Parenting styles: Permissive or authoritative or authoritarian? Find out what type of parent you are!

Researchers have identified several different styles of parenting, with each of them taking a different approach to raising kids.

Parenting styles: Permissive or authoritative or authoritarian? Find out what type of parent you are!

Parenting styles: Permissive or authoritative or authoritarian? Find out what type of parent you are!  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock

New Delhi: As a parent, you would want to have good parenting skills. And you want to help your kids make the most of their potential and grow up to be successful in life. For parents, some of the major goals are to help their children feel competent and confident while also helping them to develop empathy, kindness, and a sense of responsibility towards others. Parenting certainly isn’t easy, but how you raise your child will influence her for the rest of her life. Your parenting style can affect all aspects of your child’s life, ranging from how much she weighs to how she feels about herself.

Researchers have identified several different styles of parenting, with each of them taking a different approach to raising kids. Here we’ve listed three that are the most common types in today’s modern-day parenting. These include authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Read on to learn more about them and find out your parenting style and what that means for your kids.

Different types of parenting and how they affect children

Permissive parenting: Permissive parents are quite lenient, loving and express caring about their children. They have very few rules and expectations of their children. They rarely discipline their kids and usually take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They also avoid confrontation whenever possible.

Kids who grow up with permissive parents often lack the maturity to carry out certain tasks or responsibilities particularly that need self-control. They are also more likely to have academic problems. Research has linked permissive parenting to an increased risk of various health issues – such as obesity, dental cavities. These kids are also more likely to develop risky behaviours like heavy drinking in adolescents and alcohol-related problems as young adults. According to Healthline, children growing up with permissive parents also report less intimacy with their parents.

Authoritative parenting: Authoritative parents set rules and expectations for their children. They use consequences, but also take their children’s opinions into account. They practice discipline, provide their kids with the resources and support they need to succeed in life. Authoritative parenting gives healthy guidelines, letting their child experience the world in a safe manner.

According to Dr Diana Baumrind, a leading clinical and developmental psychologist, authoritative parenting style is most likely to have positive outcomes because it balances respecting a child’s personality as well as allows the parents to be responsive to their child’s needs. Authoritative parenting style also helps children develop intimate and close relationships with their parents. Baumrind, whose work on parenting styles is groundbreaking, developed the authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting styles.

One study from 1989 suggested that this type of parenting style helps with psychosocial maturity, cooperation with peers and adults, and academic success. Children raised with authoritative discipline are more likely to become responsible adults. These kids also tend to be happy and successful.

Authoritarian parenting: This type of parenting works like this – children should follow the rules set by their parents without exception. Basically, authoritarian parenting style is characterised by high demands and low responsiveness. Also known as ‘tough love parenting’ or ‘tiger mom parenting’, it is more of the traditional ‘Because I said so!’ type of parenting.  Authoritarian parents are strict, they very high expectations of their children, although they usually have little interaction with their kids. These parents are also swift to act when it comes to discipline, perhaps, their punishments can be stiff if children are not obeying.

This type of parenting style has been linked with less parental warmth and responsiveness (Baumrind 1991), as per psychologists. Children who grow up with strict authoritarian parents are more likely to suffer from depression, as per research done in Caribbean countries (Lipps et al 2012).

Studies of Spanish and Brazilian adolescents also suggested that teens of authoritarian parents tend to have lower self-esteem compared to their peers from authoritative or permissive homes (Martinez and Garcia 2007; Martinez and Garcia 2008). Furthermore, researchers n Germany found that teens with authoritarian parents were more likely to suffer from trait anxiety (Wolfradt et al 2003).

However, it may be noted that the authoritarian parenting style isn’t always associated with emotional problems. For instance, some studies conducted on American adolescents failed to find emotional differences between children raised from authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive families (Lamborn et al 1991; Steinberg et al 2006).


The bottom line is that parenting comes in different ways, meaning your parenting style can differ from that of your partner. Perhaps, there isn’t a single formula for raising kids well. Going by some studies, authoritative parenting is the most ‘proper’ as it is believed to be a balance between the two more extreme parenting styles – permissive parenting and authoritarian parenting.

But, even if you don’t fit into just one category, you don’t need to be worried. With dedication and commitment and a solid support system at home, which includes disciplining your child in a healthy manner, you can help your child become a well-rounded adult.