What are the types of parenting and what characteristics do they have?

According to the American Psychological Association, parenting refers to all those actions related to raising children. Now, not all parents raise and educate in the same way, so there are types of parenting.

That is why some researchers have focused on identifying patterns of interaction, defining different types of parenting. Also called parenting styles or educational styles, reflect the way in which parents act with their children in any daily situation. Style is spoken of because of its constancy and permanence in time, although they are susceptible to modifications.

The optimal development of children depends on many factors, being parental practices a very important determinant. It is complex to answer to what extent the types of parenting affect the child's development. However, a strong association has been found between parenting and the psychosocial adjustment of children.

Types of parenting

The classification with the greatest diffusion and influence was developed by the psychologist Diana Baumrind in 1966 and reformulated by Maccoby and Martin in 1983. It consists of 4 types of parenting, formulated from 2 dimensions:

  • Affected/communication.
  • Control/ setting limits.

The first refers to the love, approval, acceptance and help that are offered to children. While the second refers to the exercise of discipline, when parents control or supervise behavior and ensure compliance with the established rules.

1. Democratic parenting style

It is characterized by presenting high levels of affection / communication, as well as a high degree of control and setting limits. That said, democratic parents have the following characteristics:

  • They constantly show affection towards their children.
  • They maintain fluid and open communication, which stimulates the expression of the needs of their children.
  • They lend themselves to dialogue to provide necessary explanations, promote desirable behaviors, establish norms.
  • They demand compliance with established standards, but they are flexible. That is, they can be negotiated by both parties.
  • They show interest in meeting the needs of their children.
  • Guide children's behavior respecting their individuality and autonomy.
  • They prefer to use positive discipline strategies to reinforce good behavior, rather than punish for unwanted behavior.

According to some research, children raised under this parenting style show a stable and happy emotional state, have higher self-esteem, are more confident and spontaneous. In turn, they show better academic performance and are more socially skilled.

This type of democratic parenting is based on an open and sincere bond, with dialogue and assertiveness.

Also read: 5 levels of communication with our children

2. Authoritarian parenting style

It is characterized by the combination of low levels of affection / communication and a high degree of control. In this case, authoritarian parents have the following characteristics:

  • They show very little affection.
  • They order that they be obeyed and they demand compliance with the rules, which are thorough and rigid.
  • They do not explain the reasons for their behavior and they do not accept any questioning from their children. They are popular for saying "Because I say it" when the child questions the reasons.
  • They assume that obedience is a virtue and they use punishment as the main measure of behavior modification.

Educational strategies based on disapproval, low levels of communication and little affection can provoke in children a propensity to rebel against parents in adolescence, problems of aggressiveness and impulsivity towards their peers, submission and dependence, little personal adaptation and Social.

3. Permissive parenting style

It consists of the manifestation of high levels of affection / communication and a low level of control. Consequently, these parents:

  • They give a primary role to communication and seek to generate a relationship of trust. They often encourage their children to talk to them about their problems, but they do not go out of their way to discourage bad decisions or bad behavior.
  • They take on a role more as friends than as parents.
  • They impose few or no restrictions. They tolerate any behavior.
  • They do not impose punishments and let the son regulate his behavior.
  • They give children the freedom to solve their problems on their own, without guidance, as a way to promote their independence.

Children of permissive parents are not very obedient and have difficulties to internalize values. They are usually aggressive, impulsive and rebellious.

Discover: Disobedient children: what can we do in this situation?

4. Negligent parenting style

It is characterized by the combination of low levels of affect and little exercise in setting limits. With that said, neglectful parents are as follows:

  • Indifferent to needs of the children.
  • Without some kind of emotional involvement with parenting.
  • More focused on their personal affairs, leaving aside the children.
  • Indifferent to any behavior of children. That is, they do not establish punishments to eliminate behaviors or rewards to reward good behavior.
  • Tending to meet the needs of children with material gifts.

The lack of affection, supervision and guidance in children has a negative impact on their development. These are usually children with instability, difficulty relating to peers, low tolerance for frustration and self-esteem problems.

Poor academic performance and criminal or abusive behaviors are part of the range of personality they can present.

The relationship between parents and children can go through different moments, altering the balance between affection and control.

Parenting types are not static

It should be borne in mind that when talking about parental types, global trends in behavior are considered. This classification is not intended to assume that parents always use the same strategies with all their children or in all circumstances.

In this way, they are practical and flexible schemes that serve as a frame of reference for the family. The claim of some researchers is to approximate the parenting style that best favors the child's proper development. However, there are no perfect formulas in parenting.