Different Styles of Parenting – Which One is Best?

There are different styles of parenting, and each of them has it’s own style and characteristics. Basically, there are four styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative (sometimes called egalitarian), permissive, and uninvolved.


The uninvolved parenting style is when the parents are simply not there to be parents to their children. So this type of parenting can be described as “non existent”. Therefore, we will not discuss it here, because it is not an effective parenting style. Kids with an uninvolved parent often struggle with feelings of rejection, lack of self-esteem, and trust issues.

Let’s take a look at the other three parenting styles – authoritarian, authoritative and permissive.

Authoritarian, authoritative and permissive represent the range of parenting styles, where authoritarian is on one end, the permissive on the other end, and authoritative in the middle.

The parenting style differ form each other in two aspects – structure and responsiveness.

Structure represents the limits and rules a child has to obey to, therefore it is the main ingredient in authoritarian parenting.

Responsiveness is the parent’s sensitivity to a child’s voice. It represents the child’s wants and needs. Responsiveness is therefore the most important element in permissive parenting.

So, while authoritarian parenting is high on structure, it is low on Responsiveness. For example, is a child is late to come home, he or she will expect to be punished. If they fail to complete their homework or other chores, they will bare the consequences. Their parent will not listen to their needs and there will be no negotiation as for the limits and rules that this parent determines for his child.
With the permissive parent, things are quite the opposite. There are very few rules and limits to the child, and therefore, he or she have very little discipline. This may cause future problems, as these children do not learn how to deal with rules and how to connect between wring doing and punishment.

The best parenting model is the authoritative model. This is a balanced model between the authoritarian and the permissive models. Using this model, the child learns to obey rules and limitation imposed by his parent. But the child is also able to voice his or her opinion, and negotiate. For example, a child can ask for a new curfew hour, if it is justified. He can ask to bend the rules once, if it is important. The authoritative families work as a team ,where the child has duties and rules, but also has the right to have adults listen to his opinions and needs.

Authoritative parenting is a balanced parenting style, with both high structure and high responsiveness. The parents are engaged and flexible, but they are still the parents. Structurerules, limits and boundariesis present, but not rigid.