Mastering Parenting: Types of Parenting Styles Explained 

What are the four main types of parenting styles?

The four main types of parenting styles are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Each parenting style has its own unique characteristics and approaches to parenting, which can greatly influence a child’s development and behavior.

We’ve already discussed two of these parenting styles in great detail: Authoritative parenting vs Permissive parenting, however there are two more which we didn’t uncover, Authoritarian and Uninvolved. These are the four different types of parenting styles.

Your parenting style can affect your child more than you would think.

It’s important to ensure your parenting style is done the right way as it can influence your child for the rest of their life. The four types of parenting styles are:

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive
  • Uninvolved

Each style takes a different approach to raising children and can be identified by a number of different characteristics.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting as discussed here is a popular approach to how majority parents, parent their children.

These parents have rules and they use consequences, some can even put the child under pressure. Certain rules will manipulate a child to do as they say and make it clear that the adults are ultimately in charge. Parents who use this authoritative approach also understand the importance of letting their children feel the natural consequences of their actions. However, they also validate their children’s feelings throughout the process. In the real world, there are consequences to their actions, and parenting is about supporting children while they make their own mistakes, take on age-appropriate responsibilities, think for themselves, and solve their own problems. Parents who practice authoritative parenting tend to have close relationships with their children and invest time and energy into preventing behavior problems before they start. Children of authoritative parents tend to have better emotional health. They feel loved and cherished. They have fewer mental health issues. These children are happier, have higher self-esteem, and perform better in school. They are also more independent and have better social skills.

This type of parenting also uses positive discipline strategies to reinforce good behaviour, like praise and reward systems.

Encouraging your kids to cooperate for the reward or to avoid punishment is good when kept within the limits. However, if this is done too much it can have a negative affect on the child.

Rather than doing things because they see the value in doing it, it will begin to diminish their internal guidance and their natural desire to cooperate and contribute.

Read more on Authoritative parenting here.

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting is similar to Authoritative parenting but way more stricter.

Your kids are an abiding object and if they do not obey then they face consequences.

Sound familiar?

  • You believe kids should be seen and obey the rules by the book
  • Parents are always right: it’s “my way or the highway.”
  • You don’t take your child’s feelings into consideration.

Authoritarian parents believe kids should follow the rules without exception.

“Because I said so,” a child simply can not argue back. It’s full stop!

When a child questions the reasons behind a rule. The parents are not interested in negotiating and their focus is on obedience.

Authoritarian parenting exists in many cultures and is characterized by the use of strict rules and stern discipline, resulting in low responsiveness. The child gets the smack if they don’t obey. Authoritarian parents tend to use punishments instead of discipline, expecting blind obedience to their absolute standard. So rather than teach a child how to make better choices and providing guidance, they’re invested in making kids feel sorry for their mistakes and making them repent. However, it’s important to note that an authoritarian approach can have its benefits in select circumstances. These parents have high expectations, and they don’t hesitate to punish when children don’t follow their guidelines.

Children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems and have lack of confidence when it comes to voicing their opinions. 

Since authoritarian parents are often strict, their children may grow up to become good liars in an effort to avoid punishment. They may develop anger issues and struggle to fit into society as they fail to understand many values required in life.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting as discussed here is a more calmer approach to parenting.It’s more independent and preferably how a child would like to be parented.

This type of parenting is usually when the parent listens to everything their child has to say or do, just so they don’t look bad in their child’s eyes.

Less rules are put in place which can in fact lead to a negative household. If your children aren’t able to trust that you will enforce the rules, they may begin to disrespect you and become more challenging, looking for limits and proof that they are loved. 

These types of parents are more laid back. They’re often forgiving and they adopt an attitude of “kids will be kids.”

When they do use consequences, they may not make those consequences stick. They might give privileges back if a child begs or they may allow a child to get out of time-out early if he promises to be good. 

Uninvolved Parenting

In simple terms, “parents who just can’t be bothered”

  • You don’t ask your child about school or homework.
  • Rarely know where your child is or who they are with.
  • You don’t spend much time with your child.

Uninvolved parents tend to have little knowledge of what their children are doing. They are simply uninvolved in their children’s lives.

There tend to be few rules in place with not much action taken if any of the rules are broken.

Uninvolved parenting has many consequences. With this parenting style children may not receive much guidance, nurturing, and parental attention which can have a bad impact on their future life and upbringing.

Uninvolved parents kind of expect children to raise themselves. Like, I’ve bought you into this world, now handle it!

Not much time and energy is given to the children and sometimes basic needs are not met either.

Uninvolved parents may be neglectful but it’s not always intentional. A parent with mental health issues or substance abuse problems, for example, may not be able to care for a child’s physical or emotional needs on a consistent basis. 


At other times, neglectful parenting (very commonly) occurs when uninvolved parents, also known as neglectful parents, lack knowledge about child development. And sometimes, they’re simply overwhelmed with other problems, like work, paying bills, and managing a household. This is popular in parents who have immigrated from eastern backgrounds to the western world and have born and raised their children in the western society. These types of parents lack the knowledge to handle their children in this new world. However, research shows that parental involvement is a critical factor in children’s education. The uninvolved parenting style, which is linked to the worst outcomes in children, is the most harmful to children’s academic achievement. Neglectful parents do not have rules or monitor their children’s behavior. It is important to note that there are four distinct types of parenting styles, including permissive, authoritarian, uninvolved/neglectful, and authoritative parenting style, each requiring varying levels of responsiveness and demandingness from the parent or caregiver.

Children of uninvolved parents tend to perform poorly in school. They also exhibit frequent behaviour problems and rank low in happiness. 


As discussed in my previous parenting post, there is one type of parenting which balances it all. That is Connection parenting. You can check it out here.

What type of parent are you? Leave me a comment below.

Related: Top parenting tips for all mothers and fathers!

Social media marketing blogger and Parenting blogger

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