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10 Different Parenting Styles You Haven't Heard About Yet

August 08, 2022

10 Different Parenting Styles You Haven't Heard About Yet

The wealth of information on parenting out there is both a burden and a blessing for parents nowadays. On one hand, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choices. The number of parenting books you can read alone is boundless! You might also overanalyze and find it difficult to stick to one “expert advice” because of the many other experts and experienced parents who chime in. Those professionals or credible individuals could have contradicting views, which makes finding your own stand a challenge.

On the other hand, the access to all the information you need means you can eliminate some guesswork. If you’re the decisive type, it can be easy to find what works for you and stick to that until it doesn’t work anymore. You can experiment with different techniques, for example, in order to test what is the best parenting style for your little one and you. Then, you can apply it to various aspects of your family life–from big concerns like dealing with school issues to everyday things like your child’s dental habits.

Either way, it’s always important to read up on these topics from credible sources and process the information into something actionable in your life. Read on for a discussion of the different modern parenting styles you can emulate.

In this article, we will talk about:

      •  The common parenting styles and how to apply them in your family

      •   Other parenting styles that aren’t commonly known

      •   Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America?

      •  How the parenting styles apply to dental hygiene


What do the common parenting styles really mean?

When you look up the terms, you’ll get a lot of results that pertain to the parenting styles theory of Diana Baumrind. Rather than springing from a parent’s actions, this actually started when she observed the behaviors of preschoolers. The ultimate point is how each way of raising a child results in different yet generally predictable outcomes.

According to Parenting for Brain, “Baumrind initially identified these three parenting styles: authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, and permissive parenting​.” Later on, Maccoby and Martin expanded the list to include neglectful parenting. Read on to learn more about these four types with actual applications into your child’s routine:

An illustrated mother hugs her son to show an example of authoritative parenting.

Authoritative parenting takes an approach that teaches your child reason while acknowledging their feelings.

1. Authoritative Parenting

Definition and other terms: Balanced parenting

Example: You let your child know that you understand why they think it’s a hassle to do something (like floss and brush every day), but you stress the importance and you make sure they do it anyway.

Pros: One of the most popular parenting styles that up to 46% of couples in America are comfortable with. In other words, it works for many families. It’s also easy for couples to agree on this style.

Cons: It’s difficult to pull off right, too. You always need to find the middle between progress and being authoritative.

An illustration of an authoritarian parent scolding his frightened kids.

The authoritarian parenting style tends to create distance between you and your child, and they may start keeping secrets because they are scared of you.

2. Authoritarian Parenting

Definition and other terms: Disciplinarian

Example: You don’t tolerate whining and you force your kids to accomplish the routine you set for them.

Pros: You’re the boss! You dictate what your child does, and you typically hand out punishments if they don’t obey.

Cons: Children raised with this parenting style typically develop animosity or even trauma because of the high expectations of how they should act and the fear of getting punished or embarrassed.

A permissive parent spoiling his child with candies to calm down their tantrum.

With permissive parenting, your child becomes the boss and they don't recognize your authority as a parent.

3. Permissive Parenting

Definition and other terms: Indulgent parenting

Example: You don’t really expect your children to follow you all the time, and you let them decide for themselves as much as possible. 

Pros: Your child may grow up feeling highly independent.

Cons: You can’t say no to your child, even if what they want is against your beliefs. They may grow up not respecting or following rules and become egocentric. 

A moody child destroys his tower of blocks while his parents are uninvolved and absent.

Instead of guiding your child, you choose to leave them to their own consequences.

4. Uninvolved Parenting

Definition and other terms: Neglectful parenting

Example: If your child refuses to brush their teeth or floss, you let them skip it.

Pros: An advantage for the parent that uses this hands-off approach is ease (since you don’t really involve yourself).

Cons: Children raised neglectfully are usually responsive to private conversations, but they stay guarded in order for others not to evade their personal space.


What other unique parenting styles are out there?

The first four concepts may already feel inclusive of the usual dynamics between parents and kids. However, over the years, experts came to realize other parenting styles that may be a blend of two or more of these styles. Some are also characterized by particular parental or child behaviors. Here’s a rundown of these other unique parenting styles:

5. Active parenting- According to The Transition House, Inc., this style “teaches parents how to raise a child by using encouragement, building the child's self esteem, and creating a relationship with the child based upon active listening, effective communication, and problem solving.” It’s more goal-oriented compared to the authoritative style, and it ensures that your child learns about responsibility even at an early stage. 

6. Democratic parenting - The American Psychological Association cites that this is the brainchild of Alfred Adler. The APA defines this as the style in which “the parent guides the child’s development in an accepting but steady manner and fosters a climate in which cooperation, fairness, equality, and mutual respect between parent and child are assumed.” It’s similar to the permissive style but with emphasis on there being dialogue between mom or dad and your child.

7. Simplicity parenting - Coined by Kim John Payne, this aims to remove the unnecessary elements of relationships so you can focus on having a life that feels “simpler and more fulfilling.” A life coach will guide you and equip you with the right tools in order to accomplish this.

8. Tiger parenting - There are other tamer animals to compare parenting with, but there’s no denying how easy it is to be a bit on the aggressive side. The American Psychological Associationsays that “Tiger parenting is a little different than authoritarian parenting in that tiger parenting includes high levels of negative parenting (e.g., strict rules) and high levels of positive parenting (e.g., warmth and support).”

9. Helicopter parenting - Very Well Family classifies you under this type if you “pay extremely close attention to [your] kids' activities and schoolwork in an effort to not only protect them from pain and disappointment, but to help them succeed.”

10. Gentle Parenting - This feels like a buzzword, but it’s the most common parenting style being pushed today. In essence, it’s like the modern-day version of authoritative parenting. As some experts put it, instead of a superior-junior type of relationship, you and your child should feel like you’re in a partnership under this parenting style.


Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. It’s always going to boil down to what your preference is, and how your child reacts and grows through your style. So, the answer to this question is, “whatever works for you.” Eventually, you’ll be more confident in raising your little one. Hopefully, the stress gets manageable enough, too, so that you can also have more time for yourself.

On the flip side, you have to know whether or not your parenting style is really working. First, determine your reactions whenever you intentionally try to discipline your child. If being a disciplinarian leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you can already predict that you’ll seek to change soon. Second, look at your child. Did they react violently or withdraw whenever you asserted your parenting style? If it’s causing a rift rather than making your life easier, it’s definitely time to let it go.

Another consideration is compromising if you have a partner. Some couples are lucky enough to have similar parenting styles, which means fewer arguments. However, many pairs won’t always see eye-to-eye. Stanford Children’s Health advises, “Learn to parent as a team, despite your differences. Find common ground, communicate regularly, and don’t put the kids in the middle—or let them divide and conquer.”


Bonus Tip: Applying your chosen parenting style to your child’s oral health

Let’s say you’re set on gentle parenting. Make sure you apply it to as many daily activities as possible–including your child’s dental routine. In gentle parenting, you make sure that your child feels heard and understood. You encourage independence and let your little one find solutions to their problems on their own (or with your help if needed). 

One example would be in flossing. Ensure that you listen to your child’s hesitations about it, if any. If they find it boring or a hassle, for instance, then find kiddie-friendly floss picks like Piico Kids Floss Picks to turn the experience into a fun one. Let them learn and develop the habit on their own, but offer assistance when they need it. If it all works out, it will instill in them the importance of dental cleaning. Likewise, the mundane routine may very well turn into a part of the day they look forward to and learn from!

We hope this guide allows you to appreciate the differences of each parenting style. Like in choosing the perfect colors for your wardrobe, finding the best suit to wear as a parent should end with you feeling happy with your choice and the outcome. We also hope that you’re a step closer to finding the method that truly works for your family. Learn more about gentle parenting techniques and by browsing our blog.

Shop our collection of Piico Kids Floss Picks for dental tools that are fun and easy to use!