Tips to Harness The Power of Your Parenting Style to Raise Resilient Children
Be Nourished

Tips to Harness The Power of Your Parenting Style to Raise Resilient Children


20 August 2019


What parenting style best describes you? No matter how you raise your children, you can make changes to raise strong, resilient children.

There are as many types of parenting styles as there are parents. Each style is a combination of chosen strategies for raising kids. While the amount of discipline, nurture, communication and expectation parents practice varies dramatically, the end goal is the same: to raise strong, independent and resilient children who are able to face life’s challenges as they grow up. More so, in an ever-changing world.

What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important?

Resilience has been defined as the ability to recover from life’s obstacles and challenges, overcoming disadvantages to succeed, and withstand stress to function well in the tasks of life—all admirable traits that we would be proud to see our children display.

However, children are not born resilient. Their relationships, their nutrition, and their environment all play a role in building resilience. According to Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, “The active ingredients in building resilience are supportive relationships with parents, coaches, teachers, caregivers, and other adults in the community.”

Resilient children show traits such as Daringness, Resourcefulness, Self-Reliance, Adaptability and Perseverance. But each of these traits must be nurtured—by teachers, caregivers, and you—to raise a resilient child.

In short, your parenting style makes a difference.

Why Types of Parenting Styles Matter

Much of what we know about types of parenting styles is based on the research of Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist. She classified parents on their demands to their children (either authoritarian or authoritative) and their responsiveness (either permissive or neglectful). Then she observed how this affected the children’s behaviour.

Since this pioneering research in 1967, there have been a host of new learnings, and a slew of trendy parenting styles – good or bad. Helicopter parenting is perhaps the latest trend that has gained infamy. But there have also been tiger mums with exceedingly high demands of their children, panda dads who are rich in affection, and even the so-called “durian generation”.

Below you'll find types of parenting styles—from Baumrind to today’s latest trends—and no matter what type of parent you are, here are a few tips on how you can raise your child resilient. Which parenting style best describes you?

Authoritarian Parenting

Do you make rules around the house, and your child must obey those rules without question?

Does your child follow everything you say without question?

An authoritarian parent is the boss of the house. When authoritarian parents set ground rules, their children must obey. And if they cross the line, they will be punished.

These children grow up in fear, worried that they may make others angry or make a mistake. When problems occur, they may become depressed. They become fearful when dropped into a new situation.

How to raise a resilient child:

While of course you need to enforce discipline and set rules, you also need to communicate with your children why you are doing so. Instead of flat-out punishing them when they are disobedient, explain the reasons why you punish your children. Teach them to be aware of consequences (e.g. how screaming in the train will bother other commuters, or how pushing a sibling will hurt them).

Have age-appropriate chats with your children. Tell them your expectations and goals, but give them the freedom to express themselves. In essence, be nurturing while having reasonable disciplinary rules in place. Over time, they will learn how to become agile and adaptable, positively changing their own behaviour, and achieving their goals.

Authoritative Parenting

When you make rules around the house, do you explain to your children why you do so?

Do you encourage your children to think for themselves, but don’t give in to them and discipline your kids when necessary?

Do you feel it’s important to teach and guide your children?

Authoritarian and authoritative parenting are two sides to the same coin, but there is a world of difference between them. While authoritarian parents enact rules that children must obey without asking “Why?”,  authoritative parents exact positive discipline strategies, but communicate why they do so. And more importantly, they lead by example. They respect their children, and raise their children to be respectful of others. These parents nip behaviour problems in the bud.

How to raise a resilient child:

Children raised by authoritative parents are more likely to become more responsible adults, being self-reliant, independent and comfortable in making decisions on their own. They are respectful, empathic, and kind towards their parents, peers and others.

There are no hard or right rules to parenting. Every parent knows there is a time to enforce strict discipline and a time to be gentle. What is becoming increasingly clear is that parents need to work towards the goal of raising their children to be resilient so that they can be ready and embrace challenges that they will face in the future.

Permissive Parenting

Feel like your children are more like friends?

Do you give your children the freedom to do whatever they want to do?

When your child is misbehaving, do you bribe them with toys, food or the iPad?

The permissive parent is the complete opposite of a helicopter parent. Super relaxed and chill, the permissive parent loves and indulges their kids. However, these parents don’t enforce discipline, avoid confrontations and really just feel that kids will be kids.

Research has found that children growing up under permissive parents grow up with no ambition or low achievement. They often don’t know how to make decisions, have poor time-management and could be prone to delinquency.

How to raise a resilient child:

If you feel that you might be a permissive parent, it’s time to get a little bit stricter around the house. Understand that your children will be upset when faced with something that is ultimately good for them. Household rules should be put in place and enforced. Parents need to follow through: there must be consequences for breaking the rules.

When you do so, your children will develop self-discipline – knowing that certain choices in life will have their own consequences. Too much of something (such as freedom) can be a bad thing. Age-appropriate freedom is key to helping them learn and consider their decisions. When children become independent and brave enough to make their own decisions and understand the consequences of their actions, they will eventually become self-reliant.


Neglectful Parenting/Uninvolved Parenting

Do you rarely ask your child what’s going in his life?

Not sure what he's doing right now?

Never go for family activities together?

Practising uninvolved parenting is a complete 180-degrees to helicopter parenting. While your child is left to his or her own devices to face the struggles of life, these children become more emotionally withdrawn. Without their family support, children of uninvolved or neglectful parents are more likely to perform poorly in life. Either they suffer from anxiety or stress issues because they have nobody to turn to, or they become more naughty and less trusting of others.

Oftentimes, uninvolved parents grew up in a family that practised the same kind of parenting. Other times, they are too caught up with providing for the family that they unintentionally neglect their child.

How to raise a resilient child:

Parents need to be there in their children’s lives, guiding them with support, trust, discipline and love. That is how their children will grow up to become resilient and confident.

Communicate with your children often so they have the confidence that you will have their back when they forge ahead to face life’s challenges.  It may seem like leaving your child alone, free to do what he pleases, will make him daring, but the opposite is true. When your child knows that you are there for him, he will become daring and confident enough to explore the world around him head first.

Helicopter Parents/Lawnmower Parents

Do you bring over homework your kids forgot?

Blame teachers for your children’s failing grades?

Do you handle their problems at school?

Lawnmower parents take helicopter parenting to the extreme. Lawnmower parents “literally” bulldoze through all of their children’s problems so their kids don’t face any challenges. Because of this, children become unable to tackle life’s challenges on their own, and end up with a lack of confidence, and no motivation. They may even find it hard to communicate with others.

Another similar term for this type of parenting is “curling parents”. Like participants in the winter sport, curling parents sweep away all obstacles in their children’s lives.

How to raise a resilient child: 

How much help is too much help? While that can be tricky to answer, keep in mind that children should be given the chance to handle challenging situations on their own.

With that in mind, trust your children. Expose them to the world and experiences so that they can learn to do things out of their comfort zone, learn to be resourceful, finding out the best way to tackle their own problems.

Submarine Parenting

Do you let your children make their own decisions?

Have you signed up your kids to activities and events with other children of their age?

Do you keep watch your child playing in the playground without worrying he or she might fall?

Like a submarine hiding in deep waters, a submarine parent keeps tabs on their child from a distance without playing an active role unless the situation calls for it. It’s nurturing your child without being too involved like a helicopter parent.

How to raise a resilient child:

Submarine parents let their children make their own decisions and give them a chance to believe in themselves, while still being available for guidance if needed. These children learn to be resilient, knowing how to bounce back from mistakes without the need to run back to their parents whenever a problem crops up. They will learn how to persevere, not giving up and knocking down challenge after challenge that comes their way.

Yes, Your Parenting Style Can Help Your Child Become Resilient

As parents, you need to learn how to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. These can be times when you see your children experiencing hardship, when they get a nasty knock in a soccer game, or when they try to accomplish difficult tasks that may be beyond their current skills, like reading a book for older kids. for older kids. You need to know when to catch them, push them, or let them go.

There isn’t a “best” parenting style. It’s more important to be flexible in your parenting approach — set rules but also show love to your children and communicate with them as often as possible. Step back and give them the space to face life’s challenges but let them know that you are around to guide them (not fight their battles). That way, they will develop the necessary skills – daringness, perseverance, self-reliance, resourcefulness and adaptability – and ultimately become resilient.

Finally, your parenting style also includes how you provide the right nutrition, support and care. Your children also need important nutrients to help them grow strong and ready to face the world, providing them with everything they need to learn resilience one step at a time.

To learn more about how to raise a resilient child, visit



  • Masten AS, Best KM, Garmezy N. Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology 1990;2(4):425-444.

  • Masten AS, Gewirtz AH. Vulnerability and resilience in early child development. In: McCartney K, Phillips DA, eds. Handbook of early childhood development. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishing. In press.


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