Feb 27, 2023 in Life Coaching

Understanding the Different Parenting Styles

What type of parent are you?

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Raising a well-rounded and happy child requires careful planning, thought and positive parenting solutions. We investigate the various parenting styles that you can use to raise your child in the best way possible.

Overview of Parenting Styles

There are many different parenting styles out there, and it can be confusing to know which one is right for you and your family. Here are some of the most common styles, and what they mean:

Authoritarian parenting is a strict style of parenting that often involves harsh punishments and little emotional support. This style is often associated with a belief in strict discipline and conformity to social norms.

Permissive parenting is a lax style of parenting that allows children to do whatever they want without much supervision or discipline. This style is often associated with neglectful or absent parenting.

Authoritative parenting is a balanced style of parenting that combines firm discipline with supportive caregiving. This style is often associated with warm communication and clear boundaries between parents and children.

Democratic parenting is a collaborative style of parenting that involves mutual decision-making between parents and children. This style is often associated with open communication and respect between family members. So, which style is right for you? It depends on your personal values and beliefs about childrearing. If you value strong discipline and conformity, then authoritarianism may be the right choice for you.

If you value allowing children to make their own decisions, then democratic parenting may be the best option.

Whatever style you choose, it's important to remember that your ultimate goal should be to create a warm, loving environment for your child - one that promotes their happiness, well-being, and development.

Common Characteristics of Authoritarian Parenting


Authoritarian parenting is a style that emphasizes strict adherence to rules, expectations, and obedience. Parents who use this method are often viewed as unyielding and harsh. They tend to have less involvement in their children’s lives, preferring to make decisions for them rather than letting them make their own choices.

Common characteristics of authoritarian parenting include:

1. High Expectations:

Authoritarian parents set high expectations for their children’s behavior and performance. These expectations are usually absolute and come with strict consequences if not followed.

2. Rigid Rules:

Authoritarian parents emphasize the importance of following rules without any exceptions. These rules are often enforced with punishments such as grounding or taking away privileges.

3. Limited Openness:

A parent who uses an authoritarian style may be less open to input from their children or to hearing different points of view from people outside the family unit.

4. Lack of Positive Reinforcement:

This type of parenting does not typically involve praise or positive reinforcement for good behavior or successes achieved by their children.

Instead, criticism is used as a means of controlling behavior and reinforcing boundaries. Overall, authoritarian parenting can be effective in some situations but it can also lead to feelings of resentment and a lack of self-esteem in children if it is used too strictly or without enough love and understanding from the parent.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is a style of parenting that is characterized by low expectations of maturity and limited rules. Permissive parents tend to be more lenient with their children, and will often give in to the child’s demands or desires even when it goes against the parent’s wishes. Permissive parenting can be beneficial for children who are naturally more independent, but for other children, this type of parenting can lead to trouble.

Common Characteristics of Permissive Parenting:

1. Low Expectations:

Parents who practice permissive parenting often impose few expectations or rules on their children. This allows the child to develop their own sense of values and decision-making skills but may also lead to a lack of discipline if not monitored closely.

2. Minimal Structure:

Permissive parents usually have fewer set boundaries and structures in place, allowing their children a greater degree of freedom and self-expression than other parenting styles.

3. Limited Discipline:

Despite having low expectations, permissive parents may still intervene when necessary, though these interventions tend to be gentle in nature and rely more on tonality than traditional punishment methods such as timeouts or groundings.

4. Open Communication:

Permissive parents typically foster open dialogue between parent and child, encouraging children to voice their opinions without fear of judgment or repercussion. Though there are some potential benefits associated with permissive parenting, it is important for parents to ensure that they are providing enough guidance and structure for their children so that they can learn how to make responsible decisions and develop healthy social skills.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting is one of the most effective parenting styles for raising emotionally healthy children. Characterized by warmth, reasonable expectations and a balance of discipline, authoritative parents are both nurturing and supportive. They set clear boundaries and expectations to help their children learn responsibility while still providing plenty of support and guidance.

Common characteristics of authoritative parenting include:

1. Open Communication:

Authoritative parents foster open communication with their children by listening to their views and encouraging them to express themselves. This helps children learn how to communicate their feelings in a respectful manner.

2. Consistency:

Authoritative parents work hard to ensure that their children know what is expected of them at all times. They set consistent rules, limits and guidelines for behavior which helps the child understand that there are consequences for certain types of behavior.

3. Reasonableness:

Authoritative parents strive to be reasonable when disciplining their children. They recognize that punishments should fit the crime and that taking away privileges or assigning an appropriate task may be more effective than physical discipline or yelling.

4. Flexibility:

Although authoritative parents have high expectations for their children, they also understand that each child has unique needs and abilities so they are willing to be flexible when necessary in order to meet those needs or provide extra support or guidance where needed.

5. Respectful Tonality:

Authoritative parents use respectful tonality when communicating with their children which helps foster a healthy relationship between parent and child as well as develop the child's ability to respect authority figures in other contexts as well.

Democratic Parenting

Democratic parenting is a style of parenting that encourages children to explore their own potential while also providing them with firm boundaries and structure. It is based on respect, communication, and collaboration between parent and child. Democratic parents believe that children should have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and should be held responsible for their actions.

The main characteristics of Democratic parenting include:

1. Equality:

Parents treat their children as equals and encourage them to use logic when making decisions. This allows for open dialogue between parent and child, where both sides can express their opinion without fear of judgment or criticism.

2. Respect:

Democratic parents respect their children's ideas, feelings, and opinions even if they don't agree with them. They are open to listening to what their children have to say and will try to understand it from the child’s perspective before making a decision.

3. Flexibility:

Democratic parents create an atmosphere of flexibility where the rules are not absolute and can be adapted depending on the situation or age of the child. This style allows for more freedom while still providing structure and guidance.

4. Responsibility:

Democratic parents expect their children to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions while also teaching them how to make informed choices without relying solely on parental guidance. They believe in giving children opportunities to learn through experience so they can develop self-reliance, creativity, self-control, and problem-solving skills at an early age.

5. Communication:

Communication is key in democratic parenting because it allows both parent and child to express themselves in a respectful manner without fear of criticism or judgment from either side. By actively listening to each other's thoughts and feelings, both parties can come up with solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Through democratic parenting, children are able to develop into independent individuals who value respect, equality, responsibility, communication, flexibility, and openness.

By understanding these common characteristics of this parenting style, parents can create an environment where their kids feel empowered to make informed decisions about their lives while still staying within the boundaries set by their parents.

Benefits and Challenges with Each Type of Parenting Style

The different parenting styles come with their own set of benefits and challenges. It is important to understand these so that parents can make the best choices for their families.

Authoritarian Parenting Style:

This style of parenting is characterized by strict rules, high expectations, and little room for negotiation. Parents who use this style often focus on obedience and control, rather than creating an environment where their children can explore and learn. The benefit of this style is that children learn to be disciplined and respect authority figures which can set them up for success in life. The challenge with this style is that it may lead to a lack of empathy, communication skills, and self-confidence in children as they grow older.

Permissive Parenting Style:

This type of parenting is characterized by low expectations, few rules, and a lot of flexibility. Parents who use this style tend to be more lenient with their children’s behavior and let them make decisions on their own. The benefit of this style is that it allows children to develop independence and problem-solving skills at an early age. The challenge with this style is that it may lead to an imbalance between structure and freedom; if there are no boundaries or consequences in place, then children may not learn how to behave responsibly or take responsibility for their actions.

Authoritative Parenting Style:

This type of parenting strikes a balance between the two previous styles by emphasizing both structure and freedom. Parents who use this style provide clear expectations while also being open to negotiation and compromise when necessary. The benefit of this style is that it creates an environment where children feel secure yet encouraged to explore their surroundings. The challenge with this style is that parents may struggle to find the right balance between being too strict or too lenient; if done incorrectly, then children may feel restricted or overwhelmed by too much freedom. By understanding the different types of parenting styles available, parents can choose the one that best suits their family’s needs. Each comes with its own set of benefits and challenges; however, all three types have the potential to create a supportive environment where children can grow into responsible adults with strong values.

Democratic Parenting Style:

 is an effective parenting style that emphasizes collaboration, respect, and communication between parents and children. In this style of parenting, parents give their children more decision-making power, allowing them to make their own choices when it comes to their activities, interests, and goals. This approach to parenting encourages children to think critically and encourages them to take responsibility for their own actions. This style of parenting will help your children to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to think independently. Democratic parenting is the perfect way to develop a strong and healthy relationship with your children, while still providing them with the necessary guidance and support they need.

How to Identify Your Parenting Style

There are many different parenting styles out there, and it can be difficult to identify which one is right for you and your child.

However, by taking the time to understand the different styles, you can find the one that best fits your needs. It's important to note that no one style is better than the other; each parent just needs to find the style that works best for them and their child.

If you're having trouble identifying your parenting style, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

1. Do I like to be in control?

2. Do I prefer giving my child space or being involved in their life?

3. What kind of discipline do I favor?

4. Do I like setting clear boundaries or allowing my child freedom?

5. What kind of support do I provide my child?

6. How do I handle discipline issues?

By taking the time to identify your parenting style, you can better understand yourself as a parent and know what kind of expectations you have for your child. This will help create a more harmonious relationship between you and your child, leading to a happier home life overall.


Working with an Online Parent Coach can be a great option for those who need help navigating the waters of parenting. By allowing an experienced professional to give you insight and direction, you can more easily understand different parenting styles and how to approach parenting in a way that best suits your family.

With support you can trust, you can learn to be a more confident, effective parent and ensure your children are receiving the best possible care.

So, don't hesitate to book a session with an Online Parent Coach, Counselor, or Therapist today. You can also ask a question for FREE in our "Discuss with Experts" to get professional guidance and support from other parents like you. 

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