The age-old debate over how parents should raise their children has stressed many new parents out. Each year, these parents buy parenting books and go to new-parent seminars to make sure they are raising their children well and leading their children in the right direction. However, according to the Lilienfeld textbook, there are four major parenting styles.
Permissive (a.k.a "Too soft"): Permissive parents are very lenient with their children. They allow their children to do what they want, when they want, and rarely discipline them for their wrongdoings. In addition, permissive parents often are extremely affectionate with their children.
Authoritarian (a.k.a "Too hard"): Authoritarian parents tend to be very strict with their children, giving them little room and opportunity to do what they want. They punish their children when they don't do what they're told, or if they are being disrespectful. In addition, authoritarian parents show very little affection toward their children.
Authoritative (a.k.a "Just right"): Authoritative parents combine the best of both worlds when it comes to parenting; they are both permissive and authoritarian. Authoritative parents are very supportive of their children, but know when to discipline them. Most psychologists believe that children who grow up under this parenting type are the best at socially and emotionally adjusting.
Uninvolved: Uninvolved parents ignore their children regardless of what they do. Children who grow up under this parenting type tend to have the most problems in life.
According to the Lilienfeld textbook, Diana Baumrind studied different parenting styles. Her research showed that most of the time, authoritative parents do the best job at producing well-adjusted children. However, this brings up the debate of correlation vs. causation. Baumrind's research only showed that there was a correlation between authoritative parenting and having "good" children. There might be other factors that play into the outcomes of the children under the different parenting types. Scholars have discovered that if parents provide their children with an average expectable environment, which is an environment that provides children with basic needs for affection and appropriate discipline, their children will turn out just fine. Therefore, we can't conclude that this information of authoritative parents and "good" children is directly due to causation.
Lilienfeld textbook chapter 10