Types Of Parenting


There is nothing quite as cool as spending time at a friend’s house overnight or for the weekend. This experience is part of what helps deepen and strengthen long term friendships.

When we are at a friend’s home we often get to observe how their family interacts and that may be very different from our own family. Too frequently, when we’re not talking about our peers, we are talking about our parents and the role they play in our lives. If we were to pay attention we might recognize the type of parents that our friends have and how they are raising our friends.

It is commonly held that there are three types of parenting styles. Of the three, it is believed by adults that think about these sort of things that only one style is the best. The three types of parenting styles are: Permissive Parenting, Authoritarian Parenting and Authoritative Parenting.

Permissive Parenting

Our friends that have the Permissive Parents are probably the most favorite home to hang out at. It’s kind of “an anything is ok to do” home, because there are no rules to follow and we can have fun doing things that we are not allowed to do in our own home. These are the parents we wish we had. Our friends however would tell us that they wish they had parents who cared and paid attention to what they were doing and sometimes even disciplined them. These friends have even told us that they often feel unimportant, not cared for, and even unloved.

Authoritarian Parenting

Some of our friends have the opposite kind of parent, or the Authoritarian Parents. These parents create a home where we least like to hang out at. Our friends with Authoritarian parents may be excellent candidates for military boot-camp as they have learned to say “yes sir and yes ma’am” early in life. These parents are dictatorial and want their children to be quick to do as they say without any hesitation. These parents are not interested in what their children may think about anything and certainly are not allowed to express what they think or feel.   These parents believe that “children are to be seen, not heard”. Sometimes our friend, can feel that they are not really a full person who has their own feelings and their own minds. They all too often grow up feeling unloved and afraid.

People who do research on Permissive and Authoritarian parenting have found out that their children often grow up with rebellious attitudes toward their parents. It is pretty clear that they may become adults with personalities that are either too controlling of others or too submissive and disconnected from their own feelings.   Clinical words like maladaptive and maladjusted are too frequently labeled on adults that have experienced these two types of parenting styles.

Authoritative Parenting

Every one of us reading this may hope that our home has the Authoritative Parent and is parenting us with style!   When we have a friend come to our home we want to have all of the fun and hang-out time we would like while also knowing there are limits to what we can do. Without admitting it, we like that our parents are making sure we are okay and that we are safe. We like that our parents know our friend’s names and are interested in them because they are kids we hang out with. When we are being pressured to do something we are not comfortable doing, we like that we can blame our parents for being too nosey for us to get away with anything, so we better not do it. We like that our parents have touched base with our friend’s parents about some activity we are doing and how long we can spend time together. We appreciate that if we are not where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there, our parents have this almost magical way of knowing something is wrong, and there will be consequences when we finally do get home! We hope that our parents teach us how important it is to obey them even if we don’t like what we are being asked to do. We know, but would never admit it to our friends, that our parents know more than we do, and they love us. We really do need our parents to be Authoritative with us…because after all, we’re still just kids. Thanks mom and dad…for caring enough to parent us!

Dr. Harry Broomfield

Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers