Parent Style


What Parent Style Are You???

I have come to the realization that most of my blogs are written from the depths of despair of my own parental experiences.  I keep them humorous and the goal is for my readers to relate, laugh and realize that we probably all over think things sometimes.  All of this is great, yet I think it’s time that I share with you some of the more educational components of being a parent.  After all, this is the most important job you will ever do and a little education never hurt.  In the 1960’s psychologist Diana Baumrind did a study on the different ways in which we parent.  She discovered that there are four different styles of parenting.  I will break them down for you and if you want to know more you can follow this link:


  • Authoritarian Parent:  This parent is a strict disciplinarian, and sometimes the punishments are punitive.  Do you remember saying to your parent, ‘but why’, and their response, ‘because I said so.’  I describe this style as ‘I (being the      parent) say ‘jump’ and you (being the child) should say ‘how high.’  It’s simple, clean, and effective.  Yet, over time we see that this can be damaging to a child’s psyche.
  • Authoritative Parent:  This one is my personal favourite.  We have boundaries,      expectations and rules, (as I always say, the rules are for your safety, and my sanity – I raise three boys, so sanity is a priority), yet I implement these rules with love, conversations on why, and with natural learning consequences that will help support the values we have in our home.  With this style of parenting this is a lot more talking, but it’s worth it in the long haul… there is no ‘easy’ button when you are a parent.  This style is proven in psychology to be the most effective, yet many parents still default to other styles.
  • Permissive Parent: We see a lot of this style today and I think it is because we saw a lot of the Authoritarian style just one generation before.  Parents are terrified to hurt their child’s psyche and so they indulge and rarely say no.  The child is left unclear as to what is ok and not ok.  Their brains are still developing they look to the parent to lead them, yet the parent is looking to never upset the child.
  • Uninvolved Parent:  This parent simply meets the physiological needs of the child, but is otherwise checked out emotionally from the experience.   If you are reading this blog – you are not this parent!! 🙂

Of course now we can add the snowplow parent and the helicopter parent, although those parents are under the umbrella of the permissive parent.  They are their child’s superhero and they are always saving the day.  They do this with the best of intentions and the warmest of hearts.  When we do this we rob our children of the opportunity to build resilience and to learn how to regulate their own emotions.  Sometimes we all feel disappointed, sometimes we hear the word ‘no’, and sometimes we don’t get what we want.  That can feel hard and a 3 year old might crumple into a heap on the floor and deal with those big emotions with a downright good tantrum.  An eight year old might stomp their feet, a 13 year old might slam their door, an adult might go for a run.  We learn to deal with disappointment and come back and face our world.

So what are your rules?  Why do you have them?  How do you implement them?

Love is the foundation and our guidelines should reflect our values.


I have found that if you love life, life will love you back .

Arthur Rubinstein