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How Does Parenting Style Affect Academic Achievement?

Parenting styles are one of the primary things that help shape children into who they are. They are also one of the biggest topics of controversy, particularly since free range parenting style has made it into the mix. There are benefits and drawbacks to each parenting style, and they all three have an impact on academic success. It remains critical that parents fully understand their own parenting style, and the impact that it will have on their children.

how does parenting style affect academic achievement

Which Parenting Style Will Affect Academic Achievement?


Authoritative parenting style is often though of as a dictator like parenting style. Parents that use this style to parent their children often have higher demands of kids, and they are commonly thought to express less warmth towards children. Because of this, children experience more pressure and are less likely to display self-motivation and spontaneity.

Studies have not revealed that this style of parenting has a positive impact on academic success. If anything, it tends to breed an environment that encourages developmental delays, makes children more likely to develop anxiety, and can have a negative impact on older children when their success depends on their own self motivation.


Authoritative parenting style often includes the same enforcement of rules that is seen in authoritarian households as well as the warmth that is seen in permissive households. When parents adopt this parenting style, they expect their children to live up to their expectations while simultaneously encouraging them to be independent and express individuality.

This parenting style creates an environment that gives children a path towards academic success. Children learn to follow rules and complete homework when they are younger and have the leadership and self motivation to continue that same path when they are older, and more in control of their own success. Studies have revealed that children who have two parents that both use an authoritative parenting style are most likely to have academic success.


Permissive parenting style is marked by a lack of rules and discipline but a high amount of warmth. Permissive parents often do not expect their children to complete much, do not encourage negative consequences for negative actions, and they are known to allow children to make their own decisions. Parents that are permissive parents often allow their children a great deal of freedom.

This parenting style has been linked to behavioral and social problems. It is believed that permissive parenting is a predictor of academic failure as children may not learn as well in the classroom due to a lack of structure at home.

Studies(source) have indicated that, of the three primary parenting styles, authoritative parenting creates an environment that encourages academic success as well as several characteristics that promote leadership, motivation and positive self esteem. This is because children are allowed age appropriate freedom, experience consequences and they understand structure from an earlier age.

It is vital that parents and caregivers are aware of the different parenting styles, as well as their impact on academic achievement, so that they can adopt an approach that will help children lead happy, successful lives.

Why Do Parenting Styles Differ?

As parents and researchers take on the task of studying parenting styles, they often come across the primary parenting styles that are seen most frequently, such as authoritarian and permissive. Studies have been conducted on the impact of these different styles on aspects of a child’s health, both mentally and physically. Upon learning all this information, the question often arises: why are parenting styles different? What makes one parent a permissive parent and the other one an authoritarian parent?

Personal Upbringing

The adage that you turn out like your parents can ring true, especially when it pertains to parenting styles. When a child is raised with a permissive parenting style, that is their version of normal. Because this is what they know, this is how the go on to raise their own children. They do not realize the damage that they could be doing to their child because they are simply doing what is normal to them.

Socioeconomic Status

Socioeconomic status tends to bring certain aspects of different parenting styles into the picture. Parents of a lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be permissive or uninvolved parents. They are also more likely to be on the opposite end of the spectrum with parents that have higher demands of their children.
Often, this is completely unintentional. Parents place higher demands on their children, such as more cleaning and babysitting responsibilities, because they only have so much time to run the household. The is frequent in single parent households. These same parents are also under more stress, making it more likely that they focus on discipline and have less warmth to give their children.

Conscious Decisions

Sometimes, a parent will decide to become a specific type of parent. This may stem from not wanting to be like their own parents, or from conducting their own research on different parenting styles.

When parents strive to not be like their own parents, it can involve the extreme opposite. For example, parents that were raised with overly strict parents might decide that they would like to be permissive parents. Because of this, they do the opposite of what their own parents did when they were growing up.
Parents that conduct research and decide on a way to raise their children often research discipline methods, etc. and then incorporate those into their household. These parents may also seek help from parenting classes or parenting coaches to help them adopt one style or another.

Other Influences

There are several other things that can impact parenting style. According to research, these things are common factors in predicting a person’s parenting style:

  • Education pertaining to childhood development
  • Temperament
  • Level of stress
  • Parenting style of family and friends
  • Current parenting trends
  • New research studies and their results

Often, more than one thing will impact parenting style. A person’s upbringing, their own life decisions and education level, financial status and their own knowledge pertaining to the effects of different parenting styles result in them having one or the other. Because of this, it is very common for parents to have one characteristic of one parenting style, but other characteristics that resemble a different parenting style.

Why Are Parenting Styles Important?

Parenting styles are often categorized by the amount of demands placed on a child as well as the level of warmth that the child receives. Each parenting style differs slightly in these two areas, which has a drastic impact on the child. These two aspects of parenting have an affect on several things that are of great importance to the self.


Obedience remains important for a child as they grow into an adult. Obedient children are more likely to follow societal norms, such as not stealing, listen in school and less likely to get into legal trouble as adults. This is because they have been taught to follow rules. Authoritarian parents focus on punishment and are known to raise obedient children because this is the strictest of the parenting styles.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are uninvolved and permissive parenting styles. Due to the lack of discipline, most children that are raised with these parenting styles are more likely to get into trouble as both children and adults.

Authoritative parenting requires that children follow rules, but also nurtures children so that instead of blindly following rules, they learn to respect rules and want to follow them. These children are less likely to get into trouble than the latter two parenting styles.

Self Esteem

The way that a child is treated when they are younger, and as they grow older, has a drastic impact on their self esteem. In parenting styles, this refers to the level of warmth that the child receives as well as the relationship with the parent.

Parenting styles that have a low level of warmth and nurturing, such as authoritarian and uninvolved, often create children that have low self esteem. They have difficulty making decisions because of this.

Authoritarian is a parenting style that takes the child’s emotions into consideration and involves a positive relationship between the parent and child. Because it has a higher level of warmth, these children will have healthier self esteem. Permissive parenting can also raise a child with a strong sense of self.

Academic Success

Different parenting styles can also help predict whether a child is likely to succeed in school. Uninvolved and permissive parenting styles are not predictors of whether a child will or will not. Studies have noted that authoritarian parenting styles might result in less successful children in higher grades, and authoritative parenting style encourages children to have the self motivation required for success in school.

Other Areas

Parenting styles can affect every aspect of a child, not just the three mentioned above. It can also have a significant impact on:

  • Whether kids are okay with sharing their personal opinions
  • Level of aggressiveness
  • Future planning
  • Lying
  • Happiness
  • Level of responsibility
  • The ability to properly determine safety risks without outside help
  • Obesity
  • Dental health

Different Parenting Styles in Different Countries

Below we dig a little bit deeper into how families all over the world approach parenting, helping to shine a light on some of the cultural differences that impact parenting styles.

Parents in Denmark Leave Infants Outside While Shopping or Dining

Believe it or not, in some parts of our world, it is anything but uncommon to go out to eat or go shopping with babies – infants – and leave them (inside of their stroller) outside while you and the other adults or older children had indoors.

Denmark in particular has a culture where this is extremely prevalent, with most parents never blinking an eye at the idea of leaving their babies outdoors and unattended while they go inside to shop or to eat.

Most of the strollers are outfitted with high-technology baby monitors so that parents can keep an eye on their little ones, but this kind of behavior would seem almost criminal in some cultures (like the United States, for example).

Parents in Asia Let Their Children Stay Up Late

In Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan (as well as a number of other destinations throughout Asia) it’s not unusual for parents to let their children go to bed considerably later than what might be understood to be normal in other parts of the world.

For example, parents in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States regularly report an average bedtime for young children as being 7:30 PM. In Asia, however, the average bedtime for young children sits around 10 PM – with some children staying up even later than that.

Parents in Italy Give Children Wine with Dinner

While the legal age or purchasing alcohol in most European nation (including Italy) is 18 years of age, it’s not at all unusual for preteens and teenagers in Italy to get a glass of wine with dinner when they are eating with their family or friends.

Italian parents are very comfortable with their young people having a little bit of wine with their meal, and interestingly enough some research conducted in Europe shows that this kind of “casual imbibing” even by young people significantly reduces the odds of substance abuse issues later down the line.

Parents in Sweden NEVER Spank Their Children

Parents in Sweden NEVER Spank Their Children
Sweden became the very first nation on the planet to outright ban and criminalize the act of spanking children as a form of discipline back in 1979. While the active spanking has definitely tapered off with this most recent generation of parents, Sweden took things another step further by making a cultural decision to stop corporal punishment entirely.

There are a lot of cultures around the world that still consider corporal punishment and spanking a key part of disciplining young people, though, and this kind of step would be seen as almost unbelievable by those parents.

Mothers in Bulgaria Get 410 days of Maternity Leave

While mothers in the United States, for example, might only get six or eight months of maternity leave after they have had their baby, mothers in Bulgaria get 410 days of maternity leave with each child – enjoying 90% of their original pay in the lead up to and after the birth of their child.

On top of that, after a child has reached six months of age the maternity leave can be “transferred” to the child’s father and they can enjoy the remainder of the 410 days of leave as paternity leave – with the same 90% of their original pay before leave took hold.

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