Parenting Methods & Styles

There is no single parenting method that works for every parent or with every child. No matter your child’s age, stage, or temperament there’s a parenting style that encourages appropriate behavior. Here, we’ll sift through popular parenting methods along with tried and true discipline strategies.

If you’re a parent with questions about the pros and cons of spanking, or whether chore charts or behavior contracts can work, you’ve come to the right place. Attachment Parenting, Feminist Parenting, Gay Parenting, Instinctive or Natural Parenting, Pagan Parenting, Christian Parenting, or Peaceful Parenting, we’ll discuss it all.

Authoritarian parenting style

The authoritarian parenting style is often referred to as the strict parenting style. Parents who follow this style of parenting have very high expectations of their children and enforce strict rules and regulations without any room for negotiation or discussion. Children are expected to follow the rules set by their parents without questioning them. The authoritarian parenting style is based on the belief that the parent knows what is best for their child and that the child should comply with their parent’s expectations without any backtalk.

While this style of parenting may seem effective in the short term, it can have negative long-term effects on the child’s development. Children raised under this parenting style tend to have low self-esteem, poor social skills, and lack the ability to make decisions and solve problems on their own. They may also develop a fear of authority figures and may struggle to express their emotions.

If you are considering the authoritarian parenting style, it’s important to note that there are other parenting styles that may be more effective and less damaging to your child’s well-being. While it’s important to set boundaries and expectations for your child, it’s also important to allow them to make mistakes and learn from their experiences. Open communication and negotiation can help build a strong relationship with your child and create a healthy and positive environment for their growth and development.

Permissive parenting style

Permissive parenting is a style of parenting that is characterized by lenient rules and little to no enforcement of boundaries. Parents who adopt this style of parenting tend to be very nurturing, warm, and responsive to their children’s needs but may struggle with setting limits and discipline. Children who grow up with permissive parents are often seen as being independent and free-thinking, but they may also struggle with authority and self-control.

Permissive parents often let their children make their own decisions and rarely discipline them, believing that children should be allowed to explore and experiment without being held back by rules. This can lead to children becoming self-centered and entitled, as they may not understand the importance of boundaries and consequences.

While there are certainly benefits to a permissive parenting style, it is not without its downsides. Parents who adopt this style may struggle with setting limits and enforcing discipline, which can lead to children feeling insecure and lacking in self-control. It is important for parents to find a balance between nurturing and discipline to ensure that their children grow up to be well-rounded and confident individuals.

Authoritative parenting style

The authoritative parenting style is often considered a balanced approach to parenting. It involves setting clear rules and boundaries for the child, while also allowing for some flexibility and independence. This parenting style encourages positive communication between the parent and the child and emphasizes the importance of reasoning and explanation in discipline.

Parents who use the authoritative parenting style are responsive to their child’s needs and emotions, while also holding them accountable for their actions. This approach allows children to develop a sense of security and trust in their parents, while also fostering self-discipline and responsibility.

Children raised with the authoritative parenting style tend to have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and perform better academically. They also tend to have better mental health outcomes and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

However, it’s important to note that every child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. Additionally, the authoritative parenting style may not be appropriate for all situations or cultures.

Uninvolved parenting style

The uninvolved parenting style, also known as neglectful parenting, is when parents are distant, unresponsive, and disengaged from their children. They provide their children with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter, but do not provide emotional support or guidance. This style of parenting can lead to children feeling unloved, neglected, and insecure. Children of uninvolved parents may have a harder time developing self-esteem, social skills, and emotional regulation.

Uninvolved parenting can arise due to various reasons such as mental health issues, substance abuse, or personal problems. Parents may also adopt this style of parenting due to a lack of knowledge, skills, or resources to provide adequate care to their children. It’s important to note that uninvolved parenting is not the same as autonomous parenting where the parents provide their children with the necessary tools and resources to develop independence and decision-making skills.

If you’re an uninvolved parent, it’s never too late to change your parenting style. Seek professional help, join support groups, or enroll in parenting classes to learn new skills and techniques to connect with your child. Children need love, support, and guidance from their parents to become confident and emotionally healthy adults.

Other Parenting Methods and Styles

Attachment Parenting

Attachment parenting is all about building strong emotional bonds between parent and child. This method emphasizes responsiveness to your child’s needs and making sure they feel safe and secure in their relationship with you. Think snuggling, playing games, spending quality time together, and more.

Feminist Parenting

Feminist parenting takes a gender-equal approach to parenting. It focuses on cultivating autonomy in children, breaking gender boundaries, and empowering children to think for themselves. Think about encouraging your daughters to express their opinions, teaching your sons about compassion and empathy, and promoting healthy relationships between parents and children of any gender.

Gay Parenting

Gay parenting is all about creating loving and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ families. This method focuses on creating a stable environment where children are encouraged to be proud of their identities, taught tolerance for people who are different than them, and given all the love and acceptance they need to flourish.

Instinctive or Natural Parenting

Instinctive or natural parenting is all about trusting your instincts as a parent and letting those instincts guide your decision-making process. This method goes beyond the traditional techniques and relies on intuition as well as instinct and communication to ensure that you’re making the best choices for your family.

Pagan Parenting

Pagan parenting is based on the philosophy of Wicca or other forms of Paganism. This method encourages doing what feels right for you as a parent, developing rituals and traditions that resonate with you, connecting your children to nature, and nurturing your children’s spiritual side.

Christian Parenting

Christian parenting focuses on raising godly children by teaching them biblical principles and values. This involves reading scripture together, praying together, attending church regularly, participating in activities such as mission trips, and fostering a sense of community within the home.

Peaceful Parenting

Peaceful parenting is all about creating a safe and supportive environment that allows both parent and child to express themselves without fear of criticism or judgment. This involves active listening, validating feelings, avoiding power struggles with your child, setting clear boundaries, and using discipline strategies that provide long-term results instead of short-term fixes.

Pros and cons of each parenting style

Each parenting style has its own set of pros and cons. It is essential to understand them to determine which one is the best fit for both you and your child.

The authoritarian parenting style, for instance, is known for its high expectations and strict rules. On the one hand, this can help children develop discipline and respect for authority figures. On the other hand, it can lead to a lack of independence, as children may not learn how to make decisions for themselves or think critically.

The permissive parenting style, on the other hand, is known for its leniency and flexibility. This can lead to a positive and nurturing environment, where children feel comfortable expressing themselves and exploring their interests. However, it may also lead to a lack of structure, as children may not have clear guidelines or boundaries to follow.

An authoritative parenting style is a balanced approach between the two. This style fosters a positive and supportive environment, while also setting clear expectations and boundaries. Children raised with this style tend to be confident, independent, and well-adjusted. However, it can take more time and effort to implement, as it requires a lot of communication and consistency from parents.

Which parenting style is right for you?

As a parent, choosing a parenting style can be a daunting task. With so many different approaches and philosophies, it can be overwhelming to try to decide which one is right for you and your child. The first step is to educate yourself on the different parenting styles and their principles.

Some parents may resonate with a more authoritarian approach, where rules are strictly enforced with little room for negotiation. Others may prefer a more permissive approach, allowing their child to have more freedom and independence. Then there’s the authoritative approach, which is a balance between the two.

It’s important to consider your own values and beliefs when it comes to parenting. Do you believe in strict discipline or fostering independence? Do you think children should be allowed to make their own decisions or should you make decisions for them?
It’s also important to consider your child’s personality and temperament. Some children may thrive under a strict set of rules, while others may need more flexibility and autonomy.

Creating a parenting plan

Creating a parenting plan that works for both you and your child can be a challenging task, but it’s essential for effective parenting. The first step in creating a parenting plan is to establish clear goals for your child’s development, such as academic success or emotional well-being. Once you have identified your goals, it’s important to establish a consistent routine for your child, including regular meal times, bedtime, and study schedules.

Another important aspect of creating a parenting plan is to establish boundaries and rules for your child. This includes both positive reinforcement for good behavior, as well as consequences for bad behavior. It’s important to establish these rules and consequences early on and to communicate them clearly to your child.

Parenting plans should also take into account the unique personality and needs of your child. Every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. As such, it’s important to be flexible and open to adjusting your parenting methods to meet your child’s changing needs.

Communicate with your partner and other caregivers about your parenting plan. Consistency is key in effective parenting, so it’s important that everyone involved in your child’s life is on the same page.

Importance of being flexible and adaptable in parenting

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Each child is unique and requires a personalized approach to match their needs. What works for one child may not work for another, and what worked yesterday may not work today. Therefore, it’s crucial to be flexible and adaptable in your parenting methods.
As parents, we must be willing to experiment with different approaches and techniques until we find the right fit for our children. We should also be open to feedback and suggestions from others, including our children themselves. After all, they are the experts on their own needs and preferences.

Being flexible and adaptable in parenting also means being willing to adjust our methods as our child grows and develops. What may have worked for a toddler may not work for a teenager, and what worked for a first-born child may not work for a second-born. As parents, we must be willing to evolve and adjust our approach as our children’s needs change.

In the end, what matters most is that we create a loving, supportive, and nurturing environment for our children to grow and thrive in. By being flexible and adaptable in our parenting, we can ensure that we are meeting our child’s unique needs and helping them become the best version of themselves.