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    Variety of Parenting Approaches

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    Being a parent is no easy task. There is not manual on how to achieve “Parent of the Year!” There is little guidance on how to protect them from every danger that can become of life. We have a number of theories that can help point parents in the right direction for parenting styles. There are three parenting styles: Permissive, Authoritative and Authoritarian. Each of them carries positives and negatives. This essay will attempt to convey the ending result of each parenting style based on a prescribed scenario. Then we will examine a best practice plan for parents to follow using one of the parenting styles.

    Consider the following scenario: There is a couple by the name of Paul and Mary. They had only one child, name John who is 5 years old. After the couple tried a couple times, they became pregnant and when it was time, they brought home a healthy baby girl. John was super excited about having a sister and now has someone he can play with. Over the course of a few months, it seems that John’s initial feelings of excitement expired, and he begins causing tantrums when it’s time to get ready for bed and during nap times. He pulls out all the stops, often yelling, hitting his mother or father and starts fake crying. Unbeknownst to his parents, John the routine of sleep time; they would read him a story, give him his favorite toy and tuck him into bed. Now that his little sister is in the picture, he makes it difficult for his parents to settle him down. What could be done to help Paul and Mary?

    They have a few options. The authoritative approach, which approach is warm, but firm could help. The parents who utilize this style with their children often encourage independence but communicates certain limits with that independence. They typically shy away from the phrase “because I said so” and insist on engaging with the child, welcoming them to share their perspective is on a given subject. The authoritarian approach is highly controlling, lacking warmth and encouragement. The phrase “because I am the parent” is used quite frequently and stems from a desire to establish control. Research suggests that children can end up rebellious and strive to teach their parents “a lesson.” They are also more prone to involve themselves in high risks behaviors in order to cope with the harsh parenting style. The final parenting style is permissive, which describes the parent to be warm and connecting but minimally involved in the child’s life. The thought with parents using this style of parenting is that they accept and allow their child to do whatever they like, they are easier to handle.

    Because authoritative parenting highlights a child’s individuality but also stresses limitations, this would be the best approach to diffuse the tension. In the provided scenario, if the parents utilized this style, they would attempt to understand the child and stress the need for communication and not simply act out. They will be firm to provide consequences for the wrong doing that the child displays, perhaps a “time out” or “toy taken away. They would explain that they love him just as much as they love his little sister which would help him feel “secure in knowing that they are loved and know what is expected of them” (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

    Utilizing the authoritative parenting approach, you have the opportunity to set guidelines and enhance relationships. There is an opportunity to communicate structure, cause and effect, warmth and support. Parents will have to educate themselves and acknowledge simply being authoritarian and being a solid wall, unchanging in the middle of the storm will not encourage a child to confide in the parent. Parents also would need to examine that they were too once children and leaning towards one type of parenting could yield the opposite desire effect. Being too permissive could result the child having difficulty with self- control and demonstrate egocentric tendencies that can interfere with proper development of peer relationships.


    • Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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    Variety of Parenting Approaches. (2021, Aug 24). Retrieved from

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