What’s Your Parenting Style?

Family researchers have identified four distinct parenting styles.  The parenting styles exist on a continuum of parental responsiveness and parental demandingness.  Responsiveness is related to a parent's sensitivity to the child's emotional and relational well being.  Responsive parents are nurturing, caring, sensitive, warm, and empathic.  They respond to their child's emotions and needs.  Demanding parents set limits, enforce consequences, and hold their child accountable.  They help their child reach their potential through advice, support, and expectations.

The authoritative parenting style high in both responsiveness and demandingness.  This parenting style is balanced between being warm and accepting while also having high expectations for the children to reach their potential.

The authoritarian parenting style is high in demandingness and low in responsiveness.   This parenting style has high expectations for their child to follow the rules without considering the child's emotions and needs.

The permissive parenting style is high in responsiveness and low in demandingness.  This parenting style emphasizes the child's emotions and needs more than rules and expectations.

The uninvolved parenting style is low in both responsiveness and demandingness.  This parenting style offers little to no emotional/relational support and/or structure and discipline.

What Is Your Parenting Style?

The following quiz can help you determine your parenting style.  It is important to note that this quiz is not for diagnostic purposes.  It can, however, help you to learn more about yourself and how you parent.

Please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statements about your parenting: 

When I am setting rules, consequences, and boundaries with my children, I take into consideration their feelings.

Discipline is the most crucial component to a child's development.

I don't have very many rules or expectations and/or I don't offer much advice or support to my child.

I don't give out consequences very often.

I explain the reasons behind my rules to my children.

Children should not talk back to (or disagree) with their parents.

I am too busy and/or overwhelmed to parent my child.

I set rules for my children, but I rarely enforce them.

I am firm and strict with my child because I want them to be strong and ready for life's challenges.

I put a lot of time and energy into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with my children.

My child and I don't spend time together.

My child's feelings are more important than their behaviors.

I don't take my child's feelings into consideration; what matters most to me is their behavior.

I focus on building and maintaining a positive relationship with my children.

I don't ask my child about their day or what's going on in their life.

I think my child will learn best with little interference from me.

Children need to follow the rules without exception.

Every night at dinner, I would want my children and me to sit down and talk about our days.

I do not focus on my child's behavior or their feelings.

I am more of a friend than a parent to my children.

Parents need to establish they are the authority figure in the household and that authority figures are to be obeyed.

I use positive reinforcement and praise to motivate my children.

I rarely know where my child is located, who they are with, and what they are doing.

There is no reasoning with children. If they get into a tantrum you just have to let it pass.

As long as my child is living under my roof, they will live by my rules.

I love my children unconditionally.

I am stressed to the point where I can barely take care of myself let alone my children.

I'd rather give into my children than to get into an argument and have them be upset.


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