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Four Parenting Styles: Which One Are You?

parenting style


Four Parenting Styles: Which One Are You? 

Jigna Doshi


At a sleepover a few weeks ago, I was chatting with my daughter and her friends as they made tents and forts with bedcovers in the bedroom. I am quite privileged as I am one of the very few parents who gets to be part of these midnight chats at sleepovers. They were discussing parents. If we parents think we talk about kids all the time when we meet for our teas and dinners, you should hear what kids discuss.v

I listened to them talk about the parents that were the easiest and the ones who were super strict. It took me back to the time when I was a child and discussed the same with my friends. Back then, there were no clear names for parenting styles, there was a little bit of everything and you just got on with it. I do see more clear distinctions between different parenting styles today. Which one are you and how does it affect your child?


Parenting Style No. 1: Authoritarian

Mother Telling Off Son At Home

This is the super strict parent everyone talks about and sometimes dreads.

An authoritarian parent will:

  • Have a strict approach to parenting with near zero negotiation and communication possibilities.
  • Spend a lot of time and energy on rules and punishment versus rules sand consequences.
  • Always want to be in charge.
  • Appear aloof around their child because they don’t want to appear ‘soft’ and vulnerable around them.

Children of authoritarian parents may feel insecure at times. They may perform just for approval and often connect approval with love. Parents of this nature should be careful with the fine line of too much structure and too little communication. Children of authoritarian parents generally misbehave when they break away from the nest, often turning into rebels. They may suffer from low self-esteem and have problems in relationships.


Parenting Style No. 2: Permissive


These parents are extremely lenient. They are not able to bring in structure and rules into the home and are not consistent with consequences.

A permissive parent will:

  • Allow children to disobey rules regularly, without consequences communicated or followed-through.
  • Compromise instead of confront a conflict.
  • Think that it is the right thing to be their child’s best friend.
  • Find themselves spending too much time in negotiations, bribes and compromises with their child.

Anyone who is raised without structure will have difficulty in managing their behaviour. Limitless freedom can be destructive for a child’s development and they will never understand boundaries if they don’t learn about consequences. A child from permissive parenting may have problems with relationships and will lack discipline necessary for social interaction with peers. Due to the lack of organization and motivation, school work will suffer. This child does not understand responsibility and will learn about it the hard way when they get older. Because of the lack of understanding of consequences, this child will have problems with commitment and boundaries.


Parenting Style No. 3: Uninvolved


This style of parenting involves the neglect of physical and emotional needs, safety and care of the child.

An uninvolved parent will:

  • Prefer to be in places other than where the child is.
  • Stay away from home and expect the child to take care of themselves.
  • Not be aware of the other people in their child’s life – friends, teachers or adults.
  • Make excuses as to why they have to be away from their child – network, work, business, social connections.

Needless to say, this kind of parenting and neglect can be dangerous to a child and can affect their self-esteem and well-being. It affects how the child can trust adults and relationships. It makes them have to take on responsibilities too early in life and affects a normal childhood. These children may also have problems with intimacy and friendships.

Parents should remember that they should be what they want to see in their children. Children are known to mimic adults and their behaviour. We are allowed some parenting mistakes from time to time, but need to always remember that our kids are watching us. Your parenting style is what will make your child – in terms of relationships, academics and social connections.


Parenting Style No. 4:  Authoritative

authoritative parenting

This style of parenting is what we call optimal because it has a bit of everything – rules and consequences, healthy and open communication, maturity, social skills for healthy relationships and boundaries.

An authoritative parent will:

  • Be empathic and kind but hold high expectations and standards.
  • Advocate for their child.
  • Create safe and positive environments that will encourage strong bonds with their child.
  • Have clear expectations for their child.
  • Structure their child’s life and environment with consistency and clear consequences regarding homework, bed time, chores, mealtimes and other important things.
  • Communicate with their child regularly to see how they are feeling and use rules and consequences to steer them in life.

This is definitely an optimal parenting style as parents communicate expectations and consequences regularly and children grow up in an environment that provides confidence and security. These children grow up with high self-esteem and because of the examples set by this set of parents, children learn social skills that are important to have for relationships with others.


Which parenting style did you connect to the most and how do you want your children to turn out?



About the Author

 Jigna Doshi is Kuala Lumpur girl who lives with the best guy she knows. She loves her life where she wears multiple hats – between running a preschool, playing mummy to two teens and co-running a fusion vegetarian restaurant, she loves to fill up whatever free time she has in the world of writing. Trying her hand at Muay Thai, Yoga or Pilates depending on what bores her the least at the time, she never tires of the treks of India and Nepal when she gets time to sneak out of this thing called LIFE!

Jigna Doshi headshot




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