By Carol Lloyd
As a parent, your approach to your child is as unique as you are. You can’t just wake up one day and be a different person because you read a book or watched a devilishly effective mother on the playground. Parenting isn’t only a collection of skills, rules, and tricks of the trade. It's who you are, what your family culture is, and how you transmit the most personal aspects of your values to your child.
But here are the facts: nearly 50 years of research have found that some parenting styles are more effective than others and show far better outcomes for children. Studies have identified four major parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and hands-off. Of these styles, child development experts have found that the authoritative parent is the most successful in raising children who are both academically strong and emotionally stable. But the truth is, most parents don't fall conveniently into this or any other single type; instead, we tend to be a combination of several styles. The trick is to be flexible enough so that you make adjustments to your basic type — adapting your style by adopting some best practices from other parenting styles.
Check out the following four parenting types and to see how you can make the most of your style to help your child thrive in school and in life.
Next: Permissive parenting »
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