Authoritative, Neglectful, Permissive, Authoritarian…What’s Your Parenting Style?

Back in 1966, Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, presented the idea that parenting styles can be divided into 3 main categories: authoritarian, which is too hard, permissive, which is too soft and authoritative which is (you guessed it) just right.

Just like the three little bears, this 3-style spectrum covered the most harsh style of parenting to the most soft style of parenting, with the ideal style landing in the middle. Since then, a 4th style has been added to this collective, covering parents who are neglectful or uninvolved.

While this is a quick guide to each of these parenting styles, don’t expect that you will land perfectly into one category. The art of parenting is one of fluctuation and how we deal with our children can vary on a day-to-day basis depending on our mood, their mood, the weather, the position of the stars, etc.

However, knowing where you may spend your majority of your time can help shed light on whether or not your parenting style needs an upgrade:

whats your parenting style?


Authoritative parenting is considered to be the most effective and beneficial style of parenting. When you are an authoritative parent, you have high expectations of your children but you also provide support and understanding. You create a balance between parent and friend and foster healthy communication and boundaries.

Are you an authoritative parent?

  • Does your child’s day have structure?
  • Do negative behaviours have consequences?
  • Do you and your child practice healthy and open communication?

The affects of authoritative parenting on children:

  • Sense of Security
  • Self-Confidence
  • Healthy Relationships


Neglectful parenting, or “uninvolved parenting”, is perhaps the most harmful of the parenting styles. It is recognizable by a negative or absent relationship on the part of the parent. It’s more likely that the symptoms of neglectful parenting would be seen by someone on the outside.

Are you a neglectful parent?

  • Do you spend unnecessarily long periods of time away from your children, leaving them alone?
  • Do you neglect your children’s needs?
  • Do you know what is going on in your child’s life? Do you ask?

The affects of neglectful parenting on children:

  • Difficulty to Trust
  • Early Maturity (too many responsibilities)
  • Issues with Intimacy


While not the worst parenting style to possess, permissive parenting, or “indulgent parenting”, can be its own worst nightmare as it can potentially cause children to have no self-control. Permissive parenting involves being responsive to your children but not demanding – you are very nurturing and loving but establish few rules or boundaries.

Are you a permissive parent?

  • Do you not have set rules?
  • Do you avoid conflict?
  • Do you bribe your kids?

The affects of permissive parenting on children:

  • Lack of Organization and Motivation
  • Difficulty Self-Managing Behaviour
  • Unawareness of the Importance of Consequences


Authoritarian parenting, or “strict parenting”, is the polar opposite of permissive parenting in which you are demanding of your children and not responsive to their feelings. Punishment is often used to demand obedience.

Are you an authoritarian parent?

  • Do you have strict rules with no room for compromise?
  • Do you have your children little or no choices?
  • Do you restrict the warmth and love you show your child?

The affects of authoritarian parenting on children:

  • Insecurity
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Difficulty with Social Relationships
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