When it comes to parenting we are all learning, adjusting, changing as we go. We have to do what works for us. And it is ok to start one way and change your mind and parenting direction. I would be more worried if you didn’t.

I think I best fall into the authoritative parenting style. There many different parenting styles – just like there are personality types, learning styles, etc. I do think that we change as parents over the years and our styles develop. There is one that I relate the best to, though I do think I am a mix, and sometimes it depends on the day.

What are the 4 main parenting styles?

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian or Disciplinarian
  • Uninvolved
  • Permissive or Indulgent
father and daughter at sink


It is about having standards and boundaries and being responsive to the needs of the children. 

What does this mean?

You combine warmth, sensitivity, and the setting of limits and boundaries. Use positive reinforcement and reasoning to guide children. Avoid resorting to threats or punishments. You earn respect, not demand it. 

Authoritative parents give kids respect and listen (and expect kids to do the same) and encourage kids to be independent thinkers, but they do not give in to kids, therefore, they expect cooperation and good behavior.

Studies have shown that children who are raised in an authoritative household tend to be:

  • happy and content.
  • independent and self-reliant.
  • Develop good social skills.
  • good with emotional regulation and self-control.
  • Expressive and cooperative with peers​​.
  • Competent and assertive.

There is generally a better sense of self-esteem, better mental health and are better adjusted. 

mother and child with camera


  • Listen to your child
  • Validate and consider your child’s feelings
  • Establish boundaries and consequences
  • Offer incentives (not bribes, though I like to call them that)
  • Allow choices, responsibility and the freedom to make mistakes (and learn from them)


The counter to authoritative is authoritarian and this is essentially the opposite. 

There is more control of the child in authoritarian parenting and an expectation of blind obedience. High standards are set that can be hard to meet and inability to meet them often ends in punishment. There’s no doubt that children who grow up with authoritarian parents are often the most well-behaved kids in the room. This is largely due to knowing the consequence of stepping out of line, because there will be big trouble if you do.

Children who are raised by authoritarian parents tend to shy away from expressing their emotions. As a result, this can make it harder later in life. There is often a challenge of authority and perhaps rebellion.


Now, can we use parts of authoritarian parenting style to help with good behavior, however it needs to be balanced and with reward.

When it comes to parenting we are all learning, adjusting, changing as we go. We have to do what works for us. And it is ok to start one way and change your mind and parenting direction. I would be more worried if you didn’t. 

Want to know your parenting style? Why not try this simple quiz.

Other parenting today topics:
Parenting Support
Parenting Connections

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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