What type of parent are you? Do you ever wonder how your parenting style is impacting your child/children? By looking at recent research from Professor Mark Cummings of the University of Notre Dame, you can see how your parenting style is impacting your child’s school performance and behavior. Cummings research classified three different parenting styles: cohesive, enmeshed, and disengaged. Read on to find out what style you embody.


You are raising your child in a cohesive family if you are: responsive, warm, consistent, and flexible. If your family typically works well together with harmonious interactions you are likely using a cohesive style of parenting. How does this impact children in school? According to Cummings, "coming from a cohesive family, in which members tend to be warm and responsive to one another, where problems are resolved, and members cope well, increases the likelihood of children doing well in school."


You are using an enmeshed style of parenting if you are over involved and intrusive in your child’s life, display some emotional warmth but also display hostility. The outcome of this style of parenting is a lack of family unity. How does this impact children in school? Children from these families enter school with a similar emotional concept as students from cohesive families; however, Cummings research found that over time these students are more susceptible to feelings of anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and loneliness.


You are using a disengaged parenting style if you uninvolved and unresponsive to your children. These parents are cold, controlling, avoid problems, and are withdrawn from their children. How does this impact children in school? Children coming from disengaged homes typically have the most problems in school. Researchers found that these children begin school with higher levels of aggressive and disruptive behavior. These students also have a difficult time focusing in class and obeying class rules. Cummings explained, "they often start school with more disruptive behavior and higher levels of aggression and difficulty cooperating." Clearly it is important for parents to strive for a cohesive parenting style to maximize the success of their child in school and social relationships.

To read more of the research visit:

Behavior Problems in School Linked to Two Types of Families

Children's School Performance Tied to Family 'Type'