The 3 Main Types of Parenting Styles: Which One are You?


Every family needs rules and discipline. However, enforcing them varies according to each family’s parenting style. Parenting style refers to the limits and consequences parents use to influence a child’s behavior. But, it also includes the manner in which parents display affection. So keep reading to learn about the three main types of parenting styles. 

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1. Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting is the most traditional of the three parenting styles. This is where the parents make the rules and children obey them. Authoritative parents don’t give out any explanations for the rules. They decide what punishments they will use when children break the rules. This system is harsh on children. Also, they feel distant from their parents because they have no say in what happens in the family.

As they grow older, children from such families tend to rebel. They are aggressive and have low self-esteem. However, by doing this, there is a chance you will get more respect from your children. Also, there will be less rule-breaking when they are younger, so there will be less chances of them injuring themselves or getting out of hand. Unfortunately, keeping things so strict with kids can lead to emotional damage in the future.

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2. Permissive Parenting

In permissive parenting, there is absolute freedom for the child to do as they please. The parents are affectionate and avoid confrontation of any sort. With no definite rules or consequences for bad behavior, these children usually have trouble adjusting to authority as they grow older. Since they are used to having lots of freedom, they usually are difficult to live with or be around.

Your children may show you a lot of love, though. Although this parenting style may make your life easier, unfortunately, it won’t last long. Children quickly become spoiled with this parenting method, so they have trouble learning many life lessons. So, the future could be harder on your kids as well as any other people outside the family who interact with them.

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3. Democratic Parenting

Democratic parenting is the third of the main parenting styles. People often call it respectful or positive parenting. As the name implies, parents treat their children as equals. The parents set the rules and are in charge. However, the children have a say in deciding the consequences when they break the rules.

Here, parents help the children understand why rules are necessary. The children choose to follow them because they understand how it benefits themselves and their families.

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Is Democratic Parenting the Best Style?

When comparing the three parenting styles, you can see that there are definite advantages to the democratic style. Here, parents observe, understand, and listen to their child. They guide the child towards making the right choices. The children know they are in charge of their decisions and have to bear the consequences of wrong decisions. This makes them responsible.

Parents ensure that the child is aware of why specific behavior is unacceptable. So, the child avoids breaking rules not because of fear, but because they know why it is wrong. Since democratic parents are approachable and respectful, their children grow up to be secure and confident. However, there is a thin line between democratic and permissive parenting.

Parents must consistently follow through with consequences. Also, they should be diligent about altering the consequences based on how effective they are. Otherwise, democratic parenting can become permissive parenting. Democratic parenting is most rewarding if you focus on open communication and mutual respect.

So, which of the three parenting styles is yours? Many parents follow the same style their own parents used. However, today’s modern parents are questioning authoritative and parenting. Most are leaning more toward the democratic parenting style. 

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