Key adult figures in any child’s development include their parents, guardians, and teachers. Sometimes those are the same people if the children are homeschooled.


It’s valuable for every adult involved in the development and preparation of children to approach that responsibility seriously. It’s good to grow more familiar with the tools currently in use and to learn more about the other ways of doing things with proven value.


According to the National Library of Medicine, there are four different parenting styles (NIH). Parents will tend to default to one parenting style depending on their personality, but they will also use tools from the other parenting styles depending on the demands of a given situation. A balanced approach to parenting overall may prove most effective in the long run. So, it’s important to understand all four styles of parenting and the impact of parenting styles on child development.

4 Different Parenting Styles

What are the Four Basic Parenting Styles?

Let’s break down what the four basic parenting styles are and then take a look at their impact on the development of children.

These four different parenting styles were identified by the psychologists, Baumrind, Maccoby, and Martin (MDPI).

Here they are summed up briefly (NIH):

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting is rules-based parenting. It’s a parenting style based on structure and the understanding of consequences if rules are not followed. Authoritarian parenting tends to set high expectations and limits flexibility.

When children develop in an authoritarian environment, they are usually well-behaved, because they tend to grow up used to associating misbehavior with negative consequences. Children who grow up in an authoritarian parenting environment are generally good at following rules, since they develop a sense that things go well when they follow rules.

Children who grow up in an authoritarian parenting environment may also develop tendencies toward aggression. Or, they may develop shyness and social ineptness. It is possible that children developing in mainly authoritarian environments will develop poor self-esteem without the situation getting tempered with other parenting styles.

Authoritative Parenting

4 different parenting styles - authoritative parenting

A communication-heavy style of parenting, authoritative parenting is based on guidelines and clear statements of expectations by both parents and children. In an authoritative parenting style, while parents retain their role as provider and primary decision-maker, children are encouraged to participate in decisions around setting goals and expectations.

Authoritative parenting strategies create a developmental environment where children gain confidence, responsibility, and a sense of self-regulation. Children who grow up in an authoritative parenting environment tend to develop a sense of their own value. As a result, they are more likely to aim for and achieve high performance in whatever endeavor they set their minds to.

Permissive Parenting

While the context of permissive parenting might create a warm and nurturing environment, it can also create an environment where children develop a sense that their actions have no consequences. Parents with tendencies towards permissive parenting styles often act more like friends than parents.

Growing up with few rules can encourage children to develop habits of indulgence with potential negative consequences. For example, poor self-regulation around snacks. Children who grow up in a permissive parenting environment may also develop lax habits about homework and excessive habits about entertainment. A lack of significant moderation in parenting can lead to an absence of sense of urgency in a child’s development.

Uninvolved Parenting

Sad child

An uninvolved parenting environment is an environment with little to no structure or involvement between parents and children. Uninvolved parenting environments still provide for a child’s basic needs, but do not create much structure for the child.

Without any particular discipline or encouragement structure, children who develop in an uninvolved parenting environment often grow to possess a high sense of self-sufficiency and resilience. On the other hand, these children might also have trouble controlling and expressing emotions. Or, they might develop ineffective or relatively non-existent coping strategies. They may also have trouble academically and socially due to an untethered sense of accomplishment and consequence. Children who develop in an uninvolved parenting environment may also have trouble building strong relationships with their peers.

Impact of Parenting Styles on Child Development

It is fair to say that a child will develop in profoundly different ways depending on the most prevalent style of parenting.

Different children and different situations need different kinds of nurturing. Everyone with the responsibility of nurturing children should develop their own parenting skills in order to foster the best possible developmental environments for the children in their charge.

To learn about positive parenting strategies and workshops click here. For information on social emotional homeschool electives click here.

Soul Shoppe provides social emotional learning programs for children. For more than twenty years we’ve created tools and empowered educators to incorporate emotional intelligence into curriculum. Soul Shoppe strategies encourage empathy and emotional awareness in children. Whether helping in the classroom or assisting parents at home, Soul Shoppe brings social skills to the forefront of the discussion. Click for our parent support programs.

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