What Are The Different Parenting Styles & Which Is The Best?

As a new parent or a parent to a growing toddler, you may be wondering what type of mum or dad you want to be. Children don’t tend to come with an instruction manual, so figuring out what is best for your family is important! Breaking down what the different types of parenting styles are can be helpful in finding your feet. 

Here we’ll take a closer look at the different parenting styles that are most commonly used by child psychologists.  

What Are The Different Parenting Styles?

It is widely agreed that there are four different types of parenting styles

– Authoritative parenting

– Authoritarian parenting

– Permissive parenting

– Uninvolved (also called neglectful) parenting

However, it is important to note that as a parent, you may not conform to just one parenting style, as these could change depending on your personal circumstances or a given situation.

1. Authoritative Parenting Style

Authoritative parenting involves setting clear boundaries and expectations for children, while keeping the lines of communication open to foster honest discussions. This style is typified by flexibility, understanding and support.

Authoritative parents are nurturing. They listen to, and reflect upon, their child’s feelings and opinions and are sympathetic to their needs.

Parents who practice the authoritative parenting style also allow natural consequences to happen but then use those consequences as teaching moments to help their child learn and grow.

Children raised by authoritative parents are likely to be able to think for themselves and usually have high levels of self-discipline.

2. Authoritarian Parenting Style

The authoritarian parenting style is a lot stricter than authoritative parenting and parents who practice this model are a lot less open to discussion with their child. Communication is generally one way – from the parent to the child with little room for input, questions or feedback. 

Authoritarian parents tend not to consider their child’s feelings or needs when enforcing rules and discipline is usually stern.

This style is often labeled ‘tough love’ however, for many psychologists, it is more about the parent wanting to maintain control over the child.

Children raised by authoritarian parents often suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.

3. Permissive Parenting Style

At the other end of the scale is permissive parenting. Typical traits of this parenting style are an avoidance of conflict and the tendency to give in to the child’s whims and desires at the drop of a hat.

Permissive parents communicate freely with their children however discipline can be lacking and, if they are set, rules and boundaries are seldom imposed with the child being allowed to make decisions for themself.

A desire to keep the child happy at any cost is typical permissive parenting behaviour and parents often assume a role more akin to that of a friend rather than offering parental guidance, direction or support.

Children with permissive parents can grow up to be self-absorbed with little respect for rules or authority.

4. Uninvolved Parenting Style 

Uninvolved, or neglectful, parenting manifests itself as indifference. Children are often left to their own devices and guidance, nurturing, and attention are minimal.

Neglectful parents tend to have scant engagement with their children and as such rules and boundaries are rarely set or enforced.

While this parenting style can be seen to be unloving, unemotional and distant, often the parent is struggling with their own issues. They may be overwhelmed by parenthood or their own difficult childhood may have resulted in them suffering from low self-esteem or a difficulty forming relationships. 

Children raised by an uninvolved or neglectful parent can develop behavioural and/or emotional issues and can often be impulsive. 

What is the Best Parenting Style?

At Little Angels, we see many different types of parenting styles and it’s safe to say that what works for one family might not work for another. 

Having said that, childcare experts suggest that the authoritative style of parenting is generally the best as it lends itself towards a mutually respectful and communicative relationship between parent and child.

As a parent, you naturally want to provide your child with the most loving, stable and nurturing environment possible. And while understanding the different parenting styles can be helpful as a guideline, focusing on what your individual child needs is arguably more important than adhering rigidly to a specified ‘type’. 

Providing discipline and guidance is important, but so too is instilling values in your toddler and allowing them a safe space in which to communicate their needs, hopes and fears.

Supporting Your Child at Little Angels 

Whether you follow one of the different parenting styles to the letter or you opt for a combination of different types, at Little Angels we treat all of our children, and their parents or guardians, as part of our extended family.

Building meaningful relationships with our families allows us to understand your individual parenting style and therefore better understand your child. 

We believe in a kind and empathetic approach to childcare, which is why we are so proud of our home to home style environment which lets children easily adapt to playing, learning and developing in a nursery style setting that is as fun, caring and emotionally rewarding as the time they spend at home with you. 

When it comes to the different styles of parenting, we know all families are unique and we firmly believe that by embracing our differences, we can all learn and grow together.

Book a Tour of Little Angels

If you’d like to find out more about how Little Angels can help your baby or toddler spread their wings and grow, why not book a tour

We offer video tours and in-person tours of our Perkins Square nursery and would love to show you our wonderful facilities and answer any questions you might have.