Improving Your Child's Academics

Which parenting style is best for your child's academics?

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Types of Parenting Styles

Research has linked parenting styles and the child's academic success very closely (Berk, 2010). If you notice your child has been struggling with academics, you might want to take a step back and consider how you approach academics and realize the impact you have on your child's views of academics. The way parents handle academics can either motivate the child to want to do well, or make the child lose desire to do well. There are four different approaches parents can take, but not all of them are necessarily supportive.
  • Authoritarian: low in warmth/comfort and high in control
  • Authoritative: high in warmth/comfort and high in control
  • Passive: high in warmth/control and low in control
  • Neglectful: low in warmth/control and low in control.

Best approach?

Authoritative, which is high in warmth and control, seems to be the best way to set up a positive environment for your child to have high expectations and motivation in academics (Stright & Yeo, 2013). Being an authoritative parent can include:
  • Keeping tabs on your child's progress
  • Communicating with teachers
  • Making sure your child is in challenging classes
  • Making sure they have their homework done
  • Encourage them and set up a reward system for when they do well, and set up consequences as well for when they do poorly
In addition to the authoritative style, it can help increase the child's autonomy, decision making, and responsibility for their own behavior (Stright &Yeo, 2013).

Studies have shown that parents who are neglectful predicts the lowest and poorest school performance in children (Berk, 2010). Examples of a neglectful parent can be having no boundaries, no support, and no expectations.


Berk, Laura E. Development Through the Lifespan. 5th ed. Boston: Pearson Education, 2010. Print.
Stright, Anne D., Yeo, Kim Lian. "Maternal Parenting Styles, School Involvement, and Children’s School Achievement and Conduct." Journal of Educational Psychology 106, 301-314. American Psychological Association, 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.