The population of Columbus, Ohio was surveyed to determine the most common parenting style used. The results showed that authoritarian parenting was the most popular, with 76.6% of the population using this style.
Indulgentparenting was the second most popular, with 12.5%. Developed by psychologist Diana Baumrind in the 1960s, these three main parenting styles - authoritarian, indulgent, and authoritative - are not always applicable to all parents, but they do describe the approaches of many.
The survey was weighted to be representative of the U. S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, party affiliation, education level and other categories. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many parents to worry about their children's mental health. Four out of ten Americans with children under 18 are extremely or very concerned that their children may have problems with anxiety or depression at some point.
Mental health issues top the list of parents' concerns, followed by 35% who are equally concerned about the harassment of their children. These items surpass parents' worries about certain physical threats to their children, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, adolescent pregnancy, and problems with the police. Differences in parental concerns, approaches to parenting, and parents' goals and aspirations were also explored in the survey. Roughly nine out of ten parents say it's extremely or very important to them that their children are financially independent as adults, and the same proportion say it's just as important for their children to have jobs or careers they enjoy. About four out of ten (41%) say that it is extremely or very important to them that their children obtain a university degree, while a smaller proportion places a lot of importance on their children eventually becoming parents (20%) and getting married (21%).Most parents (62%) say that parenting has been at least somewhat more difficult than they expected, and around a quarter (26%) say it has been much more difficult.
This is especially true for mothers, 30% of whom say that being a mother has been much more difficult than they expected (compared to 20% of fathers). At the same time, most parents give themselves high marks for the work they do: 64% say they do an excellent or very good job as parents; 32% say they do it well, while only 4% say they only do a fair or bad job as parents. Parents often don't adhere to a specific parenting style. When asked if they are parents who tend to keep their weapons too much or to give in too quickly, to praise or criticize their children too much, to be overprotective or to give their children too much freedom and to pressure their children too much or not enough, the proportions which range from 34 to 53%, say that neither option better describes their parenting style. Even so, more than four out of ten parents (45%) say they tend to be overprotective, compared to 20% who say they tend to give too much freedom. There are big differences in some of the ways mothers and fathers describe their parenting style.
For example, approximately half of mothers (51%) say they tend to be overprotective, compared to 38% of fathers. In turn, fathers (24%) are more likely than mothers (16%) to say that they tend to give their children too much freedom. When asked if they are trying to raise their children in a similar way to how they were raised or differently from how they were raised, 43% said similar and 44% said differently. Mothers were more likely than fathers to say that they are raising their children differently from how they were raised (48% versus 40%).Parents are more likely to say they feel judged by their family members than by their friends, other parents in their community, or the people they interact with online. About half of married or cohabiting parents (52%) say they feel judged by their spouse or partner because of the way they raise their children at least part of the time. Overall, this survey provides insight into how Columbus residents approach parenting and what challenges they face when raising children.