bond with baby

Parenting Styles

How Parenting Styles Affect Development

While there are many factors that influence children’s development and behaviour much research has been invested in learning about the influences that parenting practices and styles of parenting have on children as they develop from their early childhood years into adolescence. Below are generalised descriptions of such outcomes according to parenting styles:

  • Children of Permissive Parents tend to develop a high self-esteem (sense of self-worth) and are lower in levels of depression but are likely to be involved in non-conforming behaviour at school which can affect academic performance
  • Children of Authoritarian Parents tend to have lower self-esteem and higher in levels of depression (such as being anxious and unhappy) compared to children of permissive and authoritative parents. Yet they mostly conform at school and perform reasonably well academically
  • Children of Authoritative Parents tend to display a high level of self-esteem and are self-reliant, self-controlled, secure, popular, and inquisitive. These qualities positively influence their school performance. They also develop fewer psychological and behavioural problems than do children of authoritarian, permissive and neglectful parents
  • Children of Neglectful Parents usually have poor developmental outcomes during their childhood years. Interventions/programs can provide guidance and support, improving child and parent outcomes.
Father on Grass with Baby Mother on Grass with Baby

From the descriptions you can see how influential parents’ ways of bringing up their children can be on the developmental outcomes. If you begin your ‘career’ as a parent open to an understanding of how your early interactions lay the foundations for your baby’s health and happiness (discussed in detail in Bonding and Beyond and Communicating with Baby), then you will also realise that the love, warmth and responsiveness to their needs should continue throughout your parenting.