We all have an idea of what kind of parent we’ll be. Some work hard to pick up positive habits from their parents as they think back to their own childhood, while others want nothing to do with that. And if you’re co-parenting with a partner or a spouse, things get even more complicated as you realize they bring their own ideas of what “good” parenting should look like. While there are infinite ways to parent, psychologists have compartmentalized the most common into different approaches, referred to as “parenting styles.” The most common parenting styles include authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, uninvolved, helicopter, free-range, attachment, and positive, among others.
If you’re not sure what your parenting style is, or if you think you lean towards one style over another, here’s a quick quiz that may help.
Before getting into the specific questions, here’s how this quiz will work. Below you’ll find a set of six statements on each of the most common parenting styles. Read each statement and think about how it pertains to you and your parenting style (if at all). Give yourself a “1” if it’s something you never do, a “2” if you do it sometimes, and a “3” if it’s something you always do. When you’re finished, add up your score for each section, and the one with the highest number suggests that it’s the parenting style that you prefer, and/or practice.
This quiz is based on one developed by the California Department of Education, but is by no means “official” or any type of judgment or diagnosis — just a tool to gain some insight into your own parenting style. So, have fun, be honest, and get ready to learn something about yourself.
Authoritative Parenting Style Quiz
- I respect my child’s opinions and encourage him/her to express them.
- I compliment my child.
- I take my child’s wishes into consideration before I ask him/her to do something.
- I explain to my child how I feel about his/her good/bad behavior.
- I encourage my child to freely “speak his/her mind,” even if he/she disagrees with me.
- I explain the reasons behind my expectations.
Authoritarian Parenting Style Quiz
- I use criticism to make my child improve his/her behavior.
- I feel the need to point out my child’s past behavioral problems to make sure he/she will not do them again.
- I remind my child of all the things I am doing, and I have done for him/her
- I openly criticize my child when his/her behavior does not meet my expectations.
- When my child asks me why he/she has to do something, I tell him/her it is because I said so, I am your parent, or because that is what I want.
- I yell, or explode in anger when I disapprove of something my child does.
Permissive Parenting Style Quiz
- I spoil my child.
- I give into my child when he/she causes a commotion about something.
- I find it difficult to discipline my child.
- I ignore my child’s bad behavior.
- I let my child get away with things that deserve some type of punishment.
- I don’t have a lot of household rules, and the ones I do have are rarely enforced.
Uninvolved Parenting Style Quiz
- I know I should expect more from my child, but that means more work for me, and I’m not interested in that.
- I feel like I’ve “checked out” as a parent.
- I’m not concerned about meeting my child’s emotional and physical needs.
- I’ve emotionally distanced myself from my child intentionally.
- I provide necessities like food, clothing, and shelter for my child, but not much beyond that.
- When it comes to my kids, rules and discipline are not priorities for me.
Helicopter Parenting Style Quiz
- I constantly monitor my child’s behavior and whereabouts, beyond a level that is age-appropriate.
- I am preoccupied with my child’s performance in school and other activities and have high standards.
- I have (or would have) no problem pulling strings to get special treatment or accommodations for my child.
- When someone asks my child a question and I’m present, I answer on their behalf.
- I’m involved in nearly every major decision for my child (or want to be), from schooling, employment, to their group of friends.
- I assist or complete my child’s projects for them in order to give them a better shot at a good grade.
Positive Parenting Style Quiz
- I set and enforce healthy, age-appropriate boundaries with my child.
- When I discipline my child, I’m firm with them, but also kind.
- I actively work at building connections with my child to help facilitate our communication.
- When my child misbehaves, I approach it with empathy and try to figure out why they acted a certain way.
- I am respectful towards my child as a way to model positive behavior.
- I use positive reinforcement with my child when encouraging (or discouraging) a particular type of behavior.
Free-Range Parenting Style Quiz
- I gradually give my child more freedom and responsibility, as they earn it.
- I strongly encourage my child to use their imagination, play outside, and spend time in nature, while steering them away from video games, TV, and other devices.
- On a typical weekend or summer day, I don’t have a full day of activities planned for my child — we play it by ear.
- While I always want my child to be safe, I encourage them to try new things and explore.
- I try to give my child every opportunity to “be a kid.”
- I allow my child to experience the natural consequences of their behavior — even if it means something unpleasant (though not unsafe).
Attachment Parenting Style Quiz
- I see the first six weeks of a child’s life as extremely important for parent-child bonding, especially skin-to-skin contact.
- When my child was an infant, I frequently engaged in baby-wearing, carrying the child around in a sling or wrap, so they were positioned close to my body as much as possible.
- I engage(d) in co-sleeping, or bed-sharing with my child as an infant and toddler.
- I immediately respond when my baby cries, and take it as a form of communication.
- I strongly believe that breastfeeding a baby is best.
- I discipline my child using positive reinforcement and gentle guidance.