4 Different Types Of Parenting Styles And Their Effect On Kids

Parenting styles are psychological constructs of standard practices used by parents in rearing their child. While researchers have come up with different studies around types of parenting styles and their subsequent effect on kids, over the years. There is no right or ideal way to parent a child, each child is different and so is their parenting style. Early childhood (0-7 years) are the formative years for a kid and is considered to be a crucial part in shaping a child’s mental and social skills.

Social psychologists believe that successful adult and child interactions aids in developing appropriate environments for developing competencies in children with regards to social, cognitive, and language domains. Each child grows up in a different environment where they learn to share, collaborate, and get a hold on their emotions via their social relationships.

This is then followed by their educational environment and the friends they keep. While a social development for a kid starts much later but a parent’s job starts right when a kid is born and gains more importance during the formative years. 

4 Different Types Of Parenting Styles And Their Effects

Most parents are now much aware of how and what they wish for their child’s future. Diana Baumrind has laid out four different parenting styles that have been framed and followed with various add-ons over the years by many psychologists. And, her study has been popular and a baseline for various new age studies for the past 25 years.

The pressure of parenting and tips on how to alleviate them are listed here for your sanity.

Categorizing parenting styles under 4 categories. So, what’s your style?

1. Authoritative (Demanding yet supporting style)


  1. Expectations and goals are high, and kids have a major contribution in setting up goals.
  2. Disciplinary rules and rationale around rules are elaborately explained to kids.
  3. Such parents care and nurture kids.
  4. The lines of communication are clear and frequent, to appropriately match the child’s level of understanding.

Effects on Children

  1. Kids develop better social skills and face less or no mental illness.
  2. They are more independent, confident and high on self-esteem (but not rude).

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2. Authoritarian/Disciplinarian (Demanding and not supporting style)


  1. This is a strict discipline type of parenting style with little or no room for negotiation. Hence, communication is usually one-way (parent to child). 
  2. Rules are laid out clearly with no rational explanation around it.
  3. Punishments are a common means for these parents.
  4. Parents tend to be less caring.

Effects on Children

  1. Children grow up to be less independent.
  2. Lower self-esteem and usually poor social skills.

3. Permissive Parent (Indulgent parenting – low/no demands and high on support) 


  1. Such parents set out no rules and children usually figure out their problems on their own.
  2. Communication channels are open but let children decide the course of action; rather low on providing guidance.
  3. Parents are very warm and nurture well.
  4. Minimal or no expectations are set.

Effects on Children

  1. Such kids grow up to have poor social skills and face problematic relationships.
  2. Kids are more ego-centric and display impulsive behaviour.
  3. Not good at practicing self-control and so very emotional.

4. Neglectful Parents (non-indulgent/uninvolved)


  1. Such parents do not set any disciplinary set either because of a lack of information or care.
  2. This also leads to less nurturing and care.
  3. Communication is very limited or non-existent.
  4. Expectations are never clearly laid out or defined.

Effects on Children

  1. Such kids grow up on their own and are not social.
  2. The tendency to drift away and may develop suicidal tendencies.

Out of all the different types of parenting styles, for some decades now the psychologists and psychiatrists have recommended the authoritative parenting style to have the best outcome for children. However, exceptional cases have been found and studied which prove the theory otherwise. Such exceptional cases arise majorly either because there is a difference between defining a parenting style and practicing the same or because sometimes the child’s behaviour can change parent’s style of parenting practice leading to a varied outcome.

There is no one-way to parenting style; however, out of all the different parenting styles, practicing a style may have desired results for the parents and the child. Also, it is best to be mindful that every parent-child relationship is different and so is their behavior leading to the varied humans that we all are.

Written in consultation with Prerna Thakur, child psychologist

If you are intrigued by Sigmund Freud, do read this article about child development

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