Parenting Styles and Their Impact on Child

4 types of parenting style and their impact on child


Parenting styles plays a vital role in child development. The way a parent mold their child’s character through their words, actions, communication, time and affection, effects child’s personality, behavior, mental, physical and emotional development. Every parenting style has different impact on child. Read on to learn about parenting styles and their impact on child.

What parenting style did you experience while growing up? Or which parenting style you are currently using?

Diana Baumrind’s parenting styles theory:


Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, known for her great work on parenting styles. Based on her extensive research on parenting styles in 1960s and 1970s she identified 3 main parenting styles: authoritative parenting style, authoritarian parenting style, and permissive parenting style. Her research focused on how different parenting styles affect children’s development.

In 1980s, Stanford researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin added a forth parenting style called uninvolved parenting style


4 Types of Parenting Styles and their impact on Child:


Authoritative parenting style:

Authoritative Parenting is one of the most common parenting style.  Parents practicing this style have high level of control over their children, combined with warmth, affection, and clear communication.

Here are few characteristics of an Authoritative parent.

  1.       Clear communication: Parents are open with their children, have clear communication, and also encourage their children to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions. They listen to their kids and are present when the child needs guidance and support.
  2.       Clear expectations: they have high expectations from their children. They value education, independence, responsibility, and hard work.
  3.       Set of rules: They set rules and expectations and provide proper guidance using positive reinforcement and communication.
  4.       Reasoning: If they imposed some rules, they clearly provide their children with the reasoning behind them. They explain their children the reason behind their behavior.
  5.       Positive reinforcement: they always use positive reinforcement to increase the likelihood of a particular behavior or action occurring in the future. They give reward to their children on their accomplishment and hard work. For example, praising a child when he does well on a test.
  6.       Flexible: while authoritative parents have high expectation with their children, they also take into account their child’s needs and wants. They know that sometimes situation needs a more flexible approach. For example, the rule says that the child finishes the homework then watch TV, however, one evening, the child is feeling exhauster and overwhelmed, and they express this to their parents. Now, an authoritative parents being flexible will allow child to take a break and let them watch television before homework.
  7.       Warm and nurturing: authoritative parents provide their children with a lot of emotional support, love, and affection. 


Impact on children:

They are well-adjusted and successful in many aspects of life:

  •       Children who grew up with authoritative parenting style are responsible, socially competent, and confident.
  •       Independent with great decision-making skills
  •       Higher academic achievement, as they are encouraged to learn.
  •       They have higher level of self-esteem and have great relationships.
  •       They are great at problem-solving
  •       Self-disciplined and self-motivated
  •       Better mental and emotional health, as they are being supported and loved by their parents.



Authoritarian parenting style:

We will look at the same characteristics of authoritarian parenting to better understand:

  1.       Poor communication: parents do not have good communication with their children. If they communicate, they mostly use a one-way approach, where they dictate their rules and expectations to their children.
  2.       Very high expectations: parents have a very high expectations, with strict obedience to rules, without any explanation.
  3.       Set of rules:  authoritarian parents have very stict rules that they expect their children to follow without saying a word. They have clear set of rules and if broken children may be enforced with harsh punishment.
  4.       Reasoning: they do not take time to provide reasoning for their behavior, or decision, or a particular set of rules.
  5.       Negative reinforcement: they make use of negative reinforcement which means removing unpleasant stimulus to increase the likelihood of a certain behavior being repeated.
  6.       Flexibility: they are not at all flexible. Their rules are rigid, with no compromisation. Parent’s main focus is having control over their child, they do not take their child’s feelings into consideration.
  7.       Warmth and nurturing: they are not always warm and nurturing, and are not sensitive to their child’s emotional needs. The children feel emotionally distant from their parents.

After summarizing all the characteristic of an authoritarian parent, we can say that it is the worst style to practice, which is even worse for child’s mental and emotional development.


Impact on children:

Children with authoritarian parenting style have:

  •       Low self-esteem
  •       Poor decision-making skills
  •       Anxiety and depression
  •       Rebellious
  •       Poor social skills
  •       Poor mental and emotional health


Permissive parenting style:

Parents with permissive parenting style have low demand. They have few rules and allow their children to make their own decision and set their own boundaries. Permissive parents prioritize child’s happiness over discipline. This is one of the reason children with this parenting style have poor self-discipline.

Let’s look at few characteristics of permissive parents:

  1.       Communication: they communicate with their children in a non-authoritative and friendly way. They try to avoid confrontation with their children and are more likely to compromise.
  2.       Expectations: they have few expectations and will allow their children to make their own decisions.
  3.       Set of rules: permissive parents set very few rules and have no serious consequences even if the rules are broken. Child’s mistakes are often overlooked. They let their children make their own decisions without providing them any guidance and support
  4.       Reasoning: instead of strict consequences of breaking rules, parents try to reason with them and try to explain the consequences of child’s actions.
  5.       Reinforcement: they do not practice any kind of reinforcement, positive or negative. They let their children set their own limits without fear of any consequences. This is why children lack skills of responsibility and discipline.
  6.       Flexibility: they are the most flexible parents. They are open-minded to their children’s needs and desires. This leads children to be creative and independent, but they lack self-regulation.
  7.       Warmth and nurturing: parents with this parenting style are indulgent. They choose their child’s happiness over discipline. They provide their children with emotional support.


Impact on children:

Now, this parenting style can have both positive and negative impact.

Children raised with permissive parents are more creative, self-reliant, with great social skills.

However, permissive parenting styles on have negative impact on child’s development. Children are low academic achievers. They have worse impulse control with behavioral problems.

Uninvolved parenting style:

Uninvolved parenting style, also known as neglectful parenting style provides poor communication, and basic and emotional support. 

  1. Communication: little to no communication. 
  2. Expectations: They have no expectations towards their children. They do not take interest in their child’s achievements and academic performance.
  3. Set of rules: uninvolved parents do not set rules or consequences and does not care about any problematic behavior of their children
  4. Reasoning: They don’t provide any reason for their behaviors. They spend their time and energy on themselves leaving no time for reasoning.
  5. Reinforcement: There is no reinforcement in uninvolved parenting style. Warmth and  Nurturing: there is lack of warmth and emotional support between parents and children.  

 Impact on children:

This type of parenting style can lead to negative outcomes for their children like: 

  • lack of emotional connection with their parents.
  • lack coping skills
  • risk of repeating same parenting style with their children in future
  • child may fear being dependent on others
  • stressed and aggressive

What parenting style is most effective?


According to research, authoritative parenting style is the most effective. The characteristics of authoritative parents include warmth and nurturance with clear expectations.

Children raised by authoritative parents are great at academic performance, are responsible and confident, independent with great decision making skills.

What is the most harmful parenting style?


The uninvolved or neglectful parenting style is the most harmful. They do not provide warmth, care, guidance or any attention to their children. They tend to have issues of their own like mental health conditions or substance abuse.

Children who grew up with neglectful parents are more impulsive and lack social skills. They are at higher risk of substance abuse.


Let’s Recap


Now that we have discussed 4 different types of parenting styles and their impact on child, we can say that no parenting style is ideal. Every style have it positive and negative impact on children. However, according to research findings, authoritative parenting style is associated with the most positive outcomes for children.



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