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Traditional Parenting Styles: A Brief Insight

Traditional Parenting Styles: A Brief Insight

Parenting is an ongoing process that greatly influences a child’s development. Throughout history, different cultures have adopted various approaches to raising their children, but they can all be broadly classified into four major traditional parenting styles. 

These parenting styles, which have been studied extensively since the 1960s, were initially identified by developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind

They include authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting.

Each parenting style has its unique combination of expectations, rules, and communication methods. Understanding these traditional parenting styles can help parents make more informed decisions about how to raise their children best and adapt their approach as needed. 

Understanding the Parenting Styles

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting is a style characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance with parental rules and directions. This approach is built upon established norms, often cultural or societal, and is marked by a clear boundary between the parent and child roles. 

Parents with an authoritarian approach have a low tolerance for disobedience and may use punishment or discipline to enforce their rules. 

Authoritative Parenting

In contrast to authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting is a more balanced approach. Authoritative parents still have high expectations for their children, but they also provide support and guidance, giving reasons for their rules and allowing open communication. 

These parents are more likely to use praise and rewards instead of punishment. 

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is a much more lenient and indulgent style. 

Permissive parents often have few rules or expectations and tend to be more like friends to their children than authority figures. They rarely discipline and are likely to give in to their child’s wants. 

Uninvolved Parenting

Lastly, uninvolved parenting is a style characterized by a lack of responsiveness and emotional connection with the child. Uninvolved parents may not provide the guidance or structure that children need, often resulting in feelings of neglect and insecurity. 

Effects on Child Development and Wellbeing

Parenting styles have a significant impact on various aspects of a child’s development and overall well-being, including self-esteem, independence, anxiety, and mental health

Authoritarian parenting may result in children experiencing lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression, as their emotional and psychological needs might not be adequately addressed.

With authoritative parenting, the family cooperates to find effective solutions, promoting independence and the development of problem-solving skills. Consequently, children raised by authoritative parents typically show better mental health, balanced self-esteem, and a well-developed sense of autonomy.

Children raised by parents who use permissive parenting might develop higher rates of substance abuse and behavior problems as they have not internalized appropriate boundaries and expectations. Additionally, they may experience difficulties in establishing healthy, independent relationships later in life.

Finally, uninvolved parenting often results in children feeling neglected and unloved. These children may suffer from various mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and may also have a hard time forming secure, meaningful connections with others.

The choice of a parenting style can have lasting effects on a child’s development and well-being. Balancing responsiveness and support with appropriate limits and expectations is vital in fostering a healthy environment for the child to grow and thrive.

Connection of Culture and Socioeconomic Factors

When examining traditional parenting styles, you cannot overlook the significant influence of culture and socioeconomic factors. Different regions have their unique practices, which are deeply ingrained in their cultural values and norms. 

These cultural differences manifest in various ways, shaping the overall parenting experiences in Eastern and Western contexts.

In addition to culture, socioeconomic status plays a crucial role in determining parenting styles. Factors such as income, education, and occupation directly impact the resources available to families, which in turn influences their approach to parenting. 

For example, financially stable families might have more access to educational resources, while those in lower socioeconomic brackets may face more challenges in nurturing their children’s development. In such cases, the resource disparity can lead to varying parenting methods, even within the same culture.

Diversity is important to consider, as it offers unique insights into the blend of cultural and socioeconomic elements that influence parenting. With immigration rates increasing, there is a rising fusion of different cultural, ethnic, and spiritual ideologies in parenting styles. This dynamic landscape paves the way for families to adapt and adopt new practices, ultimately diversifying the traditional parenting styles prevalent in various communities.

Different Parenting Practices and their Implications

Different parenting styles can have varied effects on children’s development. One popular style is helicopter parenting, where parents are overly involved in the day-to-day activities of their children. This is not a “main” parenting style but more of an offshoot.

This approach can lead to a lack of autonomy in children and hinder their ability to make decisions independently. On the other hand, some benefits of this style include increased academic achievement and stronger parent-child relationships.

Attachment parenting is another parenting practice that focuses on developing secure emotional connections between parents and children. This style may foster strong bonds and can benefit children’s self-esteem. But, it can also create a dependency on parents, making it difficult for children to establish their independence as they grow up and need to make decisions on their own. 

On the other end of the scale is free-range parenting, which encourages children to explore their surroundings and make decisions independently. This style can positively impact children’s self-management and problem-solving skills. However, it also comes with potential negatives, such as greater risks of accidents or children feeling unsupported by their parents.

Parenting Styles and the Child’s Academic Performance

Parenting styles play a significant role in a child’s academic achievement and overall school performance. Different parenting styles have varying levels of impact on a child’s motivation, self-esteem, and self-regulation, which eventually reflect in their grades and academic success.

Authoritative parenting is often considered the most effective approach to support a child’s academic performance. Children raised in this environment usually develop better problem-solving skills and have higher self-esteem, leading to improved school performance.

High demands and low responsiveness characterize authoritarian parenting. This parenting style can result in lower self-esteem and hinder children’s motivation in their academic pursuits.

With permissive parenting, children raised in this environment can develop a sense of independence; they may struggle with self-discipline and show lower grades in school.

Lastly, Studies have shown that children raised in uninvolved parenting style families tend to face challenges both academically and socially.

Wrapping Up

The child’s academic performance is noticeably impacted by the parenting style adopted at home. By balancing high demands and warmth through authoritative parenting, parents can foster an environment that promotes academic success and well-rounded development for their children.


  1. Baumrind’s Parenting Styles is an adaptation of Child, Family, and Community (Chapter 6: A Closer Look at Parenting) by Laff & Ruiz (2019), licensed CC BY 4.0 and Social and Personality Development in Childhood by Ross Thompson, licensed CC BY NC SA
  2. Baumrind, D. (2013). Authoritative parenting revisited: History and current status. In R. E. Larzelere, A. Sheffield, & A. W. Harrist (Eds.), Authoritative parenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal child development. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 
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  11. Support for Baumrind’s Authoritative Parenting is taken from The Family by Joel A Muraco, licensed CC BY NC SA