Which Parenting Style Do Child Psychologists Prefer?

4 mins read

A parenting style is a set of strategies backed by psychology that parents use in the child-rearing process. But not all parenting styles benefit children. Psychologists recommend a parenting style that is all-inclusive and implements good parenting skills in order to ensure that a child becomes morally upright and intellectually bright.

The best parenting style focuses on all aspects of a child’s proper transition into adulthood.

Characteristics of a Good Parenting Style

Authoritarian parenting and neglectful parenting are not considered good parenting styles. What makes indulgent parenting and authoritative parenting the better options? An article in this journal closely examines the authoritative and indulgent parenting styles to determine which one is the best.

Below are the characteristics of a good parenting style and a comparison of authoritative and indulgent parenting.

  1. Child-centered. A good parenting style should primarily focus on the proper growth and development of children. Parents should provide for their children’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Both authoritative parenting and indulgent parenting include this feature.
  2. Mutual consent. A good parenting style thrives on mutual consent as well as positive reinforcement. The parents and the children come to an agreement about behavioral expectations and their consequences, and thus there is a set standard of behavior. Children are taught good behaviors and stick to them, and punishment is fair but rare. Only authoritative parenting has this characteristic. On the other hand, in indulgent parenting, parents give their children everything they want to keep them happy.
  3. Discipline. Discipline should be fair and used only when necessary. Again, authoritative parenting exhibits this characteristic but indulgent parenting does not. In authoritative parenting, fair and consistent discipline is a guiding principle, but in indulgent parenting, the child’s desires take priority at the expense of discipline. Indulgent parents give the child whatever he or she wants in order to keep the child happy.
  4. Behavioral control. A good parenting style should embrace behavioral control to help increase the child’s emotional stability. Control should be implemented in all aspects of the child’s life to prevent behavior-related disorders. Authoritative parenting establishes necessary behavioral controls by setting firm expectations and consequences. In contrast, indulgent parents allow their children to have everything they want instead of exercising control. Once again, authoritative parenting is superior to indulgent parenting in this respect.

Authoritative Parenting Style and Psychology

According to this publication, the authoritative parenting style is the most effective at teaching children the necessary skills and expertise to help them reach their full potential both morally and intellectually.

Psychologists recommend that parents exercise authoritative parenting since it is the most successful parenting style so far. It uses the best parenting skills, approaches, and strategies. Therefore, authoritative parenting is the parenting style child psychologists prefer most.

authoritative parenting should be exercised more with children since it is the most effective so far
Parents should exercise authoritative parenting since it is the most successful parenting style so far. Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash


  • Garcia, Fernando, and Enrique Gracia. “Is Always Authoritative the Optimum Parenting Style? Evidence from Spanish Families.” Adolescence 44, no. 173 (2009): 101. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com
  • Monaghan, Maureen, Ivor B. Horn, Vanessa Alvarez, Fran R. Cogen, and Randi Streisand. “Authoritative Parenting, Parenting Stress, and Self-Care in Pre-Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes.” Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 19, no. 3 (2012): 255–261. doi:10.1007/s10880-011-9284-x. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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