What Type of Parent Are You: 4 Parenting Types

What Type of Parent Are You?

In the 1960's,  developmental psychologist, Diana Baumrind, identified three main parenting styles:

They are:




Macoby and Martin added to this paradigm in 1983, when the identified a fourth type of parenting style which is:


As you can imagine, each of these parenting styles has an impact on how children interact with the world, with others and even what they believe about themselves. These parenting styles will also go on to influence the types of choices children and teens make, the quality of their future relationships and their broad view of the world. 

How to Raise Well-Adjusted Kids

What is the best way to raise healthy, well-adjusted kids? While the answer to that may be, "it depends", there has been much support for one particular parenting style. Most indicators point towards this style of parenting if one wants to raise the most well-adjusted kids...something most of us typically strive for. That parenting style is the authoritative style.

Below, we'll break down how each parenting style impacts a child's development. The effects are far-reaching and can last across the lifespan. While many factors converge to determine child outcomes, including temperament and other life experiences, the style of parenting has a large and enduring impact on children. Some of the dimensions impacted include:

Social Skills
Risk-taking Behaviors
Life Satisfaction
Impulse Control
Mental Health
Quality of Relationships

A Breakdown of Each Parenting Style


Authoritative Parents:

These parents are highly demanding and highly supportive. Parents are nurturing and caring. They provide discipline and rules, as well as the reasons behind them. Communication is intact and frequent and flows both ways. The communication is developmentally appropriate for the child's age. While expectations and goals are high, children also have input into things.

Impact on Children:

These children tend to have higher self-esteem, better social skills, a lower frequency of mental illness and are more independent. They tend to have relationships of higher quality and go on to experience success in life.


Authoritarian Parents:

These parents have a strict disciplinarian style and seldom explain the rationale behind the rules. Punishment is a common occurrence. Communication styles are usually one way; going from the parent to the child. While clear rules are established, they are not typically explained. Parents are usually less nurturing and caring towards the children.

Impact on Children:

These children tend to have lower self-esteem, poorer social skills, less independence and an increased risk for mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse.


These parents set little or no rules and tend to be indulgent with their children. They tend to let children figure out problems on their own. The parents are warm and nurturing. Communication is open, but parents let children decide for themselves and give minimal guidance. Expectations are typically minimal or not set by these parents. 

Impact on Children:

These children tend to be impulsive. They are at greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicidal thoughts and feelings.


Neglectful Parents:

These parents have minimal emotional involvement with their children. Basic needs of food, shelter and clothing are provided, but there is little guidance or affection. Parents may outright avoid or reject their kids.

Impact on Children:

These children may exhibit delinquent behavior during adolescence, they may struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues. They may have limited social skills and difficult attachment styles, leading to unhealthy interactions and relationships with others. 


What this Means for Parents

We often model our own parenting after the type of parenting we received. After all, we are products of our environments. If we were parented in less than optimal ways, we may have come to believe that all parents behave in a particular manner. Since knowledge is power, we all have the capacity to do things differently, to change things up at any point in time. 

We can become powerful agents of change in our families by forging new ways of communicating with our children, new ways of responding to them and can adopt better ways of handling our own stress. 

When we change, our brains change. When we change how we respond to our children, their brains change, too. We set in motion a powerful predictor for a better future for them...and for all future generations. 

Need Some Extra Tools and Supports to Manage BIG Behaviors?

We know challenges that come with parenting. We know how some kids require more from us as parents...and truly understand that some parents are working 10 times harder than others and yielding smaller results.

If you are ready to turn that around, join us at The Joyful Parent...where we help build your parenting toolbox so you can help your kids get to better behavior more quickly! We'll walk you step by step in understanding how neuroscience can help guide parents to use an authoritative style while enhancing warmth, responsiveness and connectedness to their children.

Happy Parenting!

Until we meet again,

Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is  the founder of Kidlutions and co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids, co-creator of BLOOM Brainsmarts, and creator of The Joyful Parent. She is the author of numerous workbooks and resources to help from the preschool through the teen years. 

Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter and Facebook! She'd love to see your smiling face there! Affiliate links may be used in this post. Please see our full disclaimer, located at the top of our page for more information.


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