Having a child is like getting a tattoo…on your face. You better be committed. (Elizabeth Gilbert)

– Desiree Panlilio


There are so many serious, philosophical quotes about parenting, but I enjoy the quote by Elizabeth Gilbert. Parenting is about commitment – lifelong commitment. Parenting is the process of caring, supporting, and promoting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child from birth until…well forever. Parenting does not stop when your child leaves home, or has a family. To our children, parents are the people who love them unconditionally. Afterall, think about all that a parent goes through. It begins with the lack of sleep and continues with the struggles of our children growing and maturing into an adult. As a parent, no one would change a single moment, except maybe diaper duty.

As we reflect on our parenting style, four styles of parenting have emerged and are how parenting is categorized. Let me share a brief overview of these four styles. As you read, decide which parenting style you most often use. I believe we parent differently in different situations.

Permissive parents are more likely to take on a friendship role. They prefer to avoid conflict and mostly allow their kids to do what they want and offer limited guidance or direction. These parents are highly responsive to their child’s needs but not very demanding. Not a great way to teach responsibility. However, this style of parenting has its moments of opportunity.

Authoritative parents are nurturing, supportive and often in tune with their children’s needs. They guide their children through open and honest discussions to teach values and reasoning. Kids who have authoritative parents tend to be self-disciplined and can think for themselves. We would all like to think we do this everyday with each and every scenario our teen brings to us but I know that I am not a perfect parent.

Uninvolved parents show an overall sense of indifference. Uninvolved parents have limited engagement with their children and rarely implement rules. They can also be seen as cold and uncaring. These parents are often struggling with their own issues.

Authoritarian parents This rigid parenting style uses stern discipline, often justified as “tough love.” Authoritarian parents often talk to their children without wanting input or feedback.

There are moments as a parent we each fall into a specific type but generally we can read these four types of parenting and determine what reference we are working on most of the time. I encourage parents to be the authoritative parent, mentor and coach to their teen and young adult. We want to build our teen’s resilience, self confidence and self esteem. This is best accomplished by being an authoritative parent.

An example of authoritative parenting is when your teen brings home a bad grade and together you discuss the cause and solution for the problem. It is also knowing when to be more permissive, such as when your teen is ill, by continuing to provide warmth and letting go such as letting them have ice cream for dinner and watching netflix in bed.
Parenting is a lifelong commitment and understanding the different styles and where your style is will help you to build the relationship you want with your teen by being able to modify your parenting style as needed.