Is my parenting style helping or hurting? | Podcast Episode 250

The term “parenting style” feels so nebulous.

But what if your parenting style – what you do in day-to-day interactions with your young child – makes it harder for you to connect, to be happy as you raise your family?

What if it affected, not just your young one’s childhood, but their whole life?

Framed like that, the parenting style we bring isn’t so much nebulous, as important.
Key, even.

Today’s episode digs into the 3 different parenting styles, how they affect your child’s life, and yours.

It’s part two of our “raising successful, fulfilled kids” series, and I hope it’s useful for you!

Go to for:

  • A cheat sheet on these 3 parenting styles
  • What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay universe, including tons of free resources : )
  • The video of the week: “Am I smothering my child with love?”
  • The sign-up for our upcoming ‘When to potty train, How to potty train’ free online class

And thank you so much for listening!

Want to learn “When to Potty Train, How to Potty Train” your young child?

I’m teaching a FREE online class, sharing:

  • The 3 ways to tell if your child is ready
  • The 3 most important things to remember about potty training

I’m teaching this class live on Thursday, November 15 at 1 PM EST…

Sign up here for the FREE online Potty Training Class


Video of the Week:



The parenting styles and what they mean for you

Permissive Parents: Warm and loving; impose very few, if any, limits on a child’s behavior; have few, if any, expectations; communicate a sense of privileges without responsibilities; described as “the opposite of Helicopter Parents”

Authoritarian Parents: Extremely structured; many limits on a child’s behavior; extremely high expectations; communicate a sense of “ruling with an iron fist;” characterized as cold, with few demonstrations of love

Authoritative Parents: A wonderful happy medium in parenting; warm, loving, nurturing; brings appropriate expectations and limits to child-rearing; offers explanation as to why a rule exists instead of saying “because I said so;” combines the best elements from Permissive and Authoritarian styles


Key Episode Links:

The three types of parenting styles defined:

  • Click here for the definition of permissive parenting
  • Click here for the definition of authoritarian parenting
  • Click here for the definition of authoritative parenting (and a comparison to authoritarian parenting)

(FYI in this episode I read from one article which compares authoritarian parenting to authoritarian regimes. In going back to find these links, that is the one link that I couldn’t find. Sorry!)

In case you were wondering, yes, the Afghanistan beard thing is true; read this Associated Press article from December 1998 to find out more.

Click here for the WTOO episode on “great parenting books,” which includes Tom Arnold’s The Power of Healthy Tension (which I talk about in today’s episode).

Click here for WTOO episode 248, a Your Child Explained episode featuring my friend and colleague, veteran educator Tricia Tomaso, and answering your questions about your kids.

Click here for WTOO episode 249, featuring mom, quilter, and social justice fighter Cathleen Dinsmore.

In this episode I discuss the fact that I was sexually abused as a child. For more on this, I recommend reading Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, in which I share that story (and how to help your child if something’s really wrong.)

Click here for the episode I did on Angela Duckworth’s work and the concept of “grit.”

Click here for the Everyday Ethics episode, “Lawnmower Parents.”

If you get good value from We Turned Out Okay, please rate and review the show! That helps others find us, so they can get good help too.
Click here to give us a quick rating and 1-sentence review in Apple, and thanks!


In the WTOO Universe

Awesome FREE Resources…

If potty training is getting you down, let me send you – completely free – the first lesson of my course on how to potty train successfully, even under pressure!
Click here to receive Lesson 1: How to Make This Take the Shortest Amount of Time Possible.

Click here for the free 5-part podcast series on how to get good weeknights with kids.

Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!
The Facebook group is where I do our Magic Words for Parents Facebook live every Monday 🙂

Click here for the We Turned Out Okay Facebook page.

Click here for the Karen Lock Kolp page in YouTube, where you’ll find helpful videos (like this one on what to do when your child is jumping on the couch for your attention, at the worst possible time.)


… And some mind-blowing (if not free) resources for you:


Potty training little kids is never easy. That’s why I created a complete course, Successful Potty Training Under Pressure, to help!
This course gets you ready for potty training with:

  • Gear recommendations, both essential and nice-to-have
  • Scripts so you know exactly what to say when your child has accidents or other struggles
  • Fixes for common problems – like if your child doesn’t care about sitting in a wet or poopy situation, or if you’re struggling to work well with your child’s school or caregiver

I created this course to give you everything you need to successfully potty train your child.
Click the link below to check it out!


What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

Kids cut us in so many ways. If yours make you want to scream with sibling fights, embarrassing outbursts, and not respecting you, get help in the Ninja Parenting Community!

NPC Parent Coaching Community Membership helps you through:
– Live, members-only calls where you get solutions to your toughest parenting challenges
– Courses on everything from stopping sibling rivalry to what to do instead of spanking, and including Successful Potty Training Under Pressure
– Parent Coaching Calls that members call “the most helpful part of my Ninja Parenting Community membership

With all that and more, we have got you covered!

Join the Ninja Parenting Community today and make the time you spend with your young children your favorite time!
Get Help in our Private Coaching Community Today