There exist four different parenting styles: the authoritarian style, the authoritative style, the permissive style as well as the uninvolved style. These styles have been discovered throughout the past decades and are still subjects of current research. A famous scientist, by the name of Diana Baumrind, in the field discovered the first thee styles. Her discoveries were later picked up and detailed research was conducted to discovered the last style known as the uninvolved style.
Diana Baumrind conducted an experiment on one hundred preschool-age children using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and many other research methods. She was able to define four major dimensions of parenting: disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles and expectations of maturity and control. Her conclusion was that based on how children are raised different traits are more or less dominant in their figure. As previously mentioned, Diana was able to classify different parenting styles into three different ones: authoritarian parenting style, authoritative parenting style and the permissive parenting style.
The authoritarian parenting style enforces strict discipline on children; they must obey any command the parent gives without question otherwise punishment is given without reason. These parents will not tolerate their children misbehaving; as soon as something is not to their liking, they will simply punish the kids harshly. These children will grow up being very disciplined and will often succeed in life, however they will display poor social skills. According to Baumrind, these parents are obedience and status oriented; they expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.
Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. Baumrind suggests that these parents “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”.
Permissive adults, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. According to Baumrind, permissive parents “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation” (1991). Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.