Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America?


In this article, you will learn “Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America?”. We will start by answering what is a parenting style and how you define it? We will also look at some famous and some not-so-famous parenting styles that will give us a good overview of them to compare when choosing “the most encouraged”.

We will cover the following questions and points:

  • What is a parenting style?
  • What are the main parenting styles?
  • Which is the winner, and what is the reality?
  • How to be “the best” parent possible?
  • Conclusion

Time to read: 5 mins

What is a parenting style?

Parenting style is the strategy that parents choose for rearing their children. By choosing a parenting style, you decide how you will respond to the child`s actions, words and what will be your goals for the family and as a parent. Interestingly, every parent has some style, even though not every parent has thought about it.

As children grow up and go through different phases, our styles as parents have to change in some aspects. We must be mindful about our actions if we want to see our children growing as physically and emotionally healthy people.

Even though that you can find information on many different styles like Attachment parenting, Child-centered parenting, Positive parenting, Narcissistic parenting, Overparenting, and many others, there are a few main types that we will look at. Some people might mix the styles because they prefer not to punish the child, but they all go into one of the main categories.


What are the main parenting styles?

The main four parenting styles are being defines by two main questions:

  • Are you a demanding or undemanding parent?
  • And are you a responsive or unresponsive parent?

Some other helpful questions are:

  • Are you stern and punitive?
  • Are you sensitive and caring?
  • Do you enforce limits on your kids?

After answering those questions, you will be able to define which is your category. According to the theory of Diana Baumrind, there are three styles, but other researchers have additionally expanded the approach. According to Maccoby and Martin, there are four main methods:

  • Neglectful
  • Permissive
  • Authoritarian/Totalitarian
  • Authoritative/Propagative

Keep in mind that there are parenting strategies, too. They might be confused for a parenting style. An example is nurturing parenting.

Let`s look at main aspects about them!


Neglectful parenting – These are parents who are not involved in the child`s rearing, education, and development. The parent role is missing. The parents are focused on other things in their life and do not show emotional support, and do not set any limits to the children.

The effects of this kind of parenting are connected with a high risk of depression, low self-esteem, wrong or not normal social behavior, aggression, or even suicide. In school, such problems are undeniable with the children, who usually cause a significant percentage of the classroom problems. Often, those are the people who need love, support, and care the most.

There is one study that has never been repeated. You can read more about the FREDERICK’S EXPERIMENT. In one sentence, babies were taken care of but not hugged and showed love. The results were fatal for many of them.


Permissive parenting – Have you heard the quote “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? Well, this method can be very well described by it.

Permissive parents are parents that want the good of the children, and they are warm. They even do not set rules because they think that this will make the children happier and free to grow and thrive. However, the results are not as expected.

If you rear your children with this style, you can expect to see egocentric, impulsive, rude behavior. The children will stop accepting you as an authority. They will behave as you are just a friend who cannot say what is allowed and what is not.


*Related: What does the bible say about parenting?

Authoritarian/Totalitarian parenting – Those are parents who want to be the boss and give orders. They have high demands, strict rules and expect 100% obedience without questioning the orders. However, there is one problem with it, and this is the lack of love. Those parents are demanding but not responsive.

Without showing love and affection, your punishments can never lead to a change in the child's mind or heart. And the results of this parenting style are not good at all. You can see children with problems that vary from emotional issues and depression to low self-esteem, mental issues, and drug and alcohol abuse later.


Authoritative/Propagative – This style can be seen within families where parents have high demands, strict boundaries, but are very responsive and show affection and love.

The goal of this style is autonomy. The parents want to see the children grow, become independent, and behave appropriately for the age.

One of the best things about authoritative parents is that they never punish the children without explaining what they did wrong, what does not have to be repeated as a behavior, and what is the right way to behave in different situations.

Some people talk about Gentle Parenting and they usually refer to Authoritative parenting.


Which is the winner, and what is the reality?

The winner is authoritative parenting. This Is the method that most studies have supported for positive effects over the children. Psychologists, teachers, and psychiatrists have agreed about this.

On the other hand, the reality is not the same as the information you read in studies and textbooks. In different countries, the environment influences children in different ways. Cultural and ethnic differences also play a significant role.

The temperament and character of the child is a critical factor that is rarely mentioned in such studies. Talk with some mother that has at least three children, and she can confirm that there is great difference between the children. This is true for twins, too.

Another essential thing is consistency. Moms and dads around the world have the same problems. One of them is that they cannot be consistent with the rules at home. Sometimes one of the parents is not as strict as the other, which ruins the whole process.

Even though that authoritative style is the best, people are not trying to be mindful about it. Permissive parenting is influencing more and more families. Especially now, when Covid affected so many people worldwide, stress is more than ever before.

If you are actively trying to be authoritative parent, you must be proactive and know how to create mindful moments for kids



There are many different styles and methods that you can read about in textbooks and the Internet. However, every situation is different. Nothing will help you if you are not trying to rear and educate your child led by love.

After all, being said, we can finally answer the question for this blog post: Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America? The parenting style that has to be most encouraged is the Authoritative style!

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