What Kind of Parent Are You?

parenting, parenting styles, teen parent relationships

Brianna is an 18-year-old from Webster, NY. Her true passions lie in helping others, in playing tennis and in trying new things. She doesn’t know where life will take her, but she is excited to find out.

A few weeks ago in psychology class, we took a survey. The questions were, “What type of parenting style do each of your parents use?” and “What type of parenting style do you see yourself using when you have your own child?” We plotted our answers on the board on a chart containing different levels of warmth and control, as well as the four different types of parenting.

Three of the four parenting styles were developed by Diana Baumrind’s 1967 study during which she observed 100 preschool children and their parents. She concluded that there were four dimensions of parenting: disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control.

The fourth parenting style was developed by Macoby and Martin in 1983. Their model is used by many psychologists, parenting experts, and parents alike today. It is based on the levels of control and responsiveness that parents exhibit.

In combining both of these studies, the model exhibited on this page was developed. There are 4 types of parenting Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Neglectful. Also, there are varying degrees of warmth and control.

In regard to the survey that my class took, our answers were all over the place. The picture above depicts our responses. Most people thought that their mothers were more toward the right side of the board whereas there was no direct correlation to the answers regarding fathers.

Seeing as the majority of my class is female, the correlation between the “mother” points and the “what you want to be” points isn’t surprising. Is the outcome of this survey that all parents should be more nurturing? Or, could it be that my class is just reflecting the traditional model of what a mother should be? Either way, my class isn’t all girls. Not a single person put their point to the left of the middle line, toward the less warm side.

For all you parents out there, the message that you should take from this study is that your kids won’t resent you for being slightly controlling or for not being there for them as much as you should, as long as you are warm towards them and show them that you care. Your kids, they know that you’re busy; they know that you aren’t always willing to compromise; yet, they know that you always have their best interests at heart, especially since you have already looked into improving your relationship with them.


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