The Our Family Wizard Blog

The Importance of Family


Permissive, Authoritarian and Balanced Parenting Styles

All parents approach parenting differently, however, most fall into one of three categories:

  • Permissive
  • Authoritarian
  • Balanced

Which are you?  Which parenting style is the best for you child?

Authoritarian or authoritative parents believe that a structured and ordered approach is the only way to parent. Trademarks of an authoritarian parent are:
  • high standards and pre-determined goals for the children.
  • strict and over-bearing
  • many rules for the house and the kids.
  • chores or household duties
  • children expected to excel scholastically.

This parenting style seems best suited for rambunctious and “wild” children.  In other words, children who need clear definitions and rules.  This style of parenting is not recommended if you have shy or timid children, can make these children even more reclusive.

Permissive parents tend to be the opposite or the authoritarian parenting style, they tend to be:
  • easy going and laid back
  • believe kids should make choices and parents should support them
  • lack of strict rules for house and kids
  • kids will do the best they can academically with support

permissive parenting, authoritarian parenting and balanced parentingMany experts claim that permissive parenting is more destructive than good.  They believe that it creates a situation where the child is control instead of the parents.  This becomes more dramatic in the teenage years.  Permissive parenting doesn't work well for the "wild" child, but can prove to be very effective with shy or reserved child.

Finding a balance

Although the previous styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum, most parents implement a style that is somewhere in the middle.  This is referred to as balanced parenting.  Balanced parents try to use the best from both authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Children need to learn to make decision and that their decisions have impact on both their life and lives of those around them.  However, children need boundaries or they will run a muck.  Parents are not supposed to be their children best friend, but they are not supposed to be their enemy either.  It is up to you as a parent to find the right balance so that you can foster an environment that creates a well balanced and responsible child.