Five parenting styles and their outcomes

When a person or couple decide to try for a baby they usually have a basic idea of how they will parent their child and how they will be as parents.

These thoughts are usually based around their own experiences with their parents and how they were raised. Some will have had a positive childhood and the parent will want to raise their child as they were. However, some experiences may have been negative and the parent will then express that they do not want their child to have to go through what they did. 

The strategies parents use can fall into categories or ‘styles’. There are four main styles and there are some that are more modern. I will give a brief summary of the main ones and how these styles may affect the outcomes for the children. 


This style is characterised by reasonable demands that are combined with high responsiveness to their child’s needs. The parents that use this style will have high expectations for their children but will also give them the resources and support that they need to succeed. It uses positive reinforcement with limits and fair discipline. It is more of a child-centred approach than other styles in this post.
Parents who use this style are characterized by:

Using fair and consistent discipline based on limits and boundaries
Allows their children to express opinions and know that these opinions will be listened to
Fosters independence and reasoning
They can adjust and adapt their approach depending on the situation and their child’s needs.

Research has shown that children raised in this style can be more capable, happy and successful. They will have good emotional control and regulation and will have the self-confidence to develop good social skills.


This style involves high demands and low responsiveness to their child's emotional needs. These parents have very high expectations but provide very little nurturing to help their child achieve what is expected of them. There are very strict rules and often punishment rather than discipline is used if the rules are disobeyed. The parent does not explain the reasoning behind the punishment, it is simply ‘because I said so’.

Parents who use this style are characterized by:

Having lots of rules and micromanaging  their child’s lives and behaviours
They value discipline over fun and can seem very cold and harsh
They are more likely to use corporal punishment rather than positive reinforcement as it is their way or no way.

Children raised in this style are more likely to struggle with self-control, can have difficulty in social situations and can display more aggressive behaviour outside the home as they are not used to managing situations by themselves.

Permissive parenting

This style is characterized by low demands but high responsiveness. These parents are very loving but provide few guidelines and rules. There may be some basic rules but these may not be regularly enforced. The parents motto could be ‘kids will kids’.

Parents who use this style are characterized by:

Usually being very nurturing and loving
May use bribery as a means to get a child to behave rather than a form of discipline
Often seem more like a friend than a parent
Rarely enforce any type of consequences

Children raised in this style may display low achievement in many areas as there is few guidelines or rules they will find it hard to show self-discipline with schoolwork. They may show more aggression and less emotional understanding, especially in situations where they don't get what they want as their parents usually give in to their demands.


This is sometimes referred to as neglectful parenting. With this parenting there is a lack of responsiveness to a child’s needs. They will make no demands of their children and can often be indifferent and dismissive. 

Parents with this style are characterized by:

Having little emotional involvement with their child 
Limits interactions with their children because they are to overwhelmed by their own problems
Set few demands for behaviour and so have little or no set rules for the child to follow

These parents can often be repeating the same patterns they were raised with or they are so wrapped up in their own lives it is easier to take a hands-off approach and are simply unable to provide the emotional support their children need.

Children raised with this style will be emotionally withdrawn as they have no example from their parents to learn from. They will generally perform poorly in nearly every area of life, they can have difficulty forming attachments later in life due to the lack of emotional support in childhood. 


This style treats children with kindness and respect and aims to raise children that can form healthy emotional attachments throughout their lives. These parents believe that practices such as breastfeeding, baby wearing and co-sleeping all help to set the stage for secure relationships in later life.

Parents using this style are characterized by:

Using gentle responses and approaches to discipline
They are prompt and consistent in their response to their child’s needs
They value consistency and involvement in care from both parents

Children raised in this style show more empathy to others and so can develop healthy attachments in later life. They have more self-awareness of their own capabilities and so are more confident.

Most parents would consider themselves authoritative or perhaps a mixture of two styles depending on situations. However, how we chose to raise our children is based on our own experiences. With my babies I used the attachment style at the start which has then developed to the authoritative as they get older. My children have certain rules and limits and I admit I can get cross at times but I always make sure to talk it out and have a big hug at the end so they know that although I'm only human and get frustrated, I still live them and will always be there to support and listen to them.


  1. I wish I could share this post with all of my elementary parents. Yearly, I have a high number of students who struggle with failure and pushing through challenges due to permissive parenting.

    1. I think alot of parents feel like they have to be more of a friend these days as if they have to tell their kids off or set boundaries they are worried others will think they are to harsh.

  2. Great read ! Makes me look at what type of parent I am as well as learn from the other types as well!

  3. What a great read! My husband and I was just discussing different parenting styles today regarding a friend of ours and this post laid out exactly what we discussed but way more detailed. Thanks for writing this.

  4. This is excellent information which is shared by you. This information is meaningful and magnificent for us to increase our knowledge about Best Parenting Advice. Keep sharing this kind of information. Thank you.


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