Parenting Styles and How your Children can be Affected by Them


As you read through this article and start to identify the parenting style, or combination of parenting styles you were raised by, you will find that as a parent, you parenting style may resemble that of your parents.  You will also see how your own socioemotional health can be rooted to your  parents’ style. I hope this article helps you see the bigger picture in how your child’s social and emotional health can be greatly influenced by your parenting choices. Of course, the way you as a parent can influence your child’s future goes beyond what these parenting styles cover however, this is a good first chunk of information to share with you and broaden your view. Now read along and stay tune for more useful information as the “Shanti Method” begins to grow.


“Parenting style refers to the way in which parents choose to raise their children. The way that people parent is an important factor in their children’s socioemotional growth and development. In her research, Diana Baumrind (1966) found what she considered to be the two basic elements that help shape successful parenting: parental responsiveness and parental demandingness. Through her studies, Baumrind identified three initial parenting styles: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting. Maccoby and Martin (1983) later expanded upon Baumrind’s three original parenting styles by adding the uninvolved or neglectful style, which has the most pervasive negative consequences across all domains. While not every parent falls neatly into one category, these parenting styles generally correspond with the type of discipline a parent chooses to use with his or her child or children.

Parenting styles

The way in which a parent interacts with his or her child is an important factor in the child’s socioemotional growth.


Authoritative parenting is generally regarded as the most successful approach to parenting because of its high level of involvement and balanced levels of control. Authoritative parents set realistic expectations and consistent limits for their children, and provide them with fair or natural consequences. Natural consequences are those that occur as a natural result of the child’s behavior (or lack of a particular behavior), with no intervention required; for example, if a child touches a hot stove and is burned by the heat, the burn is a natural consequence. Authoritative parents express warmth and affection, listen to their child’s point of view, and provide opportunities for independence. Parents set rules and explain the reasons behind them, and they are also flexible and willing to make exceptions to the rules in certain cases—for example, temporarily relaxing bedtime rules to allow for a nighttime swim during a family vacation.

Of the four parenting styles, the authoritative style is the one that is most encouraged in modern American society. American children raised by authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem and social skills and work well with others. However, effective parenting styles vary as a function of culture, and the authoritative style is not necessarily preferred or appropriate in all cultures.


In the authoritarian style, parents put a high value on conformity and obedience. The parents are often strict, tightly monitor their children, and express little warmth. These parents exhibit a large amount of control over their child’s decisions and behavior. Authoritarian parents set rigid rules with firm consequences; in contrast to the authoritative style, authoritarian parents probably would not relax bedtime rules during a vacation because they consider the rules to be set, and they expect obedience at all times.

Children who grow up in authoritarian homes often become anxious or withdrawn or suffer from self-esteem problems. Due to gender socialization, those raised as male may experience anger problems, while those raised as female may become dependent upon others for approval. Although these children may do poorly in school, they do not tend to engage in antisocial behavior for fear of their parents’ reaction. However, it is important to keep in mind cultural differences: different cultures respond better to different parenting styles than others (Russell, Crockett, & Chao, 2010). For instance, first-generation Chinese American children raised by authoritarian parents did just as well in school as peers who were raised by authoritative parents (Russell et al., 2010).


Permissive parenting tends to be warm and loving but lacks follow-through on setting limits or rules. Permissive parents tend to be overindulgent, make few demands, rarely use punishment, and allow their children to make their own decisions, regardless of the consequences. They tend to be very nurturing and loving and may play the role of friend rather than parent. These parents might be caught up in their own lives and therefore inattentive (although not neglectful) and exhibit little control over their children.

Children raised by permissive parents tend to lack self-discipline, and the permissive parenting style is negatively associated with grades (Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Roberts, & Fraleigh, 1987). The permissive style may also contribute to other risky or impulsive behaviors such as alcohol abuse (Bahr & Hoffman, 2010), risky sexual behavior, especially among female children (Donenberg, Wilson, Emerson, & Bryant, 2002), and increased display of disruptive behaviors by male children (Parent et al., 2011). However, there are some positive outcomes associated with children raised by permissive parents: many tend to have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and report lower levels of depression (Darling, 1999).


With the uninvolved style of parenting, the parents are indifferent and sometimes referred to as neglectful. They don’t respond to their child’s needs and make relatively few demands. This could be because of severe depression, substance abuse, or other factors such as the parents’ extreme focus on work. Neglectful parents may look to their children for support and guidance, and these children often end up “parenting their parents.” These parents may provide for the child’s basic needs, but little else; in more extreme forms of neglect, basic needs may not be cared for at all or children may be placed in harmful situations.

These children, much like those raised in permissive homes, tend to have myriad problems, but often the problems are often much more serious. Children raised in this parenting style are usually emotionally withdrawn, fearful, and anxious; perform poorly in school; and are at an increased risk of substance abuse (Darling, 1999).”

Source: Boundless. “Influence of Parenting Style on Child Development.” Boundless Psychology Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 23 Mar. 2017 from

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