Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?

Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?

Child-rearing takes pretty much the same shape regardless of where it happens. The effects of good or bad child-rearing are similar across the human race.

However, there are a variety of parenting techniques common among people from all walks of life.

Cultural differences, socio-economic status, and religious backgrounds determine the choice of child-rearing techniques.

To know which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America, we need to start with general information, then zero into specifics about America.

Parenting Style Description

A parenting style refers to the technique that a caregiver uses to raise their children. The parent chooses how they will react to the kid’s behavior, when to take action, and when to let go.

The goals that caregivers wish to accomplish for their families influence their choices for parenting strategies.

The way you respond to your children and the proactive actions you take in raising them reflect the kind of style you have chosen.

The Four Types Rearing Styles

Various factors influence this dynamic process of raising kids. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to proper child-rearing. You decide which approach works best for you and your little ones, then run with it.

What matters is a happy, healthy family. There are four basic parenting styles as discussed below:

Permissive Parenting Style

In permissive parenting, the children are allowed to forge their path with minimal rules. The caregiver does not want to be all over their kids’ space, yet they want the best for them.

Such parents don’t know where to draw the line between being a parent and a friend.

A permissive parent involves their children in every decision and considers everyone’s opinion. The kids feel esteemed and build their self-confidence since their parents trust them.

They learn through their mistakes, but the assurance of their unrelenting parents’ love keeps them afloat.

The downside to the permissive parenting technique is that with time a permissive parent loses their authority over the kids and cannot even question their children’s behavior.

The children may be rebellious at home and outside since they don’t know how to submit to authority.

Neglectful /Uninvolved Parenting

The caregiver and the children have no attachment. The kids take care of themselves and decide what to do with their lives.

This approach is the sloppiest of all the basic parenting styles. It lacks the rules and the guidelines that govern parent-child relationships.

Uninvolved parents bother may be excellent providers to their kids but do nothing about attachment parenting.

Psychologists associate some of these neglective behaviors with mental illnesses like depression. The parent hardly has time for themselves let alone the children.

In uninvolved parenting, the parent-child bond is lacking. Kids have no guidance, and they constantly yearn for emotional support, which their parents cannot give—children raised by uninvolved parents mostly become unruly and make grievous mistakes in life since they don’t follow rules.

Authoritative Parenting Style

This style is also called the propagative style. Of the four child-raising techniques, authoritative parenting comes off as the most balanced.

The caregivers set clear guidelines on how the children should live their life. The rules are clear, and the consequences are well-defined.

The kids understand that their parents want the best for them—the caregivers, on the other hand, show love and empathy.

Authoritative parents have strict family rules but are also affectionate and reasonable. They offer guidance to their kids and mold them to become all-rounded adults.

Authoritative parenting is autonomous; Caregivers work towards raising children who can make informed and honorable decisions.

Most kids from authoritative parents become confident and self-aware at a tender age. They value discipline and readily submit to authority.

Authoritarian Parenting Style

Authoritarian parents lead through a dictatorship. They set strict rules and expect their children to adhere to them without hesitation.

Kids are not allowed to question any of their parent’s decisions or instructions. The children have no voice, and the caregivers are demanding.

The authoritarian parenting style cannot be the encouraged parenting style for any child.

It’s emotionally, mentally, and psychologically damaging to kids Some parents who practice this rearing style become physically abusive since, to them, discipline means punishment.

This style borders narcissistic parenting where kids are made to feel guilty for their mistakes.

An authoritarian parent raises children who have low self-esteem. They are always angry and hardly trust anyone who tries to befriend them. The majority fall into depression.

Even though they may follow the rules, they do so out of fear and not willful obedience.

The Road to Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America

After discussing the general nurturing guidelines, it’s time to determine what works in modern America and what doesn’t work.

Below are some of the factors that affect the choice of parenting strategies in modern America:

Social-economic Status

The individualistic culture of the American people has had a great effect on rearing techniques. Everyone is working tirelessly to secure a decent life regardless of who gets hurt.

Some parents overwork, leaving little time for themselves and their kids. This culture promotes permissive or neglective parenting techniques.

In a study done by Pew Research Institute, most people who have a high income hardly spend time with their children.

Their jobs are too demanding, and they claim that children’s activities are hectic too.

Since the rich can afford to pay for their kids’ extra-curricular activities, they enroll them to keep them busy. If parents aren’t deliberate in raising their children, uninvolved parenting may happen.

According to the study, about 52% of those who earn less than $30000 annually said that extra-curricular activities aren’t available for them.

Even if the events were there, their low income wouldn’t allow them to pay for such. That plight leaves them with no option but to spend more time with their children.

Cultural Background

In modern America, there are daily debates on whether helicopter parenting techniques are better than the free-range approach.

Some parents believe that children require close monitoring up to a certain age when they can take care of themselves.

Others advocate for free-range parenting techniques where the kid can learn survival tactics early.

Pew researchers recorded that black parents fear that their children will be shot at while moving around. These fears tend to make black parents in America over-protective.

On the other hand, white parents worry about their kids getting depressed; this may cause them to become more free-range parents.

Hispanic and blacks believe that the way kids turn out depends more on how their caregivers have raised them.

On the contrary, white parents think that a child’s character depends more on their strengths and weaknesses.

The effects of cultural differences on the choice of rearing styles that people make are major. Whether white or black, each parent believes that they’re doing what’s best for their family.

Individual Parent Preferences

Putting aside all the other factors that affect nurturing styles, individual preferences come into play.

If a caregiver prefers the permissive style over the authoritative one, then they have their reasons.

For instance, in modern America, spanking is quite unpopular, even though some parents use it as a form of discipline when necessary.

The parent who spanks isn’t better or worse than their counterparts who prefer time-outs. The variety of parenting approaches gives caregivers the luxury of choice.

The individualistic culture in America gives individual parents leeway to decide how they raise their kids with minimal judgment from others.

The only time that children authorities intervene is in the case of abuse or acute negligence.

Personal experiences also fuel these individual child-rearing preferences. Caregivers compare a variety of parenting techniques. If one approach doesn’t seem to work, they try another, and the process continues.

Parents relate with their little ones more to identify the basic parenting styles that produce the desired results.

So, Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?

Life in modern America is moving pretty fast. Parents are working hard to afford a decent lifestyle for their kids.

The internet has posed a threat to take over child-raising from unsuspecting caregivers.

Despite all the challenges thrown at parents, most of them desire to raise responsible and honest children with a sense of ethics.

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, around 71% of parents saw the need to bring up kids well-balanced kids.

Based on this study, the authoritarian parenting style and the neglective approach will not produce the desired outcomes.

It may not be practical to practice one approach consistently, but there should be a dominant style.

That said, the Authoritative style carries the day as the most encouraged parenting style in modern America.

Other rearing techniques may come into play once in a while, depending on the situation.


Pew Research Center. (2020, May 30). Parenting in America. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2015/12/17/parenting-in-america/

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