“Styles” of Parenting

I recently read an article about the six styles of parenting and it really got me thinking about my own parenting and what is really best for our children. The article focused on the pro’s and con’s of six parenting styles: Helicopter, Free Range, Authoritarian, Permissive, Authoritative, and Uninvolved.


"The 6 Styles of Parenting"

  1. Helicopter Parenting
    A common term used with parents who are overly involved in their children’s lives. Children raised with this style have higher chances of going to college however sometimes the parent can be too extreme and accidentally sabotage job positions or personal relationships, as shown in many Hollywood comedies.
  2. Free Range
    The complete opposite of Helicopter Parenting, where parents do not worry about managing their children and let them learn from their mistakes and be fully independent, even at a young age. Kids “engage in free play, explore their surroundings, and gain a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance”
  3. Authoritarian
    Parents are very strict with intolerance of misbehavior and show less affection.
  4. Permissive
    The opposite to Authoritarian, where parents “indulge their children’s whims and avoid all confrontation and punishment.”
  5. Authoritative
    This kind of parenting “enforces structure and discipline without neglecting healthy communication.”
  6. Uninvolved
    The style refers to parents who are physically in their children’s lives but not in an emotional capacity. Children raised this way tend to grow up without self-control or self-esteem.

My Parenting Styles

I find that this may be different at different stages of our lives and may depend on where we live too.

I want my kids to gain the benefits from Free-Range parenting but the truth is, my kids are very young and I need to be around to help structure them and to keep them safe from outside elements. 

I tend to Helicopter them to some degree to avoid any opportunities of kidnapping, and I don’t care if someone wants to judge me for that. 

I find myself being very Authoritative as opposed to Permissive with my kids because I want them to have structure and understand who is in charge. 

Children know how to take advantage of their parents but I also I understand that sometimes you just have to give in to your child’s whims. 

But keep in mind that if you are too often Permissive you will likely put you and your child in some complicated situations in the long-run that will need more effort in correcting (obedience, nutrition, sleeping schedules, etc). 

My being “tough” with them doesn’t sacrifice any amount of love I have for them and they understand that. We make time to cuddle and play around on a regular basis. 

I’ve taught my kids to have good habits, like sleeping, eating, and being polite, most of the time because I’ve pushed for it. 

So when it comes to deciding what kind of parent I am, I don’t find myself constrained to one defined “style” of parenting because I’m primarily a mix of Helicopter, Free Range, and Authoritative. 

There are parents out there that do fit these categories precisely as they are described but most are pretty blended and I think that’s what’s best for the future of our children and for the growth of our families.

Our Styles Change As They Grow

I know what kind of parent I am now and how I want to be. But the moment I think I have it figured it out everything changes again.

I’m proud of how I am as a parent even though I feel I’m never doing enough, and I’m proud of how my kids are even though I feel they could be better sometimes too.

I can only imagine how things are going to be once they’re in school or teenagers or adults.

They may not listen to me anymore or they might pick up bad habits from their classmates and friends and I’ll have to figure out how to parent them in those stages.

I’m probably a bit of a Helicopter parent now because I need to keep a close eye on my toddlers and make sure they’re okay. I’m also Free Range enough to let them explore and learn from little mistakes.

As they get a little older I think they will need me to be a little looser so that they can experience things on their own and not be as dependent of me. So I’ll have to turn down my Helicopter-ing and turn up my Free-Range-ing.

And then I wonder, am I going to be able to trust them to complete their homework when they’re supposed to like a Free-Range parent or am I going to have to Helicopter them to do it? Things could go either way! 

All kids are different. So I may even have to follow different styles with each of my children.

I just want them to be independent and responsible without me having to monitor them but I’ll have to guide them that way.

Either way, I’ll likely still be a blend of the parenting “styles” that I am now, but it will feel so different!


Do you follow any specific styles or blend of styles?

How have your methods changed as your children grew up (babies, toddlers, preteens, teens, adults)?

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Well I’m a bit of helicopter and mix of free range. As I have toddlers in the house, I think these 2 methods works for me best. You can’t really use just one approach since kids have different personalities. It really depends on your child I guess and you are… Read more »

Ari Salas

I think everything in life is a balance, including how we raise our children. I have read how our “unconscious” could play a very important part on our raising methods. The way our parents did itm what we liked from it and what we didn’t will help us to define… Read more »


I think (hope) I’m a healthy mix of authoritarian and free range… if that’s possible. I require structure and routine for specific things like morning routine (I’m a working mom) scheduled mealtimes and nap times and of course.. Bedtime is the most structured routine of the day (because if he… Read more »

Julia Randall

I’m somewhere between an authoritative parent and a helicopter parent; I wish I could be free range, but it’s not realistic with my level of anxiety


My husband and I we are strict in a way but also let the kids have fun. Decipline then and taught both of our kids how to respectful and behave. Thank you for sharing this post.

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