Types of parenting styles

Are you a strict or chilled out parent? Do you believe in disciplining or pampering the child? A mix of all perhaps? As we all know, no parenting manual can teach us to be the best parents. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Firstly, we are humans and can make mistakes. Secondly, parenting is a tough job and you need to adapt to the situations as they unfold.

However, if you are wondering what is your parenting style and whether you need to change it for your children’s development, here is a quick guide to it.

Per se, there are four broad categories of parenting styles:


This type of parents lay down clear rules and expect their children to follow them without giving them any reasonable explanation. They demand obedience and discipline from children. They do not mind punishing the children. There is hardly any scope for two-way communication.

Children of such parents are always on their best behaviour, but they are likely to develop low self-esteem and fear of failure.


This type of parents also expect children to abide by rules, but not at a rigid level. They explain the reasons behind the rule. They encourage and support children in accomplishing their goals. They nurture their children and allow them the flexibility of decision-making and choices. They are open to discussions and negotiations with children.

Children of such parents are known to perform well in academics and career. They live happy and confident life.

Experts say that authoritative parenting is the best style as it not only establishes a strong bond between parents and children but also fosters the all-round development of children.


This type of parents indulge their children and hardly believe in discipline. They have a very friendly relationship with their kids. They do not interfere in children’s lives and let them make the decisions.

Children of such parents get an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. But, they may grow into headstrong adults and not like anyone advise or boss them around.


This type of parents lacks any warmth or connection in their relationship with children. They fulfil the basic needs of children but remain unresponsive, indifferent and uninvolved otherwise. They let children be on their own.

Children of such parents could face detachment and emotional breakdown issues. They are more vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse, or other bad habits.

Other Parenting Styles

Over the years, parenting styles are taken some quirky names that resonate more with new age parents. Take a look!

  • Tiger Parenting: These parents push their children into becoming achievers. They measure the success of their parenting on how well the children have excelled in all fields of life.
  • Helicopter Parenting: These parents constantly hover around their children and are over-involved with them. They have a strong need to control the children’s lives.
  • Elephant Parenting: These parents are complete nurturers. They do not rebuke the children for failing or making mistakes.
  • Dolphin Parenting: These parents somehow know the art of ideal parenting. They can discipline their child but at the same time, pamper, protect and encourage them when the situation demands. They are like authoritative parents.
  • Lighthouse Parenting: These parents are role models for their children. Like Dolphin parents, they can strike the right balance between discipline and freedom.
  • Snowball Parenting: These parents always put their children’s needs above everything else. They are fierce protectors and do not want to see their children struggle in any way.
  • Freerange Parenting: These parents give complete leeway to their children and remain aloof with them. You can compare this style to neglectful parenting.

Can you identify with any of these parenting styles?

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

  1. Aman Jha 3 years ago

    I might be guilty of tiger parenting:-(

  2. Harshika Behere 3 years ago

    I think most of us are helicopter parents these days. We are too involved in their lives.

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