Parenting Styles and their effects

Parenting styles and their effects differ for each child. These styles can affect how children feel about themselves. There are four main parenting styles. These include permissive, neglectful, authoritative, and authoritarian. These are used in child psychology today based off Diana Baumrind’s research and work. Each of these styles has different effects on behaviour, demandingness and responsiveness. Though some parents don’t fit exactly into these styles, this blog will elaborate the common ones.




  1. Authoritarian 

These parents are often ‘disciplinarians’. They seek a high level of control over their children with a strict set of rules. If rules aren’t followed, it is common to rely on punishment. Further, threat of punishment to control kids actions. Typically, these parents are less nurturing and have high expectations. Could be referred to as “tough love”.


  1. Neglectful (Uninvolved/Disengaged)

Commonly, these parents stay out of the way of children’s decisions and provide more freedom. The use of discipline is uncommon and children can do what they wish. These children can behave with little self-control and struggle with rules. These parents are commonly struggling with their own problems. Including, issues with self-esteem, relationships and motivation.


  1. Indulgent (Permissive)

These parents tend to not set many rules and are attentive and warm. They are reluctant to offer direction and take on the ‘friend’ role. This style fosters a high level of creativity in children. However, these children can have more interest in taking rather than giving in relationships. This style has open communication, with the children deciding the direction of the conversations.


  1. Authoritative

This style is the ‘preferred approach’. These parents are nurturing, flexible but set clear expectations. They set boundaries but encourage independence. Children use self-discipline and think for themselves. Further, they are aware of their expectations. Communication is open, frequent, and appropriate to their understanding.



There is no “one size fits all”. Parents can use of a variety of approaches when appropriate. However, all in moderation. Depending on the situation, parents will change their style to best suit the situation and their children. Examples include an authoritative parent letting go of some control in times of sickness or grief.

Although research indicates that the authoritative parenting style is more likely to raise socially competent children, they can still experience issues. For all parents, it is up to their judgement of their children. Additionally, the style that best suits their family dynamic.



If you wish to talk or change your current parenting style, our experienced psychologists can assist you. Please download our referral form here and take it with you to your GP appointment for preparation of a referral.

You can also call 07 3102 1366 with any enquires into availability or booking appointments!

Disclaimer: Firstly, content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Lastly, readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.

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