What’s Your Parenting Style?



Dimensions of Parenting that Define Your Parenting Style

There are certain dimensions or determinants based on which the parenting style can be assessed and attributed to every parent;

- Style of Nurturing

- Involvement in the Child’s formative years

- Disciplining methodology and strategy

- Style of communication with children

- Expectations from the child


What makes our Parenting style different from others?

Even if one was to decide to imbibe the best parenting style, it would not automatically translate into actual parenting. The individual would need a lot of effort to subdue his own natural parenting instincts and superimpose them with the style he is trying to imbibe. This is because parenting is a very individual thing and in this case one style does not suit all! Parenting style is actually an extension of who we are as individuals and may be shaped by the following factors;

- Own personality

- Childhood or the parenting style one grew up under

- Socio-economic factors like the income of household and status in society

- Education or lack of it

- Culture and Religion

- Family size


What is Your Parenting Style?

According to child psychologists and researchers, most parents can be divided into the following four main categories of parenting styles;


1.  Authoritarian Parenting

What it is – This style of parenting does not offer any explanations for rules nor does it accept any excuses from children for falling behind. The parents demand rather than command respect and believe in absolute obedience. “Because I said so,” is their favourite parenting line and punishments are the order of the day.


What is the impact – Children of such parents are high-achievers academically but lack industry and spontaneity.


2.  Indulgent / Permissive Parenting

What it is – In this style of parenting, the parents have a lenient approach and believe in befriending their children rather than being figures of authority. They hardly ever discipline or control the child’s behaviour allowing self-regulation. Their expectations from the child are also very minimal.


What is the impact – Children of permissive parents may often be envied by their friends but run the danger of becoming wayward and spoilt in their later years. They also do not take well to authority in school or elsewhere and are usually not good at academics.


3.  Authoritative Parenting

What it is – This style of parenting practices a balanced approach – an approach that is neither totally permissive nor completely authoritarian.

Parents of this style lay down rules to be followed but are nurturing and forgiving too. They respond to their child’s needs and failings in a mature fashion. Their style is assertive, not demanding or punitive.


What is the impact – Research points out that children of authoritative parents are the happiest and the most confident of the lot. They usually perform better than their peers in all spheres of life.


4.  Uninvolved / Negligent Parenting

What it is- This style of parenting is also called the Detached Parenting style or the Hands-off approach. In this parenting style, there is bare minimum involvement by the parent in the child’s life. The child is expected to grow on his own terms and experiences. There is complete lack of communication between the parent and the child. Predictably, such parents also have no expectations from the child.


What is the Impact- Children of such parents lack security and generally fare lowest in competence, self -esteem and control.


The next 2 styles of parenting are styles that have evolved over time and have emerged and gained prominence in recent years.


5.  Helicopter Parenting

What it is-This style of parenting is characterized by the parent constantly hovering over the child. The good news is that the parent is involved in every aspect of the child’s life but the bad news is that the parent may soon become too interfering. While this style of parenting is needed for younger kids, older kids may soon feel smothered and suffocated.


What is the Impact- Children of such parents feel nurtured but lack the courage to think and act independently. They rely on their parents for everything way beyond their college years.


6.  Attachment Parenting

What it is- Attachment Parenting has emerged in recent years too and has been made popular by its diehard proponents such as Dr. William Sears. Attachment Parenting, as the name suggests, stresses on building an emotional bond between the parent and child. This style involves sensitivity and is often characterized by natural childbirth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, ‘’wearing the child,” home-schooling and disfavours punishment to enforce discipline.


What is the Impact- More research is required to assess how children of this parenting style grow up as it is a recent parenting style. However, it is said that attachment parenting breeds children who are secure, confident, well-loved and a sensitive being.


Finally, a style of parenting that does not conform to any one style of parenting; 


7.  Instinctive / Intuitive Parenting

What it is – This parenting style as the name goes is parenting by instinct, by that gut feeling, the old-fashioned parenting style when parents knew and did what was best for the kids without reading any parenting column or listening to any child psychologist. It is also a parenting style which would be unwittingly most affected by the parents’ own upbringing and family values and traditions. In a way this style of parenting can represent none, one or all of above listed parenting styles.


What is the Impact- How the child shapes up under this parenting style will depend on how the parent’s intuition works or what the parent perceives is the best parenting methodology for the child.



At the end of the day, it is a good idea to be educated about the various parenting styles and learn how each style can shape the child. In practice however, absolute compartmentalization of parenting styles may not be possible. It may however be possible to tweak your own individual style and imbibe from each style whatever suits your family situation best. Most parents follow two or more parenting styles depending on the situation and in most cases without even realizing that they have crossed the line. This is fine so long it works best.


It is also important to remember that parenting styles and their impact are more a generalization and guideline than straight-jacketed facts. This is self- evident because two or more children of the same family, brought up under the same parenting style may turn out differently. Undeniably, parenting style is an important determinant – however there are more factors namely – genes, temperament, sibling order, schooling and other factors that shape how a child shapes up ultimately.



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