How Parenting Styles Affect Behavior In Children

Parents contribute significantly to the child’s development process and are vital parts of their lives. 

Parenting styles are considered to be basic strategies or methods adopted and applied by parents to foster values and raise their children. 

Researchers and psychologists for many years have been in search of how parenting styles can affect their child’s behaviors and development process. 

In fact, parenting styles and actions displayed by the parents can affect the child’s behavior and development process. 

Every parent strives to provide their child with a happy, nurturing, and healthy environment to help them develop into loving, caring, healthy, independent, and confident individuals. 

It is safe to acknowledge that children learn how to process their emotions and regulate their behaviors by observing their mannerisms. 

Relationships between parents and their offspring contribute significantly to shaping the child’s behavior and personality as adults. 

Believe it or not but parenting styles and the home environment during early childhood development can even affect their relationships as adults. 

If you are a vigilant and concerned parent who is looking for ways to curate the right developmental environment to facilitate optimum holistic development for their child, look no further. 

Here is all you need to know about Parenting Styles and How these parent styles can affect your child’s behavior and development process.

What is a Parenting Style, Exactly?

Before learning about different parting styles and their effects on the behaviors and development process of children, it is important to know what ‘parenting style’ exactly means. 

Parenting styles are basic constructs, beliefs, and strategies adopted and applied by parents to raise their children. 

Ideally, a parenting style encompasses the attitudes, behaviors, emotional environment, and atmosphere the parents utilize to raise their children. 

Many developmental and child psychologists for years have been researching how parenting styles can affect the child’s overall development process and behaviors. 

However, finding specific causes and effects of such intangibles as parenting styles and their effects on child development has been quite difficult. 

According to some studies, parenting styles often govern the development of personalities in children during adulthood. 

For example, children from a positive home environment are able to establish healthier relationships and are more confident than the ones who aren’t. 

Furthermore, it is also noted that children from the same household who are brought up with the same parenting style can also develop significantly different personalities during their adult lives.

Are There Different Types of Parenting Styles?

As a matter of fact yes, there are four distinct categories of parenting styles that encompass certain parenting strategies. 

Based on research conducted by Diana Baumrind in the 1960s on about 100 preschool children, she identified the important dimensions and paradigms of parenting styles. 

These dimensions and paradigms were based on disciplinary strategies, maturity, behaviors, control, communication styles nurturing, warmth, and expectations set by the parents. 

Based on her study she identified three parenting styles that the majority of parents adopt to raise their children. 

However, based on a later study conducted by Maccob and Martin, another category of parenting style was added to the list. 

Parenting styles have been proven to directly affect the child’s social and emotional development and also contribute to the development of emotional resilience and behaviors.

While parenting style can be a situation-based process, generally parenting strategies can fall under one of these categories. 

The four key categories of Parenting styles as described by researchers are mentioned below:

Authoritarian Parenting Style:

The authoritarian style of parenting integrates strict rules and regulations set by parents that are to be followed by children. 

Along with restrictive rules and regulations, the authoritarian parenting style also utilizes punishments as a form of consequence when children are unable to meet the required expectations. 

Some of the key characteristics of the authoritarian parenting style are noted below:

  • Authoritarian parenting does not involve explaining the reasoning behind their rules or consequences. 
  • Parents have high demands and expectations from their children but are often unresponsive to their child’s needs and requirements.
  • Children are faced with harsh punishments as a form of consequence without being explained what they have done wrong. 
  • Children are expected to behave well without any basic guidelines and directions.

Permissive Parenting Style:

Permissive Parenting style also known as indulgent parenting style is the antipodal of authoritarian parenting style. 

This parenting style unlike the authoritarian parenting style involves parents who have close to no expectations from their children. 

Here is a list of some chief characteristics of the Permissive Parenting Style:

  • Permissive Parenting Style allows children to become independent entities by making their own decisions. 
  • The permissive Parenting style focuses more on being friendly with the child rather than being authoritative or strict. 
  • Permissive parents are very warm, inviting, nurturing, friendly, comforting, and attentive to their children. 
  • Permissive parenting involves close to no strict rules and has very few expectations from children.

Authoritative Parenting Style:

Just like Authoritarian Parenting Style the Authoritative parenting style also integrates certain rules and expectations that children are obliged to follow, however this approach to parenting is more democratic than the former. 

Some common characteristics of the Authoritative Parenting style that sets it apart from Authoritarian parenting are mentioned below: 

  • When children are unable to meet set expectations, authoritative parents often are more caring, understanding, and nurturing. 
  • Authoritative parenting is more hands-on and often warrants the active involvement of parents who actively listen and respond to their child’s needs and requirements. 
  • Although authoritative parents have high expectations from their children, they also provide the required nurturing, warmth, feedback, and love.

Uninvolved Parenting Style:

The fourth style of parenting was introduced by Elanor Maccoby and John Martin after the three parenting styles were introduced by Diana Baumrind. 

The fourth parenting style is called the uninvolved parenting style or the neglectful parenting style. 

Generally, this parenting style includes parents who have close to no concerns for their child’s well-being, are unresponsive, and have no communication with their children. 

Some of the characteristics of this parenting style are mentioned below:

  • These parents tend to fulfill their child’s basic lively needs and requirements by keeping them well-fed and providing them with shelter but do not provide any direct guidance or structure. 
  • Parents who adopt the uninvolved parenting style often appear to be unresponsive, dismissive, and indifferent to their children. 
  • Uninvolved or neglectful parents are generally detached from their children 
  • In some severe cases, parents do not even consider catering to the basic needs and requirements of their children. 
  • In worst cases, neglectful or uninvolved parents resort to verbal, physical, and emotional abuse.

How do Parenting Styles Impact Children?

According to Research, parenting styles have a direct effect on the early childhood development process. 

Here are the direct effects and impacts of parenting styles that may affect children in the long run:

Social Relationships:

According to a study, parenting styles and their impacts permeate into the child’s social behaviors and might affect how they build new social relationships and how they other peers. 

For example, children raised in permissive or uninvolved families might be bullied by their peers, while children who are from authoritarian families might be the ones who bully their peers.


Believe it or not but parenting styles can significantly affect the child’s self-esteem and confidence.

Children from authoritative families or households are more strong-willed and have higher self-esteem than children who are raised by other parenting styles.


Parenting styles also affect children’s motivation and vigor to study or excel in academics.

While parenting styles that focus on structured and positive reinforcements have children who excel in academics while children with unstructured or negative parenting styles often feel unmotivated to study.

Emotional Development:

Parenting styles can affect the child’s emotional well-being and mental health way more than one may think. 

According to a study, children who are raised by authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved parenting styles may experience heightened anxiety when compared to children who are brought up by authoritative parenting styles.

Adult Relationships:

According to a study, children raised in an authoritarian household often deal with emotionally and physically abusive romantic relationships.

Can You Alter Your Parenting Style?

Every parent strives to provide their child with a calm, soothing, warm, and nurturing environment which promotes optimum holistic development. 

However, while a warm, free, and nurturing environment is important, striking a balance between freedom and structure is also important. 

The authoritative parenting style is among the best parenting styles that helps provide children with an attentive, understanding yet structured environment to learn and grow. 

If you have noticed that your parenting style resembles the characteristics of authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved parenting styles and you would like to make some changes, you can follow the steps mentioned below:

Listen to the child:

Although children are young and naive, listening to their needs and requirements is imperative. 

Make sure to listen to your children’s concerns, complaints, needs, requirements, ideas, and worries to make them feel heard and comfortable with you.

Observe the child’s input:

Authoritative parenting styles require strict rules and regulations to help provide children with structure and balance. 

However, it is important to avoid forcing the child to follow the rules and instead to allow them to willingly follow the rules.

Set Boundaries and Rules:

Setting boundaries is integral for providing the child with a nurturing but structured environment to the child. 

Make sure to communicate your expectations with your child when setting rules and boundaries.

It is also important to actively explain to the child the basic rules and boundaries.

Be consistent:

Consistency is important when establishing rules and setting boundaries.

It is integral to integrate consequences that are educational, fair, and proportionate.