Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?

by Touchybaby Admin on Sep 04, 2023

Which Parenting Style is Most Encouraged in Modern America?

Parenting in modern America is a dynamic and ever-evolving journey, influenced by a multitude of factors such as culture, societal norms, and the rapid advancements in technology. One question that often arises in the minds of parents, caregivers, and educators is, "Which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America?" This question is both important and complex, as it encompasses various approaches to raising children, each with its own set of principles and practices.

In this article, we will embark on an exploration of the prevailing parenting styles in contemporary American society. We will delve into the traditional and modern parenting styles, shedding light on their distinct characteristics, pros, and cons.

Moreover, we will examine the cultural and societal influences that play a pivotal role in shaping these parenting styles, and how media and technology have transformed the landscape of parenting.

Most Encouraged Parenting Style in North America

Traditional Parenting Styles:

In the realm of parenting, traditional styles have been practiced for generations and have often been deeply rooted in cultural and historical contexts. These styles reflect the prevailing beliefs and values of their time, but they continue to influence parenting practices in modern America.

Two prominent traditional parenting styles that we will explore are authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting.

  • Authoritarian Parenting:


Authoritarian parenting is marked by strict rules, high expectations, and a strong emphasis on obedience. Parents adopting this style tend to have a clear hierarchy, where they hold the authoritative role, and their children are expected to follow their rules without question. Discipline in authoritarian parenting is often punitive, and there is little room for negotiation or discussion. Parents may use phrases like "because I said so" to justify their decisions.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros:
    • Clear boundaries and expectations can provide a sense of security for children.
    • Children may develop strong discipline and a strong work ethic.
  • Cons:
    • Overly strict parenting can lead to fear and anxiety in children.
    • Limited opportunities for independence can hinder problem-solving and decision-making skills.
    • Strained parent-child relationships may result from the lack of warmth and emotional support.
  • Permissive Parenting:

Permissive parenting, on the other hand, is characterized by a lenient and indulgent approach. Parents who adopt this style often prioritize their children's happiness and desires over discipline and structure. Rules are minimal, and children have a significant say in decision-making processes. Permissive parents are generally warm and nurturing but may struggle to enforce consequences for their children's actions.

Pros and Cons:
  • Pros:
    • Children raised in permissive households often have strong self-esteem and confidence.
    • A warm and open parent-child relationship can foster trust and emotional closeness.
  • Cons:
    • Lack of structure and boundaries can lead to behavioral issues and entitlement.
    • Children may struggle to understand and respect authority figures outside the home.
    • Academic and social development can be hindered by the absence of guidance and expectations.

While both authoritarian and permissive parenting styles have their merits and drawbacks, modern American society has seen a shift towards a more balanced approach known as authoritative parenting. This style combines elements of both traditional approaches, offering structure and clear expectations while also fostering warm and nurturing relationships.

Modern Parenting Styles:

In the ever-evolving landscape of parenting, modern parents are often faced with a myriad of choices and approaches when it comes to raising their children. These contemporary parenting styles reflect the changing dynamics of society, education, and family structures.

Two prevalent modern parenting styles that have garnered significant attention and discussion are authoritative parenting and helicopter parenting.

  • Authoritative Parenting:


Authoritative parenting is often considered a balanced and adaptive approach to raising children in modern America. It combines elements of both traditional authoritarian and permissive styles. Parents practicing authoritative parenting set clear expectations and boundaries for their children while also maintaining open lines of communication. They are responsive to their children's needs and emotions, providing guidance and support without being overly controlling.

Benefits for Child Development:

  • Positive Discipline: Authoritative parents employ discipline strategies that focus on teaching rather than punishing, helping children understand the consequences of their actions.
  • Independence and Responsibility: Children raised in authoritative households tend to develop independence, decision-making skills, and a sense of responsibility.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Open communication and empathy foster emotional intelligence, allowing children to better understand and manage their emotions.
  • Helicopter Parenting:


Helicopter parenting is a term used to describe an overly involved and intrusive style of parenting. Parents who exhibit this style tend to "hover" over their children, constantly monitoring and micromanaging their activities and decisions. This parenting style often stems from a desire to protect and support children but can lead to a lack of independence and resilience.

Impact on Children:

  • Dependency: Helicopter parenting can result in children becoming overly dependent on their parents for decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Anxiety: Constant supervision and pressure to excel can contribute to anxiety and stress in children.
  • Difficulty with Adulthood: Helicopter-parented children may struggle with adult responsibilities and decision-making when they leave the home.

Modern parenting styles, including authoritative and helicopter parenting, are shaped by various factors, including cultural influences, societal expectations, and the desire to provide the best opportunities for children.

While authoritative parenting is associated with positive outcomes for child development, helicopter parenting poses potential challenges that can hinder a child's ability to become independent and self-reliant.

As modern parents navigate the complexities of parenting in contemporary America, it is essential to strike a balance between providing guidance and allowing children the freedom to explore and learn from their experiences.

Cultural and Societal Influences:

Parenting styles in modern America are profoundly influenced by the cultural and societal norms that shape our lives. These influences impact how parents raise their children, the values they instill, and the expectations they have. Understanding the role of culture and society in parenting is essential for comprehending why certain parenting styles prevail and evolve over time.

How Culture Shapes Parenting Styles:

Culture plays a significant role in shaping parenting styles. Different cultures have their own beliefs, traditions, and values, which influence the way parents raise their children. For instance, cultures with a strong emphasis on collectivism may prioritize community and family harmony, leading to parenting styles that prioritize obedience and conformity. Conversely, cultures emphasizing individualism may encourage independence and self-expression in parenting.

  1. Collectivism vs. Individualism: In collectivist cultures, the needs of the community or family often take precedence over individual desires. This can lead to parenting styles that emphasize conformity and respect for authority. In contrast, individualist cultures may encourage independence and self-assertion in children.

  2. Religious Beliefs: Religion plays a vital role in many families' lives, influencing moral values, ethical principles, and parenting practices. For example, some religious traditions may place a strong emphasis on discipline and obedience as part of their parenting approach.

  3. Gender Roles: Cultural norms regarding gender roles can also impact parenting styles. Cultures with traditional gender roles may have different expectations for how boys and girls should be raised, which can shape parenting practices.

The Role of Media and Technology:

In the digital age, media and technology have become pervasive influences on parenting styles. The portrayal of parenting in movies, television shows, and social media can shape parents' perceptions and expectations. Here are some ways in which media and technology impact parenting:

  1. Parenting Trends: Media can popularize certain parenting trends and philosophies. For example, the rise of attachment parenting was influenced by books and media coverage.

  2. Comparative Parenting: Social media platforms can create a culture of comparison among parents. Seeing curated images and posts of seemingly perfect parenting can lead to unrealistic expectations and pressures.

  3. Digital Parenting Tools: Technology has also introduced new tools and resources for parents, from educational apps to online parenting forums. These resources can both support and complicate parenting decisions.

Understanding the interplay between culture, society, and parenting is crucial for parents who want to make informed choices about their parenting styles. It allows for a more nuanced and adaptable approach that respects cultural traditions while also adapting to the evolving needs of children in modern America.

Factors Encouraging Authoritative Parenting:

Authoritative parenting has gained recognition and popularity in modern America due to its balanced and adaptive approach to child-rearing. Several factors contribute to the encouragement and adoption of authoritative parenting by parents and caregivers who seek a nurturing yet structured environment for their children.

Here are some key factors that promote authoritative parenting:

1. Research and Studies:

  • Extensive research in the field of child development consistently supports authoritative parenting as a beneficial approach. Studies have shown that children raised by authoritative parents tend to exhibit better emotional well-being, higher academic achievement, and improved social skills.

2. Positive Outcomes for Children:

  • Authoritative parenting is associated with a wide range of positive outcomes for children, including higher self-esteem, better problem-solving abilities, and greater independence. Parents are motivated by the desire to provide their children with the best opportunities for success and well-being.

3. Balance between Independence and Guidance:

  • Authoritative parents strike a delicate balance between allowing their children to explore their independence and providing them with guidance and boundaries. This equilibrium fosters a sense of autonomy in children while ensuring they have the support and structure they need to thrive.

4. Changing Parenting Paradigm:

  • As society evolves, so do parenting paradigms. Authoritative parenting aligns with contemporary values such as individualism, critical thinking, and adaptability. Parents in modern America often seek a parenting style that prepares their children to navigate a rapidly changing world.

5. Educational Approaches:

  • Many educational institutions and experts in child development promote the principles of authoritative parenting. Parents are exposed to these ideas through educational programs, parenting books, and workshops, reinforcing the advantages of this style.

6. Communication Skills:

  • Authoritative parenting relies heavily on open and effective communication between parents and children. In an era where communication skills are highly valued, parents recognize the importance of fostering healthy communication patterns from a young age.

7. Social and Emotional Development:

  • Authoritative parenting prioritizes emotional intelligence and social skills, which are increasingly recognized as crucial for success in both personal and professional life. Parents are encouraged by the prospect of raising emotionally resilient and socially adept children.

8. Adaptability and Problem-Solving:

  • The modern world requires individuals who can adapt to changing circumstances and solve complex problems. Authoritative parenting helps children develop these essential life skills by encouraging them to think critically and make decisions.

9. Parent-Child Bond:

  • The authoritative style places a strong emphasis on building a warm and supportive parent-child relationship. Parents are motivated by the desire to maintain a strong bond with their children while also guiding them toward responsible behavior.

In summary, authoritative parenting is encouraged in modern America due to its evidence-based effectiveness, alignment with contemporary values, and its ability to nurture well-rounded, independent, and emotionally intelligent children. As parents seek to provide their children with the best possible foundation for success and happiness, authoritative parenting remains a compelling and widely embraced approach.


In our exploration of parenting styles in modern America, it becomes clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising children. Instead, parents are faced with a diverse array of choices, influenced by cultural, societal, and personal factors.

The question of which parenting style is most encouraged in modern America does not have a definitive answer, but it does offer insights into the evolving landscape of parenthood.

Traditional parenting styles, such as authoritarian and permissive approaches, continue to shape the way some parents raise their children. These styles have their strengths and weaknesses, and they reflect the values and beliefs of previous generations. However, as society evolves, we see a shift toward more balanced and adaptable approaches.