Different Types of Parenting Styles and How They Affect a Child’s Development

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When a child is young, everything in the vicinity can be influential to that extent that it shapes how they develop character, social skills and in general what type of person they’ll become. Kids can be like sponges, absorbing every single piece of information directed in their general direction whether from a parental figure or something else. That’s why it’s good to limit or otherwise monitor the amount of information they have on mind, especially when it can be potentially counterproductive or utterly bad for their development.

Perfecting parenting skills and combining parenting styles to achieve the best results is advisable. Several experts on the topic of developmental psychology agree that there are several styles of parenting that everyone can relate to. They include:

  • Authoritarian
  • Authoritative
  • Permissive
  • Uninvolved

Next to these mainstream concepts of parenting styles, there are other, but these four sum up the most common types of parenting styles pretty well. Being that parental figure and their influence shapes a child’s mind, let’s elaborate on these parenting styles and how they can be combined or used to adapt and overcome common issues of parenting.

Authoritarian

If you’re the type of parent that likes to set clear rules that should be followed with no exception, then your parenting style is leaning towards the authoritarian. Having strict rules on how to behave, what is acceptable behavior and what’s totally unacceptable is definitely one way to raise a child. There are no two ways about it. In time, your child will learn to be responsible, obedient, will follow every instruction and in general won’t think twice when you tell them to behave in a specific manner.

The good side is that you won’t raises a little rascal that does whatever he pleases and doesn’t think much about the opinions of others. Raising a child with this technique is definitely good for correcting behavioral issues and problems with disobedience in general.

However, raising a child by implementing strict rules has disadvantages as well. It’s important to remember that kids should be kids and that you shouldn’t be to strict when setting rules. They should be allowed to express emotions and ideas, and when someone tells them to act accordingly to rules that were set previously, they should at least understand how that type of behavior benefits them on the long run. By following commands blindly without thinking twice about it, they won’t really develop in a way to observe things from different perspectives, process that information, and learn to think for themselves. But again, this type of parenting still has advantages when used in moderation or when only one parent assumes this role. A toddler won’t always be in the mood to follow every command. Simply because they are in a period when they are exploring and enjoying their playtime while also discovering themselves.

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Authoritative

This type of parenting is the golden middle between setting strict rules without explaining anything about them and letting your child develop basically on their own where they create their own rules and learn to behave by absorbing information around them and following examples of others. It’s the most popular method, as you create a bond with your child and raise them to become a positive, reasonable person.

By opinions of many, this is the way to raise a child. This means that your a type of parent that loves to spend time with their toddler, plays together and explains why rules are important. It means that your their buddy and their parent and this is extremely important for their development. They’ll develop their creativity as you’ll always be there exhibit different types of parenting styles that will teach them how to perceive things from another angle, how to solve a problem using a creative approach, they’ll learn how to process information more easily, etc.

Kids raised with this parenting technique generally tend to be social, understandable and reasonable human beings. They’ll develop their work ethics with ease because they’ve learned that hard work pays off in the long run and that neglecting or avoiding responsibilities doesn’t really do much but slow their progress. Again, the child will have mood changes and won’t always be reasonable, especially when they’re sleepy, hungry or otherwise want to have things their way. That’s why it’s recommended that only one parent assumes this role, while the other can be a bit strict or otherwise have different parenting method.

Permissive

Ever heard that a particular kid behaves in a specific manner because the parents allowed to much? Raising a child this way means that the parent has a set of rules but rarely enforces them; that they don’t really teach their kid action and reaction and that the child has no understanding of what consequences are and how to plan ahead.

If you identify with this method that means that you let your child do whatever they want although you’ve set some ground rules on what’s good and bad behavior. It means that you let them have it their way and don’t think much about being persistent at enforcing rules, etc.

Although it’s not the ideal approach, this method has advantages but works only in specific cases. As every child is different, you should also use different parenting styles to find the ideal approach. sometimes being a permissive parent isn’t such a bad thing. Your child will understand that there are rules but that it’s not a bad thing to break them to get satisfaction some times. They’ll know how consequences work but won’t experience them very often. They’ll be free to explore the world around them the way they want to with little restrictions. However, because you were clear on some rules they won’t push things over the board and become spoiled younglings. Again, this really depends on the type of child. If you see that your child is reasonable, that this is definitely the way to go.

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Uninvolved

This is by far the worst way of raising a child. Uninvolved parenting means that you’re a type of person that allows their kids to do whatever they want at all times; that you don’t really set any rules on how to behave and how not to behave, but most importantly that you’re not there to explain crucial things that they should learn when young.

This can be a good thing only in a scenario when you don’t want to annoy your child with rules that they don’t really need, only because they are the perfect example of an outstanding behavior. But let’s be real here, this rarely happens. To have a child that figures everything on their own; that doesn’t behave badly in any situation would be a bliss. However, it’s also very unlikely that a child will behave like this, especially when they are young and a bit naughty by nature.

Raising a child this way will lead to serious behavioral problems, mostly because they’re left to figure out how things work on their own; because they won’t understand important concepts, how to be reasonable, understanding and generally a “nice person”. Kids raised this way usually tend to be spoiled, have lots of emotional outbursts, impossible to work with and a bit stubborn. But this is only natural as they’ve never been grounded before, corrected on their behavior or simply shown that they can’t always have things their way.

There are many ways to raise a child and the most important thing is to get to know your little one and find an approach that’s most beneficial for their growth and overall development. Being a buddy with your toddler can mean a lot, especially because they’ll learn to trust you and develop a special bond. They’ll also quite possibly grow to be a friendly person with a vast capacity of social intelligence. But rules should exist, and if kids are left to figure things out on their own, they won’t really develop into a genuinely nice person. So try out a bunch of different parenting techniques and make sure that they are adequate to the type of person your little one is.

Author: Mary Lynn Holden
Author: Mary Lynn Holden

Proud mom and stepmom to an adorable bunch of kids aged 7 and up. Deeply appreciates three things in life: the help of older siblings in the house, texts on parenting, and strong coffee. Shares her stories and experiences in order to help others navigate the unpredictable waters of parenting.

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