4 Types of Parenting Styles – Baumrind Parenting Styles

Parenting is a difficult task which plays a crucial role in the development of children. It is important for parents to provide an effective learning environment for the child which makes it even harder.

Ever since the seventeenth century, it has been questioned how the children develop mentally and how they learn. The transmission of the characteristics of the parents to the children has been an important part of the research.  

According to John Locke’s theory of “tabula rasa” children are born as a blank page on which society can inscribe its ethics and rules.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, on the other hand, argues that children are born “innately good” and society can help them develop the seeds of their values to make them good adults.

Aside from philosophers, the developmental psychologists inquire the processes through which parents can pass on their values and behaviors to children.

According to the recent researches in the filed, children socialize mainly in the context of family and school and their parents, teachers, and friends in these contexts determine their developmental processes.

Although our bodies are produced by our parents, our psyche is shaped and formed by our social environment. As a result, the parenting styles come to the foreground regarding the children’s development which makes parenting a more serious task to perform.

But,what are these “parenting styles” that we are talking about?

Parenting Styles: Authoritative, Authoritarian, Permissive or Neglectful

When we think about parenting, lots of ideas typically come to mind: love, protection, guidance, discipline, communication… However, it is much more complicated than these simple terms.

Parenting is considered to be an important determinant of several aspects of children’s outcome. We can say that education starts in the family. It is important how family members share the responsibility of the house and how they communicate with each other for social skills of a kid.

Children learn what the world is first in the family. And there are some significant roles of parents to make the child ready for society and life.

The most widely acknowledged styles of parenting are based on Baumrind’s work who is a developmental psychologist.

According to “Baumrind’s parenting typology”, the responses and the level of demanding of parents determine the success of the parents while raising a child.

The term “parental responsiveness” is used to indicate how a parent approaches children in terms of support and acceptance. “Parental demandingness” on the other hand points out the rules, the expectations of parents from children to follow these rules and the punishments when the rules are defied.   

According to her, there are three types of parenting:  Authoritative parentingauthoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting.

Maccoby and Martin re-organized the types of parenting by dividing them into demanding and undemanding categories. As a result, four types of parenting started to be acknowledged by scientists: Authoritative, Authoritarian, Permissive and Neglectful.

What are These Parenting Styles Exactly? And Which one is Effective to Raise a Better Kid?

According to Baumrind, parents shouldn’t be vindictive or detached. Instead, they should show their intimacy and love to their children while adhering with some rules. It is important to note that, these parenting styles exclude abnormal ways of parenting such as abusive ones.

Additionally, the level of stress parents experience affects their communication with children. For example, they might become more inconsistent, fail to observe the development of their children, give heavy punishments, and give instant reactions rather than constructive remarks.

1. Authoritative Families

Authoritative parents are caring and their expectations from children are straight and achievable. Their children know how to organize their lives and regard themselves. Although the expectations can be above the capacity of the child’s age from time to time, they are generally forgiving and solution-oriented. 

Also, they easily empathize with their children and help them orchestrate their emotions.  

Although they put certain limitations on their children, authoritative parents raise self-reliant children. They partake in long conversations with their children while being kind in order to help them solve their issues.

They are less strict than authoritarian parents as they give the necessary space for them to use their logic to engage in their problems and decisions.

  • The rules are clarified by stating the reasons and the results
  • Open communication in accord with the child’s age
  • Caring and intimate relationship
  • The tasks and expectancies are clear

2. Authoritarian Families

Authoritarian parents have a highly-disciplined approach to their children. They put so many limitations on the actions of their children. Also, they disregard the child’s abilities and characteristics and expect him/her stick with the rules in all circumstances.

They punish children by slapping or shouting at them in order to teach them to conform to the rules.

It aims at preparing the child to the ruthless outer world so that they can survive and flourish when they grow up.

Also, people who defend this type want their child to get used to the aggression they will face outside the home by exposing them constantly to some level of anxiety.

Parents who apply this type of parenting style show similar behavior patterns such as: 

  •  They utilize harsh discipline rules without leaving space to communication about them generally with strong punishments
  • Monologues more than dialogues with children. 
  • They are less caring.
  • Strict expectations from the child regardless of the variables

The effects of this kind of parenting on children are: 

  • Weak social skills as they are always told what to do and not offered to decide on their actions 
  • Unhappiness stemming from conformism and obedience which can lead to depression

3. Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting, give the children limitless freedom to perform their actions without the leading of the parents.

In this type, the expectations of the child are very few and the parents don’t interfere with the decisions and actions of the children while being attentive to them. This style is also called permissive, non-directive or libertarian.

These parents care about what their children want of them and acknowledge them as individuals. However, they don’t expect them to behave perfectly as an adult. 

Permissive parents are like peers to the children rather parents. Just like friends, they suggest solutions to them and refrain from disciplining them by letting them decide on their own.

There are very few rules designed to teach them how to behave which makes the relationship between the child an the parents a very relaxed one. They value the way their children adjust themselves to the world outside.

They try to offer their children what they were not given in their childhood. Consequently, they give their child the opportunity to flourish in a free environment.

According to Baumrind’s research, the children of permissive parents show less mature behaviors, escape taking responsibility and do not have control over their impulses.

  • They discipline their child in a way totally opposite of rigid. They let their child use their reason to deal with problems.
  • They carry out an open conversation with children without guiding them.
  • They have a close and caring relationship with their children.
  • There are either very few or no expectations from the child.

4. Neglectful Parenting

Neglectful parents give ultimate freedom to their children. Although some of them prefer this style of parenting consciously, some engage in it because they don’t care or don’t know much about parenting.

  • They don’t implement any particular way for disciplining their children. They allow their child to do whatever he/she wants.
  • There is no successful communication between the parents and children.
  • They don’t meet most of the needs of their children.
  • They don’t set any expectation from their children.

The Most Effective Parenting Style is Authoritative One! But Why is That?

Although authoritative parents expect so much from their children, they build an intimate and sensitive bonding with them. They implement logical discussions in order to help their children solve their problems. Also, they support their children by strengthening their sense of freedom. Thus, it is worth noting that this style is also known as the Democratic Parenting Style.

Baumrind’s research shows that children who are raised with this style:

  • Seem happier and calmer.
  • More self-reliant.
  • Successful academically.
  • Confident.
  • Well-developed social skills.
  • Have a good psychological state, less inclined to substance abuse and depression
  • Demonstrate less number of violent actions

That is why the most effective parenting style is authoritative parenting style. You need to remember that your kid is also a person who has his/her own thoughts and decisions. Also, children need to be understood by their social environment and you are the first person to give support to them that they need.

They sometimes can misbehave –and mostly they do! But when this situation appears if try to punish them without trying to understand first why this is happening they can never understand what is wrong or what is right.

First of all, you should explain what is wrong about the situation and if you can, try to ask them why they are acting like that. Also, don’t forget that they are children and generally they may not have reasonable thoughts as yours!

Furthermore, you should be aware that you are sharing a house with other members of the family and each member need to share responsibilities as well. 

As parents, you need to remember that you are not the “ruler” of your house. Every member of the family has something to say about what is wrong or what is right especially about their own lives!

Try to give a chance to your kid to understand what you are talking about and why she/he can’t act like that. And do not forget that they always need your support for everything! You are their first teacher for them in the world.


Arnett, Jeffrey (2013). Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Cultural Approach. United States Of America: Pearson. p. 182.

Baumrind, D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75(1), 43-88.

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