There are many differences between parenting styles. All parents can use all of these styles. However, some parents may be more disposed to one or the other than others. For example, some parents may have a highly permissive parenting style while others may be highly authoritative.
The four parenting styles have different names and attributes: Authoritarian and Disciplinative. Authoritarian parenting styles are harsh and dictate rigidly what children are allowed to do and what they should not do. Authoritarian parents give little physical support to their children and punish them for inappropriate behavior. Disciplining parents give frequent discipline but do not give rewards. Both authoritarian and disciplinative parenting styles are very traditional and thus ineffective.
The second most identified four parenting style is permissive parenting. Parenting styles of this type are widely used by families who have established a stable marital relationship and agree on certain parenting goals such as shared parenting or time apart. A permissive parent provides little physical support and relies on the child to fulfill social and emotional obligations. He gives little consideration to establishing and maintaining parental authority. Children are not respected and are not encouraged to learn self control and self reliance. These parents generally have low self esteem and fail to establish a meaningful parenting partnership.
The third widely recognized parenting style is Indulgent or authoritative parenting. This style is widely used among families who do not follow a stable marriage relationship. In this type of model parents provide too much attention to their children and fail to establish or support a meaningful parenting partnership. Authoritative parents encourage a strong and effective parenting style by setting clear rules for children and setting firm limitations for inappropriate behavior.
The fourth widely recognized parenting style is authoritative parenting. This style is often used when the parents share power in a family setting. This type of model encourages the parents to set limits and to take responsibility for establishing and enforcing rules. Authoritative parents encourage their children to think for themselves, to develop independent attitudes and values, and to take responsible positions on many issues in society. These parents are highly influential in the lives of their children.
All parenting styles share some characteristics, including set occasions, structure, goals and methods of enforcement. Different families will also set these expectations and will have differing patterns of enforcement. Research has shown that although authoritative parents tend to have happier child outcomes, their child outcomes do not always remain consistent. Further research should examine the role that the family’s income and its relationships with the primary caregivers and the primary care provider have on child outcomes.