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What are some of the different parenting styles?


They look happy. What's their parenting secret? See more parenting pictures.
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For some parents and soon-to-be parents, there are two different parenting styles: good and bad. And while all parents want to be the good kind, it's not that simple. Parents have different backgrounds, childhood experiences, cultural beliefs, temperaments and approaches to parenting. Additionally, kids themselves have different needs and personalities, sometimes requiring different parenting styles from one sibling to the next.

When we refer to parenting styles, we're not referring to any one particular thing a parent may do, but rather, broadly grouped approaches that take several different factors into account. Using "time-outs" doesn't necessarily fall into one style or another, but the context and frequency with which they're used is dependent on one style or another.

Parenting styles have been studied by developmental psychologists since the 1920s. Of course, the beliefs of experts have changed over the years, as well as social mores and overall awareness of child development by parent and psychologist alike. Some of these "styles" were first identified and defined by psychologist Diana Baumrind. Others have emerged independently, as new parenting trends, fashions and approaches came into being (such as attachment parenting, which we'll learn about shortly).

Regardless of the style, each represents a traditional and acceptable variation in parenting. So what are your options? If you're currently wearing your child as a semi-permanent accessory, you may be familiar with the first one we'll discuss.