How parenting affects child development – Are you a good parent?

Last Update:

How parenting affects child development


As parents, we can never underestimate the impact we have on our children. How we interact with our children greatly affects how they develop as human beings and what kind of adults they eventually become.

If you have ever wondered about the different parenting styles and their impact on the development of children, you have come to the right place for answers.

Different parenting styles have different effects on the behavioral, emotional, mental and social development of children.

Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist who researched parenting styles came up with 3 parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative.

A fourth , “uninvolved parenting” was later added by psychologists Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin.

Types of Parenting Styles

The four styles are as shown below

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents expect to be obeyed without question and use punishment, or the threat of punishment, to ensure that their children obey them.

This parenting style is characterized by the expression ‘spare the rod, spoil the child‘.

These parents make the rules and expect their children to obey the rules.

They are not interested in what the child thinks or feels.

It’s not easy to be the child of an authoritarian parent, because the rules are not explained to you.

If you ask “Why?” you won’t get an explanation, instead, you are likely to get into trouble for asking.

Authoritarian parents demand a lot from their children. They expect them to always be on their best behavior, but they don’t explain what that entails so children are constantly in trouble.

These parents often don’t hesitate to punish mistakes and punishment can in some cases be quite severe.

The sad thing is that these children often don’t know what they have done wrong.

Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Thanks in advance – I really appreciate it!

Authoritative parenting


Authoritarian parents provide rules for their children, but they explain the rules and the reasons for the rules.

They accept that their children have opinions and take them into account, but these parents are in control and their children know it.

These parents also establish rules, but they don’t demand absolute obedience from their children. An authoritarian parent will listen to what a child has to say and will consider and answer questions. They take their child’s feelings into account.

These parents offer their children a lot of emotional support and encouragement. In the case of a mistake, children are disciplined in a positive way and they know that despite their infraction, they are always loved and supported.

Permissive parenting (Indulgent parenting)

Permissive parents indulge their children. They make few or no rules and when their children misbehave, they are very lenient.

There is a lot of loving interaction with the children, but the relationship can hardly be characterized as a parent-child relationship.

To outsiders, it often looks more like a relationship between friends.

These parents set few or no boundaries and children are often left out of control.

Permissive parents seldom discipline their children, with the result that their children often end up with a sense of entitlement.

Permissive parents would let things slide rather than face a confrontation.

In practice, these children are allowed to eat what they want and when they want.

They can go to bed at any time and watch as much TV as they like. They don’t have to learn good manners.

Some of these parents honestly believe that this is the best way to raise a child, others simply lack the confidence to be more assertive or lack the energy for confrontations.

Uninvolved parenting (neglectful parenting)


Children need love and support to thrive and when parents are emotionally or psychologically unavailable to their children, the impact on the child is negative.

These children often learn from an early age to look out for themselves and to be become self-reliant.

However, due to the lack of interaction with the parents, these children don’t develop appropriate social skills and never feel comfortable or competent in social situations.

This is the worst parenting style resulting in children with low self-esteem impaired cognitive abilities like reasoning, planning, and problem-solving.

The lack of attention and affection from their parents can lead to problematic relationships with others.

Children need love and support to thrive and when parents are emotionally or psychologically unavailable to their children, the impact on the child is negative.

These children often learn from an early age to look out for themselves and to be become self-reliant. However, due to the lack of interaction with the parents, these children don’t develop appropriate social skills and never feel comfortable or competent in social situations.

Research into parental attitudes

Parental attitudes influence parenting styles. Here we are referring to attitudes like warmth and support as opposed to coldness and disapproval. Whether parents set limits for their children or not also come into play.

Parental attitudes that have the best effect on child development.

Parents who demonstrate warmth and exert reasonable levels of control have the best chance of having happy, well-adjusted, and socially competent children.

Negative/positive thoughts that can hinder/foster child development

Parents have many beliefs and attitudes that influence how they see their children. The nature of these thoughts influences how they treat their children.

If their thoughts are generous and kind it will lead to positive interactions. However, when the thoughts are twisted and upsetting it can be very difficult for such an adult to be effective as a parent.

So, a parent who is depressed and has low self-esteem will most likely not be able to be an effective parent and that can have a negative impact on a child’s development.

Bugental cognitive retraining intervention program – prevention of child abuse?

Bugental developed a cognitive retraining intervention program to prevent child abuse. The program consisted of home visits to high-risk families. The home visitations lasted for one year from soon after the birth of the child. Visitations that included cognitive retraining showed only a 4% prevalence of physical abuse compared to 26% in the control group and 23% in the home visits that didn’t include cognitive retraining for the mothers.

Frequently asked Questions

How does parenting affect children’s behavior?

The effect of an authoritarian parenting style is that the children are usually well-behaved in order to stay out of trouble. Children of authoritative parents are generally well-adjusted and well-behaved. They have few behavioral problems.

Indulgent parents have children who have low levels of self-control and have problems with authority and authority figures.

Neglected children have very little interaction with their parents with the result that they don’t know how to behave in social situations. They tend to lack self-esteem.

How do parenting styles affect children’s emotional development?

Children brought up by strict authoritarian parents are affected negatively. They tend to be awkward and shy in social situations and are constantly stressed because they worry that they will do something wrong. These children can become anxious or depressed. Due to a lack of warmth and support, their development is negatively affected.

Authoritative parenting results in the happiest emotionally well-adjusted children. Their children understand that their behavior might be unacceptable but they as people are never rejected.

Indulgent parenting is not good for a child’s emotional development because the parents don’t require mature behavior from their children. These children are not expected to follow any rules or behave in certain ways. They can end up not being adequately prepared for adulthood.

The effect of an uninvolved parenting style on a child is devastating. These children are emotionally withdrawn and they experience constant anxiety because they don’t feel supported.


Children develop best when they know that they are loved and supported and have certain boundaries set for them.

If parents are too strict and controlling, children never learn to trust their own judgment. They become shy and unsure of themselves and don’t trust their own ability to make a success of their lives.

On the other hand, if they a indulged but given little guidance, they don’t learn self-control and may have difficult relationships with others, especially those in authority.

It’s best to set clear guidelines for children and impose them consistently with love, warmth and proper feedback.

+ posts

Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier.
They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics