It’s Tuesday and your child’s mood and needs seem to be completely different from yesterday’s – or last week’s, for that matter.

Parenting can be tough.

So how can an adult benefit from knowing the different types of parenting styles? Experts believe it helps them to adapt to the current situation and select methods that work for each child through trial and error. 

The most widespread traditional parenting style centers around rewards for good behavior and punishment for bad behavior. According to CNBC, four types of parenting styles tend to surface during discussions. They are:

Permissive – A style which is adopted to avoid conflict and rules, thereby negating a need for enforcement of rules;

Authoritative – A style that encourages communication and the ensuing consequences. Rules and expectations are clearly set and problems are resolved in partnership between the parent and child;

Authoritarian – A regimen which revolves around strict rules and punishment. Communication is one-way and offers little or no consideration of the child’s needs as they relate to behavior and emotion;

Neglectful – This type focuses on parents who are indifferent to the child’s wants and needs and allows the adults to distance themselves from action and responsibility.

Current trends see parents and caregivers falling into more blended sub-categories of the above. According to, these include:

Free-range – This style allows more independence, particularly in public. Children may be allowed to play outside more without supervision or walk to and from school and other public places alone;

Helicopter – The name says it all. In an effort to protect their kids from failure, helicopter parents intervene at every turn;

Snowplow – Also known as bulldozer or lawnmower parents, such individuals are willing to bulldoze through obstacles to provide their children with desired outcomes;

Tiger – These parents not only want success for their offspring, they expect it. Perfection comes at a price and children under this classification often experience anxiety;

Lighthouse – This approach from Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., recommends parents can be “stable beacons of light on the shoreline,” ensuring children: are supervised, even if from a distance; prepared for the eventualities of daily life; and know and trust their own capabilities to maneuver through life;

Attachment – This dynamic puts the needs of the youngster ahead of all others and encourages faster responsiveness to those wants and desires.

Unsurprisingly, the authoritative style holds a favored place in the minds of both psychiatric professionals and parents. Studies suggest children raised with this style become successful and happy adults. Most are also comfortable evaluating daily risks by themselves and are capable of making decisions that positively impact their lives.

A few tips for those who lean toward authoritative parenting include:

· Setting limits and enforcing rules;

· Explaining the thought process behind your rules; 

· Putting continuous effort into ensuring the relationship between you and your child is a happy and positive one.

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