There are four primary types of parenting styles based on how supportive and how demanding you are regarding your children. Out of the four that we’re about to explain, keep in mind that psychology says that AUTHORITATIVE parenting is the style that produces the healthiest children.
Supportiveness, also called Parental Responsiveness, refers to “the extent to which parents intentionally foster individuality, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive, and acquiescent to children’s special needs and demands.” Demandingness, also called Behavioral Control via Discipline, refers to “the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family whole, by their maturity demands, supervision, disciplinary efforts and willingness to confront the child who disobeys.”
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Indulgent parents (also referred to as “permissive” or “nondirective”) “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation.” Indulgent parents may be further divided into two types: democratic parents, who, though lenient, are more conscientious, engaged, and committed to the child; and nondirective parents.
Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and directive, but not responsive. “They are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.” These parents provide well-ordered and structured environments with clearly stated rules. Authoritarian parents can be divided into two types: nonauthoritarian-directive, who are directive, but not intrusive or autocratic in their use of power; and authoritarian-directive, who are highly intrusive.
Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. “They monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative.”
Uninvolved (neglectful) parents are low in both responsiveness and demandingness. In extreme cases, this parenting style might encompass both rejecting-neglecting and neglectful parents, although most parents of this type fall within the normal range.