ABC’s new reality series “The Parent Test” has parents across the country debating which parenting style is the most effective. The competition-style show is hosted by Ali Wentworth, actress and mother of two, and Adolph Brown, parenting expert and father of eight. It features a dozen families, each representing a different parenting style.
Each family must navigate several challenges, and then the other parents in the competition are tasked with judging their performance. The challenges range from fun (racing go-karts), to sobering (testing the kids’ awareness of “stranger danger”)—but what they all have in common is exposing the strengths and weaknesses of each family’s chosen parenting technique.
While the premise might raise some eyebrows, the conversations sparked within the show and in the wider parenting community have been extremely valuable. From the new age parenting style to the free-range parenting style, many commonly practiced types of parenting styles are represented in the show.
What are the different parenting styles?
Since the 1960s, psychologists have used four types of parenting styles to describe how most parents raise their children. Those four parenting styles—permissive, authoritative, authoritarian, and neglectful—exist on a spectrum of more or less demanding to the parent, and less or more responsive to the child.
Parenting techniques change across generations, however, parenting communities and experts have coined dozens of new terms for different parenting techniques that have become popular over the years. To find out which parenting style most closely matches your own, take our quiz!