How Does Your Parenting Style Impact Your Children

When you think about those little bundles of joy that you are raising, what is the first thought that comes to mind?  Did you laugh at my choice to use “bundles of joy” that I chose to use in the introduction sentence?  Truth be known, I laughed a bit myself.  Don’t get me wrong, children are blessings and can be a joy and delightful.  But, the truth of the matter is, kids will be kids.  They are going to force us to explore every emotion on the spectrum (anger, fear, sadness, happiness, pride, etc.).  There will be many moments of sanity and joy.  But, during the moments of insanity (that your kids WILL force you to explore), you have the choice, as a parent, as to how you will react.  Do you find yourself taking the route toward a more authoritative parenting style, authoritarian parenting, uninvolved parent, or a passive parent?   Not sure?  Let’s explore what each parenting style means and the pros and cons to each style.

  • Authoritarian Parenting
    • The authoritarian parent is often very rigid, highly demanding and directive, and not responsive at all to negotiations (Darling, 1999).
    • Authoritarian parents have very clearly defined, rigid rules and expect those rules to be obeyed without any need for further explanation.  They “run a very tight ship”, in other words.
    • Pros
      • Children who perform well academically and are involved in little to no problem behaviors (Darling, 1999)
      • Children tend to grow to adapt better in the “adult world” due to parents not being overinvolved.
    • Cons
      • Children will low self esteem, increased anxiety and depression, and decreased social skills, and problems expressing their emotions.
      • Parent can appear to be detached.


  • Authoritative Parenting
    • The authoritative parent is demanding, but responsive at the same time.  (Daring, 1999).
    • According to Daring, “they are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive”. In other words, authoritative parents have clearly defined rules and expectations.  But, they are more understanding and willing to hear/listen to their child’s needs.  These types of parents are more willing to provide an explanation of the rules/expectations.
      • Pros
        • Children are typically self-regulated, socially responsible, and cooperative (Daring, 1999).
      • Cons
        • Although there are a defined set of rules and expectations, due to the parents being more willing to negotiation or provide explanation to the child, there is a need for the parents to practice patience and some flexibility.  More flexibility than would be expected in authoritarian parenting.


  • Passive or Permissive Parenting
    • Passive or permissive parents are non-demanding and non-intrusive.  They tend to not have a clearly defined set of rules and expectations.  In other words, passive parents are considered “lenient parents” (Daring, 1999).
      • Pros
        • Higher self esteem, lower levels of depression, high social skills (Daring, 1999).
      • Cons
        • More likely to be involved in problem behaviors and display decreased academic skills.


  • Uninvolved Parenting
    • Uninvolved parents tend to be detached, unresponsive, and non-demanding.  This parenting style has been associated with neglectful parenting.  Children from uninvolved parenting style homes tend to display poor performance in all areas (academically, socially, behaviorally, emotionally).

Now that you know the 4 parenting styles, which one do you associate with the most?  Do you find that you are a combination of 2 styles?  Did you think of yourself as being one parenting style, but found that you associated better with another?  Is there a particular style that you want to associate with more than another?  Were you aware of the implications that parenting style can have on children?  I now challenge you to, during the week, be more aware of your parenting style (i.e. How do you react to your children?  Are your rules/expectations rigid or flexible?  Do you shower your children with love or are you a more detached parent?  How do you want to be as a parent?).

Works Cited

Darling, Nancy.  (1999, March).  Parenting Style and Its Correlates.   Retrieved from