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Family dynamics

21st Oct 2023

Here are the four main parenting styles and their characteristics

Anna Martin

Gentle parenting, jellyfish parenting, Montessori, the list is endless.

It’s all a bit much, isn’t it? Well according to experts, there are four basic types that are later divided up into smaller subcategories.

So what are they, how are they defined and what impact could they have on my child? Just keep reading and you’ll find out.


Authoritative parenting:

Authoritative parents set rules and enforce clear boundaries to help guide their children toward becoming responsible adults.

However, authoritative parents are warm and responsive despite being assertive.

They use guidance and positive discipline instead of punishment and try to reason and explain their actions to teach children values, morals, and goals.​

Authoritative parents care about their children’s well-being and respect their autonomy, giving their little ones freedom and encouraging independence.



Authoritarian parenting:

Authoritarian parents have high expectations for their children’s maturity and achievement.

However, the high standards set by authoritarian parents are often enforced through rigid rules without asking children for their input.

They tend to expect full obedience to their absolute standard and often don’t explain the rationale behind their rules.

Communication is often one way, the parent telling their child what they expect and not waiting for a response.

Permissive parenting:

These parents are not demanding, set very few rules and boundaries. If there are rules, they are likely not enforced.

When parents do give out consequences, they may not stick as they are likely to not stick to it.

Children can avoid punishment by begging because permissive parents are lenient and forgiving.

Permissive parents are warm and indulgent, focusing extensively on their children’s emotional well-being.

Uninvolved parenting:

Uninvolved parents rarely enforce clear rules, leading to a lack of structure and guidance in their children’s lives.

These parents often expect children to raise themselves, setting no rules or boundaries for them to follow and learn from.

They don’t spend much time or energy meeting children’s needs, meaning they don’t receive much parental attention or nurturance.