Every parent knows the sibling argument that begins with “She’s touching me” and ends with no clear winners and usually a bit of screaming and tears. Each child wants their own space while still invading the other’s space. If you and your spouse have different parenting styles it may feel like you are trapped in the same never ending argument. It’s stressful when you both have clashing opinions about how to parent, and different experiences to draw on from your own childhood.
So what do you do? It can help to identify what your actual parenting style is and then find a way to meet in the middle with your partner so that you don’t end up in a mom-said, dad-said situation later. While your kids will never concede their own battle, they will certainly notice when there’s a disagreement between parents and use it to their advantage.
Even if it’s an uphill battle, you have to learn to get on the same page as your partner before the teen years (or face the wrath of a manipulative child who thinks he or she doesn’t have to listen to one of you). Luckily, you have a few years of practice with a much sweeter and forgiving soul before then.
4 Most Common Parenting Styles:
The goal of an authoritative parent is to take proactive action to correct an issue before it arises. While this parent has a set list of rules, they always explain the rules thoroughly to their children and measure punishments based on the emotional impact on each child. While there are always consequences, they acknowledge the emotions of their children and utilize various positive discipline strategies such as reward charts and praise. Children raised in this one of the four parenting styles tend to be well-adjusted, successful, and positive decision-makers.
When most people think of authoritarian parents they think of military kids or their grandparents’ generation. This style of parenting disregards the emotion of children and instead focuses on the theory of “because I said so.” There is no room for negotiation and children are expected to behave properly with no room for error. While this can help teach children discipline and obedience, it doesn’t leave any room for children to develop problem-solving skills and many kids in these households develop self-esteem issues because they feel their feelings were never properly valued or even considered.
While an uninvolved parenting style may not seem like it should land on the list of types of parenting styles, it is unfortunately on the rise. With so many pressures on them, some parents mentally check-out of their children’s lives. While they may provide for their children offering a safe home and daily meals, they rarely ask their children about their lives or know anything about them. Whether or not they are aware of their parenting style, they force their children into raising themselves which results in children who later in life will deal with self-esteem issues and struggle in school.
Rounding out the 4 parenting styles is permissive parenting, which like the name suggests is the term for parents who rarely enforce rules or assign consequences to actions. These parents tend to be extremely lenient and are willing to forgive their kids for almost anything. If you are a permissive parent you may be more concerned about being your child’s friend than their parent which can result in children with behavioral issues who aren’t able to effectively conform to rules and authority in situations like school.
A lot of parents find that they are a blend of all four parenting styles and that their parenting style may alter a bit depending on the situation. For example, a parent may be more permissive in social situations than they are at home where they turn into a more authoritarian parent. If you and your partner are both dedicated to your children you are already ahead. Take one step further and sit down to discuss each other’s parenting styles together. Identify strengths and weaknesses and then talk about how you can meet in the middle to ensure that you are both able to retain a positive relationship with your child as they grow.
Senior Author & Chief Editor
Based in Tempe, AZ
I started writing in college and am thankful to have turned it into a growing career. I love to create and share content that hits home for me, and hopefully helps others at home. I’m the proud mom of 2 beautiful boys, and a gorgeous baby girl.
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