made it successfully. Later she wrote in her article “Why I Let My nine years Old Ride the Subway Alone” that children become more self-reliant if they are given the freedom to explore.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Free-range parents are open-minded, focus on child freedom, and proffer limited supervision.
  • They guide their children whenever they do something wrong or make mistakes.
  • They allow their children to roam around and explore new things and solve their problems on their own
  • Free-range parents practice natural consequences. However, they incorporate other means if natural consequences don’t come out to be effective.
  • They encourage their children to do unstructured activities such as picking up a game of their own choice and allow them to play with their peers and neighbors outside the home.
  • They build their child’s interaction with the natural environment by promoting outdoor games such as running or playing in parks, riding bikes, and climbing trees and discouraging their children’s use of technology and electronics.
  • Do these parents generally break the laws established by the state for children’s well-being, such as at what age should a child be left alone in the car? Or at home overnight, or can he go to school alone?
  • Free-range parents ensure their child’s freedom should be earned by learning something new and accomplishing their tasks themselves.
  • Being unsupervised parents, these parents are accused by their community and sometimes get the label of careless parents or neglectful parents!

Effects on Children

  • They’re highly self-reliant, self-confident, and creative as they’re given the freedom to explore the world on their own
  • These children are adventurous and curious to discover new things around them and enjoy outdoor activities of their own choice.
  • Children raised by a free-range parenting style are physically and mentally fit as they build a relationship with a healthy natural environment and stay away from unhealthy digital activities like screen time and video games.
  • Being independent and confident, they can get through challenging situations and prepare themselves for future life.
  • The negative impact of this style of parenting is that free-range children get minimal or no parental supervision during their outdoor activities, which may lead to them to a higher risk of accidents and mishaps since the world today is not as simple and safe as it was before children always need to be attended by their parents.
  • Being unsupervised, these children may get involved in harmful activities of addiction to drugs or alcohol

Nurturant or Slow Parenting

It’s a parenting type in which children can explore their environment with their parents’ assistance and protection. Parents guide their children during their exploration.

It’s a progressive style of parenting in which, on one side, children get the freedom to explore the world, and on the other side, they’ve to face structured rules and age-appropriate boundaries set by their parents.

This parenting style is also known as slow parenting, which means being calm and steady in life rather than rushing through time.

This emphasizes spending quality time with your children to develop a strong parent-child interaction.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Nurturant parents provide warmth, care, and protection to their children when they feel that children need it.
  • They’re good listeners, highly responsive to their children, and develop strong interactions with them.
  • They encourage their children to express their feelings and emotions and support their ideas and beliefs.
  • Nurturant parents practice positive discipline by setting reasonable limits and rules, and they explain the reasons and discuss with their children the importance of establishing the rules. All this is carried out in an open and healthy environment.
  • They establish a healthy routine and family time, engage their children in outdoor activities, and limit their digital activities.

Effects on Children

  • They’re highly confident and develop high levels of self-esteem and self-control.
  • These children are physically, mentally, and psychologically strong and are socially skilled as they have been allowed to stay connected with their peers, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
  • They develop a sense of trust and security with their parents as they provide protection and guidance in difficult situations.
  • These children are morally strong, empathetic, friendly, affectionate, and compassionate by nature.
  • They exhibit positive behaviors and show good academic achievements as they get support from their parents.
  • These children are curious to explore and discover new things on their own; this makes them self-sufficient and enables them to deal with challenging situations practically.
  • The negative impact of slow parenting on children is that when they’re left independent or unguided to explore new things, they may indulge themselves in unsuitable or wrong activities, creating trouble for them.

Dolphin Parenting

The name of this parenting style suggests that this style of parenting is learned and adopted from the characteristic traits of dolphins. As dolphins are naturally playful, intellectual, and social, they use these intrinsic traits in raising their babies.

The term dolphin parenting was first introduced by Shimi Kang, the famous author of “The Dolphin Way,” which guides parents to raise their children to support their health, happiness, and motivation. This concept is based on establishing a balanced lifestyle for your children.

This is close to the authoritative parenting style and is focused on long-term goals.

While dolphins are one of the most creative, intelligent, and communicative mammals, they live and play underwater together in the form of a group; similarly, human beings are intended to live in a community to promote the spirit of community and contentment among their children.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Dolphin parents are highly nurturing, supportive, collaborative, and firm yet flexible towards their children.
  • They’re extremely resistant to over-protecting and shielding parental behaviors and offer their children the freedom and independence to explore their surroundings on their own
  • They’re loving, joyful, and playful towards their children and encourage them to do unstructured activities of their own choice in an open and natural environment.
  • Dolphin parents maintain a balance in their children’s lives – they enforce clear and transparent rules, establish a healthy routine and avoid over-scheduling extra-curricular activities.
  • They’re highly adaptive and dynamic – they modify and change their rules and disciplines with time and with the developmental needs of their children.

Effects on Children

  • They’re extremely confident, happy, physically and emotionally strong individuals.
  • These children develop good problem-solving and self-discipline skills as they’re allowed to make mistakes and learn how to cope with them from their mistakes!
  • They’re socially skilled and develop a good community spirit as they live in an open and healthy environment in collaboration with their parents, peers, friends, and neighbors.
  • These children are curious, creative, and explorative as they’re free to express their feelings and ideas.
  • They understand their self-worth as their parents provide support and guidance whenever they need it.

Ethnic Minority Parenting

An ethnic minority is a group of individuals belonging to a different race, physiognomy, culture, religion, and social and economic beliefs.

They differ in their lifestyle, traditions, language, moral values, and other specific behaviors from the majority of dominant native populations living with them in the same community.

The ethnic minority of America comprises African Americans, Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Hispanic Americans.

Several studies have shown that Authoritative parenting is the most popular style among European-American parents; in contrast, ethnic minority parents, including Asian-American and African American parents, were accustomed to the Authoritarian parenting style.

Being in the minority, they are given less powerful societal positions than most ethnic populations due to racism. Their moral values, customs, and social and political beliefs are not much supported and practiced by the community in which they’re living.

Due to these racial disparities, these parents are forced to inherit traditional parenting styles like authoritarian parenting, in which children don’t get enough freedom to express themselves socially and emotionally.

However, these parents do their best in their capacity to raise their children.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Due to racial differences offered in their community, these parents are more vulnerable to socio-economic problems such as income discrimination, poverty, less child-rearing education, and single parenthood, which leads to developing behavioral problems in these parents.
  • Ethnic minority parents are generally distressed and less responsive to their children as they face many challenges, such as language and cultural differences, an adaptation to new customs and culture, and racism challenges that reduce their prenatal practices.
  • Research has shown that these parents are at high risk of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic problems.

Effects on Children

  • These children develop low self-esteem and self-confidence as they face the community and racist pressure.
  • Children of ethnic minority parents are physically and emotionally underdeveloped as they encounter poverty and economic and social barriers offered by their society.
  • These children are the least socially skilled as they’ve language, religion, and cultural differences from their majority native peers.
  • Several factors, such as communication barriers, physiognomy, vocabulary, reading problems, and understanding of new culture and curriculum, contribute to their low academic achievements in school.
  • Many ethnic minority children have, however, shown improvement in their academic results after getting training and coaching programs arranged by the government.
  • Being a minority, these children get limited resources for their views and needs, which affects their emotional and social development.

Alloparenting Parenting

The term Alloparenting is a combination of two words, i.e., a Greek word “allow,” which means “other,” and a Latin word” parents,” which stands for” parents.”

Simply Alloparenting can be defined as the”parental behaviors of non-parents towards infant and young that does not belong to them.”

This style of parenting involves the child-rearing of non-descendants. It is also known as cooperative breeding. Often, parents hand their offspring and young to non-biological parents due to social, economic, and environmental pressures.

In general, these constraints include; financial burden, job hunting stresses, difficulties in managing the time of occupation, or lack of essential resources.

Alloparents are referred to as non-parental caregivers or non-biological parents. Most commonly, they include; siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, neighbors, and other family relatives. They provide care to children who are not their own.

Alloparenting has become a universal practice in human society. Research has shown that humans with low reproductive rates are most likely to adopt this parenting style.

Recent studies have shown that about three million children in the United States are babysat and parented by their substitute parents. This comprises 3.9 percent of the total child population of America.

Several studies have shown that alloparents like grandmothers and adult siblings can promote the survival of non-descendent children in society.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • Alloparenting benefits biological parents, such as reducing the economic pressure and the investment of resources and time that parents spend with their children.
  • It improves the physical and mental health and fitness of parents (especially in the case of breastfeeding mothers) as they’re free from the pressure of child-rearing
  • On the other hand, alloparents or non-parental caregivers get benefits by taking care of progeny that do not belong to them.
  • Alloparents attain the knowledge and experience of child-rearing and how to deal with particular children’s behaviors.
  • Alloparenting makes these alloparents more caring, nurturing, and patient by dealing with children’s challenging attitudes and moods.
  • In some cases, Alloparents suffer the costs of child-rearing and the expenses of the child’s developmental needs.

Effects on Children

  • These children develop a new mutual or symbiotic relationship with their non-parental care providers.
  • They’re cooperative and communicate as they may live with people of different languages and cultures.
  • Children of alloparents are more adaptable – they know how to cope with tricky situations and limited resources without their parents.
  • These children develop the skill of multi-attachment relationships
  • The negative impact of Alloparenting is that children remain unhappy and emotionally distressed in the absence of their biological parents; after all, a child needs attachment and attention from his “real parents.”
  • Disconnection with maternal parents may lead these children to poor psychological and social development, resulting in low academic achievement levels.

Differential Parenting

Do you practice any of the below statements?

  • Why can’t you behave like your brother?
  • Next time I expect the same grades from you as your sister has achieved!
  • Let your brother play first; he’s younger than you!

If the above statements match you, you’re among differential parents. Differential parenting is the parenting style in which parents tend to act differently with their children.

Differential parenting can generally be defined as “the difference in parental behaviors towards their children or siblings of the same family.

This parenting style is based on picking the favorites from the siblings of the same family. Research has shown that many factors contribute to this parental disparity.

Some of the major factors include; the age and gender of the child, poverty, social and economic imbalances, and the mental instability of parents.

Sometimes the reasons for differential parenting are past adverse happenings, which these parents may have experienced during their childhood and represent the same to their children.

Characteristics and behavior attributes

  • These parents usually have a mental illness, anxiety, and high emotional and psychological stress levels.
  • Differential parents are biased and less nurturing and caring towards their children.
  • They have low decision-making abilities as they’re partial; they see only one side of the picture and make unfair decisions based on favoritism among their children.
  • Due to impairment, these parents give adverse feedback to one child and give positive and encouraging feedback to the other child.

Effects on Children

Differential parenting not only leaves a negative impact on children but also affects the entire family

  • Children raised by differential parenting develop low self-esteem and self-confidence, especially the targeted child who receives negative comments from his parents.
  • They are emotionally and psychologically unstable as they do not get equal and balanced support from their parents.
  • Children with negative feedback suffer from mental stress, depression, and anxiety.
  • Children with positive feedback are over-confident and overrepresented, actively impacting their personalities.
  • Due to the disproportionality proposed by these parents, the concept of jealousy is being created among siblings of the same family.


In conclusion, parenting styles significantly affect your child’s growth and development. They are directly associated with your child’s outcomes and behaviors.

Children raised by a democratic style of parenting are most likely to have better temperaments and behaviors than those who are reared with assorted child-rearing styles.

Therefore, you should choose the parenting technique that best suits your child’s temperaments and fulfill all his age-appropriate needs for development.

Whatever parenting method you choose, the most important is that your child needs your full support and love to become a dynamic citizen of society.

Parenting Styles Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the most effective parenting style?

    Parenting is not just about setting a long list of rules or modifying disciplines. Rather, it reflects your image and cultural values and how you transfer them to your children.

    Numerous studies have shown that some parenting techniques are more effective and exhibit better child outcomes than others.

    After prolonged research and observations, experts have concluded that the Authoritative parenting style is the most effective and democratic style of parenting from all the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of children.

    However, the key to success here is to be consistent and flexible while adopting any child-rearing method. Please read our review of the Children Learning Reading program.

  2. Why are they important?

    Parenting styles are vital in determining your child’s behavior and temperaments. They’re the reflection of your child’s outcomes.

    The technique you opt for your children will not only affect your child’s physical and mental development but also be associated with the emotional and social development of your child.

    Moreover, several pieces of research have proved that there are direct links between parenting styles and children’s behaviors.

    Whatever method you choose has a direct impact on the child’s personality. They’re the determinants of your child’s stages of life.

  3. What parenting style is associated with child aggression?

    The impact of each parenting style is different on children’s development and behaviors.
    The parenting techniques suggested by developmental psychologists are more effective and result in emotionally and psychologically stable children, while dysfunctional styles of parenting result in aggressive and unstable behaviors of children.
    Some of these malfunctioned child-rearing styles are authoritarian, indulgent, and helicopter parenting, where extreme parental control limits your child’s psychological and emotional development and develops potential abuse and aggression in your children.

  4. What parenting style is low in demandingness and responsiveness?

    According to Baumrind’s two-dimensional framework of parenting styles, neglectful or uninvolved parenting style is low in demandingness and responsiveness.

    Uninvolved parents are seemed to be detached from their child’s developmental needs and don’t set any consistent boundaries for their children.

    As a result, children develop behavioral problems that persist in their later life.

    Research has shown that low demandingness and low levels of responsiveness result in poor parent-child interaction due to children becoming the least socially skilled.

  5. Which parenting style is preferred by child psychologists?

    For many years, child developmental psychologists have longed to determine the best parenting style for raising children.

    After strenuous work and research, experts have concluded that the Authoritative parenting style is the best style of parenting until now!

    It is considered to be the most successful and productive parenting technique. It’s a child-centered approach and is focused on developing mutual parent-child interaction.

    The authoritative parenting method covers all the aspects of your child’s development, i.e., his emotional, psychological, academic, social, and behavioral development.
    That’s why developmental psychologists highly recommend it.

  6. Which parenting style is best characterized as indifferent?

    An indifferent parenting style is identified as low in demandingness and responsiveness. Experts have found that the uninvolved or neglectful parenting technique is an indifferent style of parenting.

    Neglectful parents exhibit indifferent parental behaviors towards their children.

    They lack attachment and warmth for their children, and rarely or sometimes never demand any expectations from them.

    They’re the least interested and often totally neglectful towards their children’s needs and behaviors.

  7. Which parenting style is demanding and controlling?

    According to the experts, the Authoritarian parenting style is high in demandingness and low in responsiveness. It’s a parent-centered approach in which parents practice high control over their children.

    They frequently monitor their children’s behaviors by enforcing structured and strict rules.

    They set high expectations from their children and never allow them a chance for failure.

    Children of Authoritarian parents are under the influence of high parental authority and don’t get a chance to express their emotions.

  8. Which parenting style leads to an egocentric child?

    The permissive or indulgent parenting style develops a selfish child. Indulgent parents are least connected to their children and provide minimal guidance in making decisions.

    This parenting technique lacks clear rules and consistent boundaries, due to which children fail to develop self-control and become egocentric.

    In addition, recent studies have shown that neglectful parenting methods may also contribute to children’s development of self-centered behaviors.

  9. How do parenting styles affect a child’s development and personality?

    Parenting styles have a strong impact on your child’s development and growth. According to child developmental psychologists, the parenting style you choose has an everlasting impact on your child’s personality.

    They act as the determining factor of your child’s development and growth.

    Research has shown that children raised by the Authoritative parenting style and other democratic styles of parenting like attachment and holistic parenting tend to show positive behaviors and develop better self-control and self-esteem.

    While on the other hand, practicing harsh and traditional styles like Authoritarian, indulgent, neglectful, and helicopter parenting styles may adversely influence your child’s development and result in aggression, anxiety, and depression in your child’s behavior.

    Therefore, you should be careful when choosing your parenting technique as it reflects your child’s personality outcomes.

  10. How do parenting styles affect education?

    Several research and surveys have revealed that parenting styles influence your child’s education and academic achievements.

    Parenting methods like Authoritative and positive parenting develop a child’s interest in school work and academic activities.

    By getting constant support and guidance from their parents, these children can independently complete their assignments, homework, and projects. Positive parenting styles encourage your children to express their ideas, producing better academic results.

    The parenting technique you choose for your child-rearing may increase or decrease his learning process.

    Therefore, you should adopt the child-raising style, which promotes the personal aspects of your child’s development and helps build your child’s academic career.

  11. How do parenting styles influence social development?

    Parenting styles greatly impact the social aspect of your child’s development.

    It is clear from the above discussion that children raised by Authoritative and permissive parenting methods develop better communication and social skills than children reared by the Authoritarian style.

    Since Authoritative parents give freedom to their children to express their ideas and opinions, they’re always open to communicating with their parents and other people.

    While on the other hand, Authoritarian parents keep strict control of their children and don’t allow them to express their emotions.

    These children are good rule-followers and show good academic achievements. Still, they cannot communicate openly and are the least socially skilled due to the lack of effective parent-child interaction.

  12. How does parenting style influence a child’s behavior in the classroom?

    Different parenting styles have different effects on a child’s behavior and personality.

    Numerous studies and surveys have shown that children raised by Authoritarian styles are quite disciplined and obedient in class as they’re good at following structured rules.

    However, these children are less communicative with their peers and friends in the classroom environment and show little participation in in-class activities.

    Conversely, children of Authoritative parents seemed to be highly communicative, happy, and confident.

    They actively participate in classroom activities and develop healthy interactions with their peers, friends, and teachers. This ultimately leads to higher academic achievements.

  13. Can parenting styles cause anxiety?

    Developmental psychologists have measured all the factors determining a child’s behaviors and outcomes.

    Recent research has shown that parenting technique with excessive parental control leads to anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems in children.

    These parenting styles mostly include Authoritarian parenting, helicopter parenting, and sometimes differential parenting may also lead to mental instability in children.

    Generally, children with parenting styles that are high in demands and less in responsiveness exhibit mentally distressed, anxious, and confused attitudes.

  14. Can parenting styles cause autism?

    Autism, a.k.a. as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a combination of several abnormal behaviors such as poor social skills, difficulty in non-verbal communication, unusual facial expressions, lack of eye contact, and insufficient self-control.

    It is a state of mental instability that mostly occurs in the early stages of a child’s development.
    Research has shown that inappropriate parenting methods are one of the major causes of autism.

    Parenting styles with high parental authority, such as helicopter parenting and Authoritarian parenting technique, lead to this social impairment.

    The detached, cold, and unresponsive behavior of Authoritarian parents develops anti-social behaviors in their children.

    If they don’t get a chance to share their feelings and emotions with their parents and peers, they face social interaction problems and become more vulnerable to autism.


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

This site is for educational and informational purposes and by no means designed with the objective of offering substitution recommendations for professional medical advice and services.
If you need personal medical advice, consult a licensed medical professional. Read full disclaimer.

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