• High responsiveness, low demandingness
  • Communicates openly and usually lets their kids decide for themselves, rather than giving direction
  • Rules and expectations are either not set or rarely enforced
  • Typically goes through great lengths to keep their kids happy, sometimes at their own expense

Permissive parents are more likely to take on a friendship role, rather than a parenting role, with their kids. They prefer to avoid conflict and will often acquiesce to their children’s pleas at the first sign of distress. These parents mostly allow their kids to do what they want and offer limited


  • High responsiveness, high demandingness
  • Sets clear rules and expectations for their kids while practicing flexibility and understanding
  • Communicates frequently; they listen to and take into consideration their children’s thoughts, feelings and opinions
  • Allows natural consequences to occur (e.g., kid fails quiz when they didn’t study), but uses those opportunities to help their kids reflect and learn

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.


  • Low responsiveness, low demandingness
  • Lets their kids mostly fend for themselves, perhaps because they are indifferent to their needs or are uninvolved/overwhelmed with other things
  • Offers little nurturance, guidance and attention
  • Often struggles with their own self-esteem issues and has a hard time forming close relationships

Sometimes referred to as uninvolved parenting, this style is exemplified by an overall sense of indifference. Neglectful parents have limited engagement with their children and rarely implement rules. They can also be seen as cold and uncaring — but not always intentionally, as they are often struggling with their own issues.


  • High demandingness, low responsiveness
  • Enforces strict rules with little consideration of their kid’s feelings or social-emotional and behavioral needs
  • Often says “because I said so” when their kid questions the reasons behind a rule or consequence
  • Communication is mostly one-way — from parent to child

This rigid parenting style uses stern discipline, often justified as “tough love.” In attempt to be in full control, authoritarian parents often talk to their children without wanting input or feedback.