Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Parental Style Study Makes Sense For Teachers, Too


A study just came out evaluating three different parent styles — “authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.” It seems to me that what they found goes for teaching styles, too:

Authoritarian parents whose child-rearing style can be summed up as “it’s my way or the highway” are more likely to raise disrespectful, delinquent children who do not see them as legitimate authority figures than authoritative parents who listen to their children and gain their respect and trust, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

….The researchers evaluated three parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.

Authoritative parents are both demanding and controlling, but they are also warm and receptive to their children’s needs. They are receptive to bidirectional communication in that they explain to their children why they have established rules and also listen to their children’s opinions about those rules. Children of authoritative parents tend to be self-reliant, self-controlled, and content.

On the other hand, authoritarian parents are demanding and highly controlling, but detached and unreceptive to their children’s needs. These parents support unilateral communication where they establish rules without explanation and expect them to be obeyed without complaint or question. Authoritarian parenting produces children who are discontent, withdrawn, and distrustful.

Finally, in contrast to authoritarian parenting, permissive parents are nondemanding and noncontrolling. They tend to be warm and receptive to their children’s needs, but place few boundaries on their children. If they do establish rules, they rarely enforce them to any great extent. These parents tend to produce children who are the least self-reliant, explorative, and self-controlled out of all the parenting styles.

What do you think?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Yes, I agree, these principles can be translated to teaching as well. In fact, there is a book I bought quiet a few years ago with these same principles. In the book, you are presented with specific scenerios that happen in the classroom – behavioural concerns, for instance, and then how each of these types would deal with the situation. It is really great! I found it to be very helpful in my early days of teaching. I actually just lent it to a teacher at my school.

  2. Teachers have thirty or more personalities in a class. With this in mind, teachers need to use different approaches depending on each child. It also depends on the age of the child. One form of discipline does not work for all.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar