Which of These Four Parenting Styles Describes You Best?

Parenting styles

If you are a parent you will know that parenting is probably one of the most challenging jobs you will ever have to do! Inevitably individual personalities and circumstances will influence parenting styles, which in turn affect the children in different ways.


Basically there are four different parenting styles – see which of these describes you best:

I’m in charge and I want what’s best for my child

This is the authoritative parenting style where you take charge and set reasonable boundaries for your child. If these boundaries are not adhered to, there are appropriate consequences. The child feels safe and is allowed to question and discuss matters with you. You have high expectations as well as being understanding and supportive in helping your child achieve your expectations. Children thrive in this secure atmosphere.

It’s my way or the highway

With the authoritarian parenting style, rules are very strict and the child is not allowed to question the parent without being punished. Obedience is required without explanation. This parenting styles effects on children include shyness and low self-esteem, as well as fearfulness and difficulty in social situations.

My child can do what he likes, as long as he’s happy

The permissive parenting style is indulgent towards the child, with few demands and expectations. Confrontation is avoided and the parent behaves more like a “friend” than a father or mother figure. Although the relationship can be loving and close, unfortunately the lack of structure can result in the child having very little self-control or self-discipline. Permissive parents tend to avoid setting limits for fear of upsetting the child.

Don’t bother me

The fourth parenting style is neglectful or uninvolved. This is when parents are basically too busy with their own lives to pay much attention to their child. It is one of the most harmful styles. There is a serious lack of communication and the child is left to fend for themselves to a large extent, both emotionally and physically.


If you have recognised yourself in any of the above parenting styles, take some time to consider the effect you are having on your child and how you can adapt your behaviour so that your child can thrive. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as there is a vast array of resources available such as good books, websites, and counselors who can help you become the great parent that your child needs and deserves.