Section 3, Article 3 - The manner by which a caregiver provides care to their children ranges widely. Scripture reminds parents and caregivers of the importance of their role and that the way they care for and train their children will have a lasting impact (Proverbs 29:15,17; 22:6; Colossians 3:21). Developmentalists agree that the method of caregiving is very important. Diana Baumrind’s () study of preschoolers resulted in the following four dimensions of parenting: expressions of warmth, strategies for discipline, communication, and expectations for maturity. From these dimensions, three parenting styles emerged, including:, , and parenting (). A fourth style, parenting has since been identified. While authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative parenting styles are clearly different from one another, the differences between the neglectful/uninvolved and the permissive parenting styles are often blurred (). Neither the permissive or neglectful/uninvolved parents implement physical punishment; rather the key differences between the two are that neglectful parents are simply oblivious to their children’s behavior, whereas permissive parents do everything possible to show care to their children but in a distorted, overindulgent way.
When evaluating Baumrind’s parenting styles, one major critique is that the styles disregard the influence of children’s temperament and given culture. While the authoritative style has been seen by some to be the superior style, it is most important to recognize the need for a balance between strictness and leniency while highlighting parental warmth (; ). God has designed every child and parent differently, and thus, the parents’ personality, the children’s disposition, and the culture must be accounted for when determining what style best meets the children’s needs.