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What You Need to Know About Baumrind Parenting Styles

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Parents hold their newborn baby

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Summary: Have you ever heard of the Baumrind parenting styles? Find out which of these four parenting styles you are using and whether they are still relevant.

According to German psychologist Diana Baumrind, all parenting styles boil down to four distinct flavors: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful parenting. This group of parenting styles is called Baumrind’s parenting styles.

But what are Baumrind’s parenting styles, and how do they affect the parent-child relationship? 

To identify what type of parent you are, here’s what you need to know:

With self-awareness and responsibility, you can change your parenting style to find a better way of raising your children. 

What Is Meant by Parenting Styles?

What kind of person do you want your children to be in the future? 

The answer to that question defines your parenting style.

In short, a parenting style represents the strategy you use to raise your children. 

It encompasses the ideals, values, and behavioral approaches you use to help you children understand the world around them.

Your parenting style may have been cultivated based on your cultural or familial background, or it may be something you developed with practice over time.

But experts believe that different parenting styles yield different results from children.

So knowing which parenting style you use is a pretty important piece of the puzzle.

Parents using the Baumrind Parenting Styles to teach their kids

What Are the 4 Types of Parenting Styles?

Diana Baumrind was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1927. She worked as a developmental psychologist, and her most significant contribution to the field was the development of the now-famous Baumrind’s parenting styles.

Diana believed the two factors that were the most important when raising young children were responsiveness and demandingness.

Responsiveness is measured by how accepting and sensitive parents are to their children’s emotional and developmental needs. For example, highly responsive parents can identify their children’s emotions through interactions and respond accordingly.

Demandingness measures how much parents expect from their children and the measures they take to exert control. For example, a highly demanding parent expects their children to follow the rules to the letter, no questions asked.

1. Authoritative parenting

Authoritative parents have high responsiveness and high demandingness.

What does it look like?

Imagine a strict but caring mum or dad. They have high, clear standards for the children yet are affectionate and supportive.  

  • Set boundaries (and explain why) for the children, yet provide space for their children to make decisions. 
  • Use positive discipline to encourage their children to behave appropriately. 
  • Teach the children how to regulate their emotions and provide them with tools to reconcile uncomfortable feelings.

What’s the effect on the parent-child relationship?

The parent and the child are tightly bonded. The child develops a healthier mind and appears happier.

2. Authoritarian parenting

Authoritarian parents are highly demanding but less responsive. 

What does it look like?

They have strict rules and expect to be obeyed without explanation. These parents provide structured environments with clearly stated boundaries. 

  • Set clear rules to ensure the children behave appropriately.
  • Expect the children to follow the rules without question.
  • Punish the children if they break the rules.

What’s the effect on the parent-child relationship?

The child begins to fear the parent. “If I don’t obey, I’ll get punished,” mentality fills the entire household. The parent-child relationship becomes fear-based. 

3. Permissive parenting

A new trend in modern parenting, also known as indulgent or nondirective parenting. Permissive parents have high responsiveness and low demandingness.

What does it look like?

Permissive parents are non-traditional and allow space for children to explore the world themselves.

  • Don’t set strict rules.
  • Encourage children to learn from their mistakes through trial and error.
  • Let children decide for themselves.

What’s the effect on the parent-child relationship?

The children learn to be creative and have high self-reliance knowing that their parents will support them. Rules do not bind the parent and the child; so the house will be more chaotic (and that’s okay).

4. Neglectful parenting

Also known as uninvolved parenting, neglectful parents are low in both responsiveness and demandingness.

What does it look like?

Neglectful parents are indifferent to their children’s lives.

  • Take the hands-off approach and let the children decide for themselves.
  • Don’t care much about their children’s lives.
  • Limited communication between the parent and the child.

What’s the effect on the parent-child relationship?

The parent and the children are like strangers. They rarely talk to each other and live their own lives separately, although they live under one roof. 

Teen hugging mom

Are Baumrind’s Parenting Styles Still Relevant?

Well, not exactly. Baumrind’s parenting model pedestalizes discipline and control, which we know doesn’t help children to thrive. 

In fact, according to clinicians and researchers, anxiety among American youths is on the rise and will continue rising. 

That is — if nothing changes.

The change has to come from the most knowledgeable and influential people on Earth: the parents. Not the politicians, not the teachers, not your children’s friends, but you.

You, as the one and only parent of your child, can create an environment where your child blooms in their most authentic selves and reach their highest potential. As Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery free masterclass, explains:

We could end generations of emotional pain and suffering.

Instead of discipline and control, you can empower your children to decide what’s best and guide them emotionally to allow their innate wisdom to emerge.

This unconventional parenting style is called conscious parenting.

And you, as the parent, start by parenting your child consciously.

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Written by

Tifa Ong

Tifa is a former contributing content writer for Mindvalley Journal. She specializes in writing about nutrition and parenting.
Picture of Tifa Ong

Tifa Ong

Tifa is a former contributing content writer for Mindvalley Journal. She specializes in writing about nutrition and parenting.

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