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The 4 educational styles: how do you educate your children?

The 4 educational styles: how do you educate your children?

June 25, 2022

The vast majority of fathers and mothers want the best for their children and usually act in good faith, thinking that they do the right thing when it comes to educating them. The educational style we use when raising a son or daughter It can have both a positive and dramatic effect on the development of these young people, and their disciplinary strategies will influence the type of relationship established between them.

At the same time, parental styles exert a great influence on the child's mood, behavior and well-being both in the present and in the future.

There are four educational styles. In this article we will delve into its characteristics and explain its differences .


  • Related article: "Psychology of Development: main theories and authors"

History of educational styles

Educational styles, also called parenting styles, they have been widely studied by the development psychologist Diana Baumrind . In the early 1960s, Baumrind investigated more than 100 pre-school children, observing them and interviewing their parents. His studies gave rise to what we now know as education or parenting styles.

Also, Baumrind studied four dimensions that he considered important: warmth and nutrition, disciplinary strategies, communication style and expectations of maturity and control . In turn, in 1966, Baumrind identified three styles of parenting: authoritarian, democratic and permissive , and published a text called: Child Care Practices Anteceding Three Patterns of Preschool Behavior.


According to the author, the distrustful and unhappy children had controlling and unloving parents , the dependents had warm parents who did not set limits, and the self-sufficient and happy parents had demanding but communicative. A few years later, in 1983, Maccoby and Martin expanded the work of Baumrind and they developed the fourth style of parenting, the indifferent or negligent style .

The 4 parental styles

Each educational style has different characteristics. Below you can find a list that will help you understand the 4 styles of parenting.

1. Authoritarian style

The authoritarian style it is based on severe discipline , where parents set the rules and expect children to follow them without exception. It is also known as military parenting style, because the father or mother uses very strict rules in the family, fostering obedience.


Parents with this parental style they are controllers, lend little support to their children and are prone to punishment , threats and may even exercise violence. If the child violates family norms, he will be severely punished without hearing his explanation.

Although authoritarian children follow the rules most of the time, they often develop self-esteem problems, since parents have never taken into account their needs or feelings and emotions. They can also become hostile or aggressive children , who do not know how to make decisions and solve problems. Several studies suggest that children raised with this style of education have a good academic performance, but run the risk of developing poor social skills, so it is considered a negative parenting style.

  • Related article: "The 8 reasons for not using corporal punishment towards children"

2. Permissive style

The permissive style may seem like a good parental style because many parents use it thinking that their son or daughter will be happier; however, in the long run, it can bring serious emotional consequences. Permissive parents they try to protect their children from harmful incidents , they do not establish any standard for the behavior of their children and they are very tolerant.

These parents They are characterized by being shaky and have little control over the situation . Studies show that children who grow up in environments with this parenting style tend to have poor academic performance, and may present more behavioral problems, since they will probably ignore the authority and rules. They often have low self-esteem and may experience sadness. They tend to become whimsical and spoiled people.

3. Democratic style

This is, without a doubt, one of the healthiest educational styles for the upbringing of children. Democratic parents are usually firm but also provide support and affection for their children. They set limits, but they also consider the infant's point of view. In other words, they set rules that they expect the children to follow; however, they consider that there are exceptions to these rules.

Democratic parents often explain the consequences of their children's negative behavior instead of applying punishment. Likewise, they use positive reinforcement for good behaviors and they may be more willing than authoritarian parents to use reward and praise systems.

Studies show that children raised with this educational style tend to be happier and successful . They are often good at making decisions and enjoy greater self-esteem, and older people are more responsible and feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

4. Negligent or indifferent style

This style it is characterized because parents are not involved in raising their children and, therefore, do not provide the necessary support to their children or guide them. They do not show any affection or discipline and, in short, do not pay attention to their little ones.

Research shows that this is a very damaging style for young people, and the behavior of parents has a negative global impact on the development of their children both in the present and in the future.

Indifferent parents put at risk the emotional health of their children and their self-esteem and cause serious psychological problems in different areas of their future life , for example, interpersonal relationships or work.

How are toxic parents?

The role of parents is fundamental for the development of children. Although the vast majority of parents want the best for their children, unfortunately, some they commit parental errors that can harm growth and emotional health of his descendants.

  • If you want to know how toxic parents are, you can read this article: "Toxic parents: 15 characteristics that children hate"

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