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What's your parenting style, and why does your child respond the way they do?

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Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 07:54:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Every parent does things differently and what works for one may not work for the other.

But why do parents, parent the way they do? And can we learn from each others differences through an open discussion?

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WRTV's Kaitlyn Kendall spoke to three different parents during a round table discussion about what works best for each family and why they parent the way they do.

Experts say there are four different parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian
  • Authoritative
  • Permissive
  • Uninvolved

"One way isn't the best way. Everybody's family is different and we all come from different places. This is what I love about being a systemic therapist. We all come from different cultures, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, spiritualities. All of that plays into how you show up as a parent," licensed family therapist Kimberly O'Connell said.
Each parenting style is different.


This parenting style can be seen as more strict, the parent focuses on obedience and punishment over discipline.


Sets clear rules and expectations but allows communication between the child and parent.


This parenting style rarely enforces rules, and have the mentality of kids will be kids.


Uninvolved parenting style provides little guidance, these parents don't set rules and allow their child to do as they please.

"They called the uninvolved the lazzefair and I prefer that term," Indianapolis mother Faron Luce said.

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Luce has a teen daughter and says she doesn't really enforce rules in her household.

"Our one rule in the house is you can not lie. We are pretty lax on every other rule but that is the one thing. And if we catch her lying, I've always been like I don't think that's what happened, but you have an opportunity to tell the truth and not get in trouble," Luce said.

Other parents WRTV spoke to are quite the opposite.

Brian Sykes has an 11-month-old. He is a self-proclaimed helicopter parent.

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He says he feels it is important to enforce rules but also to explain why those rules are in place.

"Personally, I think that's part of what our responsibility is — to help make sure kids understand there are rules," Sykes said.

Tevin Studdard says he is strict, but to an extent.

"Kind of a mixture of love mixed with sternness, mixed with this is why," Studdard said.

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Studdard added rules are important because he doesn't want his children to make the same mistakes he did.

Experts say there are reason why parents, parent the way that they do. O'Connell says some of that has to do with how we grew up.

"When we talk about parenting styles, first recognize how we were parented. Because that can really play a role in what we are doing and maybe what we're fighting against doing," she said.

WRTV spoke openly with the parents about a number of topics to get their perspective. From fits, to lying, to when a child succeeds at something.

"Really trying to make sure that you're understanding where your child is coming from I think can allow you to better address whatever the issue is at hand," Sykes said.

All of the parents agreed that providing words of encouragement were important to them.

"Everything falls off, it's over the moon celebrations and just showing her how loved she is, how proud we are," Sykes said.

Luce agreed, but added she does what she can to make her daughter know that is doesn't all rely on her being told she is doing great.

"I don't want her self worth and value to be attached to did I do this good enough," Luce said.

Sykes said he believes a parents main goal is to instill self confidence in their child.

But when the conversation about participation trophy's came about, the parents had differing opinions.

Check out the video below of the honest, raw conversation about participation trophies and why some believe in them and others are very against.

Parents discuss participation trophies

Experts say the important part about a parents parenting style is to know that environment, age, and a child's personality play a role in that.

O'Connell says what is important to know is just because you parent on way with one child doesn't mean it will work for another child.

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She says, oftentimes, parents will have to act and react differently for each child if they have more than one.

"I think the biggest take away is that we're all trying our best, we're all doing our best, we all want to raise happy, successful children so I very much try not to judge what anyone else does. What works for you is what you and your family decide. That's the approach to take," Luce said.

O'Connell said it's important to remember one way isn't necessarily the best way.

"You have to give yourself some grace. You are doing a good job. What works for you and your family might not work for another, but that is okay," O'Connell said.