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  4. Parenting Styles
parenting styles: parents holding baby

Parenting Styles

Even though every baby is unique and every parenting style adapts as time goes on, there are four distinct parenting styles that are widely recognised today. These styles form the basis of the way we interpret behaviours and relate to our children while they develop.

Authoritarian parenting

This parenting style sets strict rules with the expectation that they are to be followed. The reason behind the rules is not explained to the child and failure to abide by them is automatically punished.

PROS: In the best cases, a child will respond unquestioningly to instructions.
CONS: In most cases, children do not understand what they have done wrong, leaving little room for learning.

Permissive parenting

In the case of permissive parenting, very few expectations or limitations are set by parents. If a child behaves in a negative way there are very few consequences (if any) for their actions.

PROS: This is a nurturing style with open communication.
CONS: Children can struggle to self-regulate in this environment and have little incentive for learning mature behaviours.

Positive parenting

This is a parenting style where positive behaviours are encouraged through loving guidance. Here, the ‘good’ is focused on and any bad behaviours are detached from the child as a person.

PROS: A child will learn the effects of their behaviour in a secure and loving environment.
CONS: In some cases, the children of positive parenting are not equipped to deal with less positive attitudes, outside of the home.

Attachment parenting

This technique is about maintaining a strong, empathetic, bond between parent and child and responding to a child’s needs in a sensitive and immediate way.

PROS: All of a child’s needs are responded to, leading to a sense of security and good self esteem. Communication is open and positive.
CONS: Occasionally there are issues detaching, and independence is not fully realised at the same rate as other children.

When you are figuring out the parenting style that works well for your family, keep in mind that there are other important factors to consider. Your culture, community and social influences will also play important roles in your child’s development.

For more information see Parenting advice or Parenting.