Uninvolved Parenting Style – Traits & Effects on Children

What is a parenting style? What are the four main parenting styles? What is uninvolved parenting? How can you tell if this is your parenting style? What traits and effects does this parenting style have on your children?

What is a Parenting Style?

A parenting style is the way that you raise your child. Parenting styles were first noticed and analyzed by a psychologist by the name of Diana Baumrind.

Baumrind noticed that preschool age children could be categorized into three specific types of behavior, and each type of behavior could be correlated to the type of parenting they had at home. After careful research, interviews and analysis, Baumrind concluded three parenting styles.

Later, Maccoby and Martin (1983), took one of the original three parenting styles from Baumrind’s research and split one of them in two. Thus, creating the four main types of parenting that we categorize ourselves in today.

What are the Four Main Parenting Styles?

The four main parenting styles are authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting, indulgent (permissive) parenting, and neglectful (uninvolved) parenting. These parenting styles are used today to determine what your children are learning from you, what type of adults they will be, and can be used to correct issues caused by parenting styles.

These four categories are based on two different principles; demand and response, meaning that depending on how demanding you are of your child and how responsive you are to your child determines your parenting style.

But, what do each of these styles mean?

  • Authoritative parenting style is a parenting style that involves responsiveness, high expectations, supportive and nurturing environment, clear rules and expectations, and independence. In this parenting style, it is found that children are better at socializing, more successful adults, and have better self esteem.
  • Authoritarian parenting style is a parenting style that involves a lack of responsiveness, unrealistic expectations, overly strict rules, and expected obedience. In this parenting style, it is found that children have a higher delinquency rate, higher drug/alcohol abuse, lower self-esteem and lower academic performance.
  • Indulgent parenting style is a parenting style that involves a warm and responsive relationship with little, to no, rules or expectations. This parenting style allows the child to be indulgent and they can become egocentric, impulsive, and entitled as a result.
  • Neglectful parenting style is a parenting style that consists of an uninvolved and unresponsive parent who has little, to no, rules and is completely indifferent. This parenting style can lead to impulsive behavior, drug/alcohol abuse, lower self-esteem and possibly suicide.

Regardless of your child, all parents have a specific parenting style. All children need different responses and disciplines, but the parenting style stays the same.

What is Uninvolved Parenting?

Uninvolved (neglectful) parenting style is when you are unresponsive to your child, have little to no rules or expectations for your child, and are indifferent. This can also be referred to as dismissive or indifferent parenting. This parenting style can lead to many harmful and negative things in your child’s future. We will get more into those later.

Uninvolved or indifferent parents are not terrible parents. Mainly, it is the lack of emotion in the handling of their children that earns the name ‘neglectful’ parenting style. However, though there is a lack of emotion and thought for their children’s mental wellbeing and their lives, the children are still provided for and remain taken care of.

Unfortunately, these parents who associate with this parenting style are often struggling to overcome their own childhood. This parenting style lacks love and emotion above all else. Whether you buy food and clothes for your children or not is irrelevant. Children need more than sustenance and the basics for mental and emotional wellbeing.

These parents often expect little to nothing of their children, have no rules for the household or daily routine, and completely lack communication skills with their children. There is a complete lack of emotional support in the parent/child relationship.

It’s important to note that, if this is your parenting style, it is never too late to train yourself, and your child, to be more receptive to other parenting styles and methods. If you find that some things from authoritative parenting work, use those few things. If you find a few more that work in permissive parenting, use those too. A parenting style doesn’t need to be completely one parenting style. It’s okay to use different methods and styles to best fit the needs of you and your child. Don’t box yourself into one category.

How Can You Tell What Your Parenting Style is?

There are many different ways that you can conclude what your personal parenting style is. There are many tests and quizzes out there (and I don’t mean the ‘fun’ ones) that can use simple questions and answers to determine your main parenting traits. You can also write down the different types of parenting along with the main traits and have your partner, family member, or a friend grade you based on what you portray more. If you do this, it’s best to pick someone who won’t sugarcoat it and has seen you parent enough times to determine what your main style is based on experiencing you parenting.

Some great tests to take to really determine what your main parenting style is are listed below:

Parenting Style Test – Psychology Today

Parenting Style Quiz – Psych Central

What Type of Parent are You? – 365 Tests

What Effects Does Uninvolved Parenting Have on Your Children?

Uninvolved parenting can lead to many different issues later in your child’s life. Children who have grown up with an uninvolved parent have lower self-esteem, a higher need to be accepted, are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to be less successful adults in their community.

Children who have grown up with this parenting style generally have a lack of understanding on responsibility and have a hard time accepting authority-figures later in life. It is found that they have a higher risk of being truant or absent from school or work quite a lot due to the lack of discipline they get from their parents. This, in turn, leads to poor academic progress and a terrible record of employment, making them an undesirable employee.They also are at a higher risk of pulling away from social situations and lack communication skills. Adversely, your child may become codependent on someone who is unhealthy for them, such as a ‘parent-child relationship’ or someone else who is uninvolved in their life. It is very hard for these children to develop meaningful, emotional connections with anyone. Later on in life, these children normally grow to resent their parents.

How Can I Change my Parenting Style?

If you read this article and decided that you may have this parenting style, don’t worry! As terrible as the repercussions sound, there are ways to fix it and strengthen your relationship with your child.

There are a few different reasons that may cause you to be an uninvolved parent. Deciding what the best action is for you, depends on the cause of your parenting style.

  • Uninvolved parenting caused by childhood – Considering many children who experience uninvolved parents grow to become uninvolved parents, this is a common problem. The best thing you can do for you and your child in this case is to catch yourself before it gets to that point. Make a point to listen when your child talks to you and make eye-contact, whether they are six-months-old or sixteen-years-old. This will make them feel comfortable talking to you and they will feel welcome. Research other parenting methods and styles and combine things you’d like to try until you find the right ones for you and your child. You can do this!
  • Uninvolved parenting caused by depression/anxiety – Many children who experience uninvolved parenting also experience increased levels of anxiety and depression, so this can almost go hand-in-hand with childhood. If you feel that you have anxiety and/or depression, reach out to friends and family or a counselor to help you overcome your ‘parenting roadblocks’. Neither you or your child deserve to have such a disconnected relationship. The counselor may recommend medication to assist with coping with anxiety or depression so that you can gain a healthier relationship with your child.
  • Uninvolved parenting caused by outside distractions – Sometimes, we can get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we forget what’s really important. If this is you, never fear. This can be a very easy fix. Make a to-do list and prioritize your child on this list. Make sure that you have time set away from everything else for a few hours a day to spend with your child. If your work hours are long and taxing, make sure you take at least once a week to start developing a healthier and more nurturing relationship with your child.

Whatever is causing the relationship between you and your child to be disconnected, this can be fixed. This does not mean that you are a terrible parent. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you to have a better connection with your child, and learn how to nurture the relationship even further.


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