The Montfort Group

Parenting Style

Scenario: You are at the grocery store and your child is in the middle of a loud and embarrassing tantrum. Shoppers are passing you by with judgmental glances suggesting you should get control of the situation. You find yourself doing which of the following:

  1. You say, “The answer is no because I said no.”
  2. Firmly explain that buying 5 candy bars is not a choice right now.
  3. After a few minutes of crying you let them have the candy just to stop the commotion and get your shopping done.  

We’ve all been there. Your child turns on the high-pitched screams and tears and we feel the sting of anxiety to shift the situation as quickly as possible.

In all stages of development, boundary setting is an important but difficult aspect of parenting. By helping our children understand the rules we help them to learn about the rules, how to problem solve, and regulate their emotions. Most of this example comes from how we model behavior toward them in these moments.

Psychologist Diana Baumrind noticed that preschoolers displayed different behaviors due to parenting style. She set out to describe the dynamics that influence parenting styles and found that particular parenting characteristics produced children with improved self-esteem and confidence.

There are 4 types of parenting:


An Authoritative parent enforces rules while also considering the child’s needs and providing warmth and support. They are forgiving rather than punishing, they clearly define the rules and consequences for breaking the rules but allow for open communication without criticizing or judging the child.


Authoritarian parents strictly focus on obedience, offering explanations like, “just because I said so.” They don’t provide room for communication, the child has few choices and the parent expects the child to follow the rules without an explanation of the rationale behind the rules.


The permissive parent is also known as an indulgent parent. This parent is loving and nurturing but they tend to avoid confrontation and give in to the child’s demands and tolerate child’s misbehavior to avoid upsetting them. The parent may take on the role of a friend instead of parent and has hardly any rules or structure resulting in a child that grows up without sense of control and discipline.


The last parenting style is a neglectful parent, also known as uninvolved parenting. This parent provides for the child’s basic needs, but is detached from the child’s emotional needs. has no expectations of the child, or is indifferent toward them. They spend most of their time away from home and are generally uninvolved in their child’s lives.

Research shows that each parenting style has distinct effects on a child’s behavior. Authoritative parenting is the ideal way to relate to your child, as this relationship pattern is associated with positive outcomes such as higher self-esteem and self-competence. Her results also revealed that is good to have parents that have different styles rather than both being authoritative, permissive or authoritarian 

Baumarind’s research highlighted that “good” parenting is a balance of both responsiveness and demandingness. The balance for every child is different, requiring different parenting practices in different situations. Unfortunately there are no clear-cut distinctions. Each child requires different parenting strategies that are often completely different than their sibling. Not very helpful, huh?

This is where parenting sessions can help you understand your style and how you can most effectively relate with your child. Contact The Montfort Group today to find the strategies that work for you and your family. 


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