Why Do Parenting Styles Differ?

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.