According to psychology, there are only four styles of parenting. Each has a different effect on children’s academic performance, whether or not they will enjoy school, their ability to learn, their behavior, and how they get along with others. That’s all very important stuff. Right? So let’s go through each and find out which you are. We’ll go back to front. So the style that has the worst effect to the one that has the best effect. 

The Uninvolved Parent


The first is the uninvolved parent. This parent sets no rules. Is very uninvolved with their child’s life and school. And can be indifferent to their child’s needs.

Spoiler alert. That’s not you!

How do I know? Well, because you are watching this video of course. You are obviously very involved and caring. But how much involvement is ideal? We’ll cover that later in this video when we cover what is often called the fifth style.

Uninvolved parents just sort of expect kids to raise themselves. They don’t ask about school. They often don’t know where their children are. This could be due to mental health issues, alcohol abuse, overwhelm, or just plain lack of knowledge about child development. Children of uninvolved parents tend to perform poorly in school and rank low on happiness scales. Unfortunately, this is about 19 percent of parents today.

Children of uninvolved parents often have very impulsive behavior and high rates of delinquency. Later in life, they have a higher likelihood of drug and alcohol abuse and even suicide. This is not an ideal parenting style.


The Permissive Parent

The next style of parent is the permissive parent. Permissive parents are warm and responsive, but like the uninvolved parent, they have no rules or very few rules. They are very indulgent with their child. Giving them whatever they want. Some permissive parents may try to enforce a rule or say no, but when the child reacts to this enforcement they give in. Maybe to avoid a scene. That may help for the moment but that technique will usually backfire because the child is learning that they can get what they want simply by throwing a tantrum. Eventually, this can contribute to what psychologists call Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Not somewhere any parent wants to be.

Permissive parents may often say things like “Kids will be kids”. They think of their relationship more of a peer-to-peer relationship rather than a parent-to-child relationship. They are reluctant to impose limits or keep their children under control. Their children are not required to have good manners.  And they are allowed to regulate their own behavior and choices. One big example is screen time. Screen time and snacks are not monitored well. Leading to screen addictions and obesity. That being said, the right amount of screen time is a tricky thing. That’s why we did a complete video series on it. If you are interested in maximizing your child's benefits from screen time while reducing the risks watch our children and electronics playlist. 

The lack of boundaries from permissive parenting can lead to anxiety and depression. And permissive parenting also often leads to poor school performance. Also not an ideal parenting style.


What studies do show OVERWHELMINGLY, is that having high expectations actually builds confidence. And confidence leads to high performance.

The Authoritarian Parent

Then there is the authoritarian parent. This is the “my way or the highway” parent. They may use the phrase “Because I told you so” a lot. This parent has extremely strict rules, possibly with harsh punishments. They expect blind obedience. And they have very high expectations. Tiger parenting fits into this category. Sometimes this CAN lead to high academic performance but generally at the cost of self-esteem and general mental health. It can also lead to poor social skills. And, of course, the child of this parent is often the one that later in life finds themself in a career that they hate. These children's boundaries are so tight that they can’t learn to think on their own. So they have a difficult time coming up with solutions to problems on their own. They will always look to others for answers. However, some children of this parenting style dive into learning. They use it as an escape. So they will end up very well educated, but anxious.

The strong punishments given by authoritarian parents can lead to rebellion, lying, and power struggles. And children from these parents can have explosive anger and be resentful. It’s a risky parenting style.




Key Takeaways:

Your parenting style affects your child's learning
Highly authoritarian parents may produce overacheivers but they are likely to have anxiety
Authoritative Parenting is a highly effective style
By praising for effort rather than attribute,s you will help your child develop a strong growth mindset. You will help your child become secure in their ability to learn.

The Authoritative Parent

Finally, we come to the authoritative parenting style. Parents in this category are firm but also warm and responsive. It’s about having clear rules but also valuing independence. If you are this style, you will let a child explore new things on their own, but within limits. You will always praise your child for their effort. By praising for effort rather than attribute,s you will help your child develop a strong growth mindset. You will help your child become secure in their ability to learn. They won’t be paralyzed by a fear of failure. They will realize that mistakes are just points on the path to success and a necessary part of success. Your child will be likely to have very high academic performance as well as high self-esteem and great social skills. This is true even if they started off with a learning disability because they will learn to develop the grit and love of learning needed to overcome it. If that’s you and you need the tools to help them do that, check out the Learning Success System

Authoritative parents are good role models. They have carefully defined limits. They are emotionally responsive and they are the emotional leaders in their family. If you’d like to learn more about being your child’s emotional leader, we did a full documentary on it called “The Overly Emotional Child”. 

Those are the four recognized parenting styles. This theory was originated by clinical psychologist Diana Baumrind and is the widely accepted theory of parenting styles. But we also hear about a fifth style. The helicopter parent. This is the parent that is involved in every aspect of their child’s life. From protecting their emotions and solving every little problem for them. This parent hovers. Especially over homework. We bring this up for a couple of reasons. #1 This over-involvement in homework can mask a learning challenge. Teachers will have a hard time realizing that there is a problem if homework is completed FOR the child. 

And #2, is it can be pretty hard to figure out how much involvement is best for your child. How much do you protect them and how much do you let them explore and make mistakes on their own.

Not always an easy task.  

How much should you be involved in your child’s homework? Well, studies show that there is no absolute number here either. Some kids performed better with more involvement and others worse. There’s no cut-and-dry answer. Sorry. But, in general you should have less and less involvement as a child gets older. If you have dealt with any learning challenges early on, then this will be easy.

What studies do show OVERWHELMINGLY, is that having high expectations actually builds confidence. And confidence leads to high performance. 

A big part of the Learning Success System is helping parents use neuroscience based techniques to help their children develop confidence and grit as well as enhance their learning ability. This helps them overcome any learning struggles they might have as well as develop into happy confident learners. Get a free trial here.

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