Styles of Parenting and Parenting with Others

What are the long term goals of the parenting style we choose?  Are we looking to foster kindness, gratitude, curiosity, emotional self-regulation, responsibility, independence, and more?  The parenting style that we choose will ultimately guide our parenting decisions.

Parenting styles have been written about by many authors.  Diana Baumrind’s research highlights the authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting styles.  She learned that parents who are kind and firm at the same time (authoritative) ultimately teach their children emotional self-regulation and thinking skills.  This style can be described as giving the child freedom within limits.  It is respectful of the child and of the parent.

The authoritarian style (limits without freedom) is described by parental firmness that may be lacking in kindness.  The parent sets the limits, and the children obey.  The children are not asked for much input and thus not encouraged to think on their own.  This style may feel disrespectful to the child at times.

The permissive parenting style (freedom without limits) is described by parental kindness that is often not firm enough.  The child pushes the boundaries and learns that the boundaries move when pushed.  The child is ultimately in control of most situations.  This parenting style may not feel respectful to the parents.

Parents often subscribe to one main style naturally and bring in elements of the other styles at different times.  How do parents or parenting partners decide how to proceed in various situations if their parenting styles are a mismatch?  First, we need to examine some of the barriers.  Then, we can introduce some proactive measures.

Barriers to parenting well with others include:

  1. Misunderstanding Personality Differences (Temperament)
  2. Each Parent's Own Childhood Upbringing
  3. Cultural Differences
  4. Different Values and Roles
  5. Lack of Information about Child Development
  6. Limited Time Together

What are some productive ways to approach parenting differences with your parenting partner?  Here are some proactive measures:

  1. Hold regular family meetings.
  2. Take parenting classes together.
  3. Communicate clearly with the other parent.
  4. Children can spend time alone with each parent.


By sharing responsibilities, each parenting partner has the opportunity to build an individual relationship with their child.

Free!  Connect with a Licensed Parent Educator to learn more about parenting styles and sharing parenting.

Here are research-based resources, links, and books on Parenting.

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