Recognize Your Parenting Style

Dear Preschool Parents,

Here are four major parenting styles identified by researchers and psychologists:  authoritative, neglectful, permissive, and authoritarian.  It would be beneficial to take some time to recognize your parenting style.  We hope you will learn something from different styles.


Authoritative style parenting is well considered as the most effective style for normal children.  These parents have high expectations for their children with appropriate supports and understanding.  Authoritative parents create a healthy and productive relationship with children.

        Ask the following questions:

  •   Do you have a set schedule for your kids; for example, planned bedtime and household rules?
  •   Are there consequences for breaking the schedule and the rules?
  •   Are the expectations you have for your kids reasonable?  Do they understand the reasons behind the expectations?
  •   Do you create an open, comfortable, and non-judgmental atmosphere to communicate with your kids?

One of the most important traits in authoritative style parenting is having a healthy communication environment.  You can understand children better and deeper if there are no judgments as barriers.  Even though authoritative parenting works with most children, you should modify it to your children accordingly.  If you are confused or feel overwhelmed, please don’t hesitate to seek help from professional therapists.


Neglectful style parenting is harmful to both parent and child.  They should seek help immediately to turn the situation around and build a healthy and communicative relationship.

        Ask the following questions:

  •   Do you care for your child’s emotional, physical, or other needs?
  •   Do you know what is happening in your child’s life?
  •   Do you provide a safe place for your child to speak their mind without receiving negative feedbacks?
  •   Do you always stay away from home and from your child?
  •   Do you make excuses to not being with your child?
  •   Do you know you child’s friends and teachers?
  •   Are you involved in your child’s life outside the home?

Neglectful parenting is harmful to children because they don’t have a trusting foundation with their parents.  Thus, they have no faith or interest in building relationships with others.  This parenting style can be change through education.  Please seek help immediately if you find yourself or know someone who is in a similar situation.


Permissive style parenting can also be harmful to the child.  Parents are responsive but not demanding.  Parents set rules but they are inconsistent.  Although permissive parents act out of love, the unstructured setting causes children to grow up with lack of self-control, poor social skill, self-centeredness, lack of motivation, or clashing with authority.

        Ask the following questions:

  •   Do you set rules but compromise to accommodate your child’s mood?
  •   Do you avoid conflict with your child?
  •   Do you want to be your child’s best friend instead of their parent?
  •   Do you often bribe your child to do things with large rewards?

Permissive parenting might be children’s favorite parenting style because they can have whatever they want.  However, this is harmful in the long run.  Children should have a set structure to make them feel safe.  Permissive parents should start changing by establishing boundaries and limits for children.  Please seek professional help if needed.


Be careful not to confuse with the first parenting style mentioned above.  Authoritarian parenting is also called strict parenting.  Parents are demanding but not responsive.  This is harmful because parents give no room for arguments or communication.  Punishment is often used to gain obedience.  Children can result in having low self-esteem, misunderstanding love with obedience, having poor social skill, or misbehaving outside parental care.

        Ask the following questions:

  •   Do you set rules that must be followed strictly?
  •   Do you explain rules to your child by saying “because I said so?”
  •   Do you allow your child make his/her own choice?
  •   Do you use punishment to make your child do the things you said?
  •   Do you withhold the amount of warmth and love you show to your child?

Setting boundaries is a good practice but parents should not overdo it.  It is beneficial find the sweet balance between following rules and open communication.  Try to explain to children why they should follow the rules.  Allow room for discussion and show more love to children.  Seek help from professionals if needed.


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