Parenting Styles: What Kind of Parent Are You?

Parenting Styles: What Kind of Parent Are You?

Last update: 03 June, 2018

What type of parent are you? According to current research in psychology, there are four main parenting styles, and what sets them apart is the relationship between parent and child.

These parenting styles are: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and negligent.

When we talk about parenting styles, it’s important to keep in mind that every family is different, and there is no right way to be a parent.

In this article, you’ll find out which style reflects the way you raise your children.

“There is no greater need in childhood than to feel the protection of parents”

–Sigmund Freud–

4 parenting styles: what kind of parent are you?

Authoritative parenting

This is the style of parenting that most people aim for, and many experts consider it to be the most effective. It’s easy to recognize authoritative parents by the way they believe in and support their children’s abilities.

Authoritative parents strive to create a healthy and safe environment for their family and to build an enriching relationship with their children.

  • How to tell whether you’re an authoritative parent
  • Are your children clear about their routines and the ground rules at home?
  • If your child breaks an established rule, are there consequences?
  • Do you have clear expectations for your children’s behavior? Are these expectations realistic?

Are you in constant, effective communication with your children? Do they know they can talk to you about anything, without fear of judgement?

Parenting Styles: What Kind of Parent Are You?

Negligent parents

This kind of parent can be dangerous. They don’t create real, stable relationships with other members of the family.

Negligent parents often display behaviors that impact the ability of the family to communicate effectively and get along with each other.

How to make sure that you aren’t a negligent parent

  • Are you aware of your children’s needs, both physical and emotional?
  • Do you know what is going on in the lives of your family members?
  • Is your home a safe place for your children, where they can share their experiences and receive your opinions?
  • Do you often invent excuses to get out of your children’s activities?
  • Do you know your children’s friends? What about their teachers?

Permissive parents

These parents are over-indulgent. As with negligent parenting, this is one of the parenting styles that can be damaging.

These parents provide for their children, but don’t establish clear boundaries for them.

The main feature of a permissive parent is avoiding confrontation and establishing few rules at home.

This lack of structure and routine can lead to children growing up with a lack of discipline and self-control.

How to tell if you’re a permissive parent

  • Do your children have rules and boundaries?
  • Do you often bend the rules to keep your children in a good mood?
  • Is it more important for you to be a good friend to your child than to be a figure of authority?
  • Do you avoid going against your children’s wishes?
  • Do you frequently use rewards to motivate your children?

Authoritarian parents

Although it might sound similar, this parenting style shouldn’t be confused with authoritative parenting.

The characteristics of authoritarian parents include demanding too much and failing to encourage or reward good behavior.

Authoritarian parents leave little space for dialogue and negotiation with their children.

The rules at home are strict and unbending. The expectations placed on little ones may be unrealistic. These parents often resort to punishment to ensure obedience.

Parenting Styles: What Kind of Parent Are You?

How to tell if you’re an authoritarian parent

  • Are the rules in place at home very strict? Do you believe that rules are there to be followed, regardless of the circumstances?
  • When your children ask you why you’ve set a certain rule, do you answer “because I say so”?
  • Do you avoid giving your children choices and letting them make their own decisions?
  • Do you make frequent use of punishment to enforce the rules?
  • Are displays of affection, encouragement and rewards for good behavior a rare occurrence?

What type of parent are you?

Being an authoritative parent means mixing the positive aspects of each of the parenting styles.

Although parents must retain a degree of authority, positive discipline and proper communication are key. 

Being a parent is a process of lifelong learning. Try to learn from your mistakes and repeat what you get right.

Positive parenting styles mean that family life is healthier and more satisfying for everyone involved.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.