Parenting styles

15 Apr 2019

Reading time ~3 minutes

Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist noticed that preschoolers exhibit 3 types of behavior and that these behaviours largely correlated with the parenting styles. Based on extensive studies, interviews and analyses, she identified three initial parenting styles: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting in 1967. Maccoby and Martin later in 1983 expanded these parenting style model using a two-dimensional framework. They made further distinction by expanding Baumrind’s permissive parenting into two different types: indulgent (permissive) parenting and neglectful (uninvolved) parenting.

There are two dimensions of parenting behavior that is considered while arriving at the above parenting styles:

  1. Demandingness: It refers to the extend parents control their child’s behavior or demand their maturity.

  2. Responsiveness: It refers to the degree parents are accepting and sensitive to their child’s emotional and developmental needs.

Authoritarian Parenting:

This style is characterized by high demandingness and low responsiveness. Authoritarian parents are said to demand blind obedience from their child using reasons such as “because I said so”. These parents tend to use punishment to control child’s behavior. Authoritarian parents are generally unresponsive to their child’s needs. The child of authoritarian parents tend to display the following behaviors:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Behavioural problems
  • Poor social skills
  • Dependent on others

Authoritative Parenting:

These parents also tend to have high expectations for achievement and maturity, but at the same time they are warm and responsive. These parents have open discussion and use reasoning to set rules and boundaries. They are affectionate and supportive. The child of authoritative parents tend to display the following behaviors:

  • Good self-esteem
  • Generally happier
  • Less Behavioural problems
  • Good social skills
  • Independent

Indulgent Parenting (Permissive):

This style is characterized by low demandingness & high responsiveness. They have very few rules and boundaries.. These parents can’t usually say no or disappoint their children. The child of indulgent parents tend to display the following behaviors:

  • Difficulty following rules
  • Can be egocentric
  • Problems in social interactions
  • Independent

Uninvolved Parenting (Neglectful):

This parenting style is characterized by low demandingness & low responsiveness. The neglectful parents are neither involved in their child’s life nor set rules and boundaries. The child of neglectful parents tend to display the following behaviors:

  • Difficulty following rules
  • Experience mental issues
  • More impulsive
  • Addictions like drug abuse, alcoholism etc

Today, there are catchier names for parenting styles such as helicopter and free-range parenting.

Helicopter parenting:

This denotes a parent hovering over a child and monitoring every action. These parents tend to take extra care to help them succeed in life. Experts say that this usually comes out of fear and anxiety and wanting to protect the child. They might forget to balance their child’s needs to independence and to face challenges.

Free range Parenting:

Free-range parents unlike helicopter parents believe that freedom promotes independence and self-reliance and hence encourage a child to perform things independently right from a young age. But some see it to be dangerous and neglectful.

Lawnmower parenting:

Lawnmower parents tend to “mow down” a path for their children by removing all obstacles. These parents do a lot of the work for the child and hence they may limit the capability of the child to become independent.

Tiger parenting:

Tiger parents are authoritarian and have huge expectations.They give utmost importance to excellence in academics and also carefully choose extracurriculars.

Attachment parenting:

Attachment parents establish close contact between baby and caregiver through breastfeeding and co-sleeping. They emphasize role modeling and positive discipline by using positive reinforcements like praise and rewards for good behavior and negative reinforcements like loss of privileges for poor behavior.

Which is the best parenting style?

According to various researches by Psychologists and psychiatrists, authoritative Parenting style is said to be the best style of Parenting.


Ted Doe

Ted Doe


Ted has been eating fruit since he was baby.

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