Parent Styles – Are they helpful or harmful? (Episode 102) ⋆ Mama Says Namaste

Parent Styles – Are they helpful or harmful? (Episode 102)

Are you an authoritative parent, an attachment parent, authoritarian or permissive parent? What are all the parenting styles out there, the pros and cons, and how do you figure out what style works for you?

In this episode and post below, Nathan and I hash out the parenting styles out there, and what we've found works best

Listen to this episode on iTunesSpotifyStitcherGoogle PlayTuneInYouTubeiHeartRadio or your RSS Feed  *Now also on the Pandora app and!

The Ultimate Guide to Parenting Styles

When I went through the “Ultimate Guide To Parenting Styles”, I was very impressed - it’s chock-full of some great information on the pros and cons of each style, what the ultimate goals are, and the science behind the studies. 

The blog post above really does an incredible breakdown, so I will just share the cliff’s notes version here - be sure to hop over to this post to get the in-depth version! 

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There is a difference between situational parenting and a lifestyle approach

Where are we this week?

I can't believe it...we're FINALLY on the road again! After almost 4 months of being stationary in our hometown of Nashville, TN, it's time for us to roam again.

The time back was great for connecting with friends and family and getting some much-needed to-dos done on our rental property and at my parents. And now, we're free to head back out on our adventures.

Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!

Authoritative vs. Authoritarian Approach

Two of the main ones you tend to hear about often are the authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles. Not to be confused, these are different!

Authoritarian parents value fairness and structure. They have high expectations and set routines. They want to be empathetic, but ultimately it boils down to the parents’ decision, not the child’s. They treat their children a little more like mini-adults, pushing them to rise to their own greatness. 

Authoritarian parents, however, are more of the extreme of the above - the child can quickly lose any voice they have. This can be something that military families especially can struggle with, as the “drill sergeant” comes to the home front and, although you may have orders followed, it doesn’t really give grace for children to navigate and ask questions. Under an authoritarian regime, people hunger for freedom.

Permissive Parenting

The Permissive Parenting Styles pride their children’s happiness over everything, so it’s more what the child wants vs what may be the best option. When children get a yes all the time and don’t learn to navigate a no, it can be a pretty big slap when the world shuts them down. Permissive parenting can sometimes come from the children of the authoritarian parent - in other words, they go to the other extreme of allowing everything. 

If you’re looking at a body of water, a child can play happily in a bathtub with no fear, seeing the boundaries of the tub. But throw that same child over a boat in the middle of the ocean and it could be terrifying. It’s scary to have so much unknown and not know the limits. 

Sometimes lack of boundaries can increase the second-guessing and lower that self-confidence. 

If you look at the extremes of the personality styles, we may gravitate to these styles - like a task-focused high D or C style who gets hyper focused on the projects over the relationships, and they become the uninvolved parent or the authoritarian parent. 

Harmful Parenting

Uninvolved parenting still falls under the main four parenting styles that are out there, which is a bit unfortunate. ADD and cognitive issues can occur with more uninvolved/neglectful parents. Resentment and frustration (as well as isolation) can stand out. 

Harmful parenting styles are helicopter parents, snow-plough parenting, narcissistic and toxic parenting. 

Intentional Parenting

These are the natural ways we fall into parenting. But then there are the intentional approaches. Again, this is broken down well in the other post

Attachment parents, gentle parenting, free-range parenting, slow parenting, tiger parenting and gender neutral parenting are all intentional parenting styles with key experts that have written on them. 

What Parenting Style do We Use?

Parenting is situational. We really focus in on understanding each individual’s strengths and triggers and how that impacts the family as a whole. We believe in a family-centered home. How are you thriving, and how are you contributing? We ask this of every family member - not just the kids, and not just the parents. 

Take the parenting styles with a grain of salt. A family-centered home will look different for different styles. That being said, regardless of your approach, these elements are what we have found as super important. 

Family Vision

Settle on a family vision statement. Don’t go too complicated with this - the point is a “why” that is easy to remember that helps us all go back to the same desired goal. Sit down with your family and dream together. Come up with what “family” looks like (or what you want it to look like) to you. 

Don’t take your parenting as a chance to re-do the way you were parented. Be careful to not get stuck in reliving your own childhood and correcting anything you felt was wrong. This is about your own unique children, not a remake of your past, or a time to just do the opposite of what you experienced. 

Clean Slate

We believe it’s so important to not only clearly communicate, but not hold onto the past with anger and resentment. Whether that’s our own childhood and past baggage/insecurities, or the one incident that happened an hour ago, it’s important to voice when there is an issue, feel what you need to feel, and then let it go.

We start with a clean slate and move forward from there to where we want to be. Write your story without comparison or competition for what happened in the past. 

Natural Consequences

We allow for pushing the boundary and letting them experience their own consequence. Even if it hurts, we allow for the struggle and the pain. We can teach our children with our own softer way, or we can protect at home until they get out into the rest of the world and experience something very different. 

We want to allow for the valuable lesson of the struggle - of learning and experiencing what they don’t want and how to navigate around it. 

Roots and Wings

We want our children to be aware of their impact. Even when they are super young, we can observe others and the energy they bring into a room. We use the Socratic Method in the way we discuss and process what’s going on. Bring awareness to the impact each of you have in any situation. 

Look beyond just the one reaction, but the impact it does to everyone around you - how it changes the environment. 

There is a big world out there that you’re echoing into.

It doesn’t have to be out of judgement - it’s about seeing the other side of the coin. Help your children see the other side of anger, when you’re observing another child throwing a tantrum, for example. 

Growth Mindset

Where are our opportunities to learn? What can we learn by observing others? When something goes wrong, what does this make possible? What can we learn from and grow from

Every kid you have is like picking up another athletic factor. One child may be a long distance runner, another may be a biker, and the other may be a swimmer, and all of a sudden you’re in a triathlon where you have to navigate between the three - and you need to figure out how to flow with that. 

The key Components to a Family-Centered Home

In summary, here is what really encapsulates our family-centered, situational parenting style:

  • Family Vision - every family member on the same page with an agreed on, shared focus
  • Awareness - focus on awareness and noticing others - the energy they bring and what is going on in a room
  • Impact - Stress how each individual makes an impact, and teaching what that impact is
  • Growth Mindset - Growth mindset for the whole family, being willing to learn and grow together
  • Clean Slate - Clear communication on what is working and what isn’t, with the opportunity for a clean slate at every moment moving forward
  • Natural Consequences - every action has a consequence, and it's in the struggle that we learn
  • Roots & Wings - this is the core of it all - instill a firm foundation of love and respect, and then give and create space for them to fly on their own.

Give them the wings to try to fail, to learn and to flow, and to be willing to accept that where we are now most likely will change as we grow. So it’s important to allow for shifting, grace and growth along the way. 

What story are you writing - with intention - for your family?

Your Weekly Challenge:

What style or model are you following? Are you pulling pieces from several styles? Do you want to change what you’re doing and need more insights? Maybe it’s time to create that family vision to determine what you want to run to. 

Get prepared for that triathlon - it can be a beautiful race and adventure as you explore how the uniqueness in each of us.


Nathan and Ashley Logsdon

Questions or comments?

Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?

Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!

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Ashley Logsdon

Ashley Logsdon is a Family and Personality Styles Coach and Lifelong Learner. She and her husband Nathan are RVing the States and unschooling their 3 girls. Her mission is to shift the mindsets of families from reaction to intention, and guide them in creating the family they love coming home to. Looking deeper than the surface, we assess the strengths, triggers, and simplifying your lifestyle so you truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Join the Mama Says Namaste Facebook Group

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