Parenting Styles

So what ARE parenting styles?

They are the ways in which people raise their own children. Many say that a good portion of how someone relates to their child is developed from their own experiences --- what they learned from their own parents growing up. (Some of this could be shaped by what parents remember as children that they DON’T want to do with their own kids.)

Some of the child - rearing techniques that people use are picked up along the way from friends, from reading, or from professionals in the behavioral industry who’ve taught classes, written articles, etc.

Since a large portion of how someone parents can be consciously developed, we as parents are, for the most part, in control of how we go about this job!

So what kind of parent do you want to be? How do you want your children to think back on you when they remember their childhood? Well, first let’s look at the background of the currently - accepted categories.

In one of the most well - known studies, which categorizes how people parent, the research was initially conducted by a well-known psychologist, Diana Baumrind, in the 1960s. She studied the behavior of parents and determined that there were 3 categories: Permissive parenting, authoritarian parenting, and authoritative parenting. Her studies were used as the foundation for other researchers, who helped develop more depth to her findings, and a fourth was determined to exist. (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). (1)

Today, if you're looking at the outcome of these researchers' work, parents typically demonstrate one of the following:

Permissive Parenting Style

Authoritarian Parenting Style

Uninvolved Parenting Style

Authoritative Parenting Style

Click on the links above for more detail.

Want to know which you use?  Take our Parenting Style Quiz!

What do you do if you and your spouse fall into different categories (as determined by these researchers)? If you have this question, check out this page!

Other doctors have determined ways of parenting based on other factors. Click on this link for more on the four parenting styles based on dealing with the emotions of a child.

Still another well - known author, past administrator, teacher, and lecturer by the name of Jim Fay coined the term helicopter parent as a way of describing a specific type of parent that he deals with quite often.

And while many might say that attachment parenting wouldn't necessarily fall into a specific category per se, it is centered around specific methods of parenting from an early age.


- Baumrind, D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of the preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75, 43-88.
- Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 56-95.
- Maccoby, Eleanor E., and John A. Martin. (1983. Socialization in the Context of the Family: Parent-Child Interaction. In Handbook of Child Psychology, ed. Paul H. Mussen. Vol. 4: Socialization, Personality, and Social Development, 4th ed. New York: Wiley.

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