The 4 Different Parenting Styles and How Each Type Likes to Clean Their Home

woman vacuuming the floor

Bonnin Studio / Stocksy

Whether you identify as an ‘uptight’ parent, ‘laid-back’ parent, or a mix of somewhere in-between, the truth about who you are and how you lead your family is actually dependent upon your parenting style—your natural caretaking patterns.

But what really is a ‘parenting style’ and how do you determine yours?

Well, according to the experts, your parenting style is where you fall on the proverbial motherhood or fatherhood spectrum—anywhere from the strict and rule-driven Authoritarian to the largely absent Uninvolved. The four categories are Authoritarian, Authoritative (which is the most preferred), Permissive, and Uninvolved. And everything from how you operate in the day-to-day to how you keep your space(s) tidy is based on this style.

So, whether you’re looking to label a loved one’s style, trying to determine your own patterns, or hoping to shift the way you run your household, here is everything you need to know about how you clean based on your parenting style.

Authoritarian

You are the rule-enforcer and the ‘do-what-I-say’ type of parent. And when it comes to cleaning, there is no shame in that.

You are the type of parent who values organization, order, and personal responsibility within the household. So, it goes without saying that you have probably established rules that often push the members of your family to follow them religiously. Not only does everyone have a pre-assigned job, but there are also particular timeframes and/or days that cleaning happens in order to avoid ever falling behind.

To be honest, quite a bit of your identity actually rests in the order you keep; therefore, when your house is immaculate, you feel on top of the world. And when it’s not, well, you are in full panic mode.

The problem? When you’re so hyper-focused on the perfectionism and the strict rule-following, you oftentimes miss the special moments with your loved ones. You are more about keeping the space nice than actually living in it.

Authoritative

As an Authoritative parent, you have honestly created a healthy balance in all areas of your life—cleaning included. Chances are, you prefer when things are in order (because, well… who doesn’t?) but you aren’t so focused on the act of cleaning that you create rifts with your family members around it.

Rather than making rules, endless to-do lists, and strict punishments for when the cleaning isn’t followed—like your Authoritarian counterparts—you are more flexible and willing to make compromises.

For you, it is more important to open a conversation with your child(ren) about cleaning than make them feel pressured to get tasks done within a certain timeframe. You are willing to push back times and ‘deadlines,’ and create healthy to-do lists that aren’t overwhelming or unfair. Don’t get me wrong—you are not a pushover! But you are all about creating healthy habits around cleaning that involve everyone (and get everyone’s willingness, too).

Permissive

As a Permissive parent, you are notoriously the ‘anything goes’ type of mother/father. Cleaning, to you, is something that sometimes makes your list but isn’t a high priority by any means. Whether you would rather do fun stuff with your family or simply don’t like the idea of adding more obligations to your schedule, you tend to push off cleaning or see it as unimportant. And because of this, your whole family follows suit.

More often than not, you are not really asking or requiring your child(ren) to do anything cleaning-related, or if you do, you don’t enforce it (aka: it gets blown off either way). And honestly, sometimes you don’t even hold yourself to those tasks either. This inevitably leads to frustration around what you perceive as a lack of care and/or motivation by others to help you lift the load. 

Uninvolved

Your parenting style is just like your title—uninvolved, and/or absent—which can mean a myriad of things. Perhaps you are too busy with outside work or requirements to be fully invested in your loved ones all the time, or maybe your goal is to teach your family members to fend for themselves in all areas of life. While both of these ideas are fair to an extent (because you truly can’t do everything), at the same time, your absence creates a lack of cohesion within your household…and when it comes to cleaning, that just does not work.

Your cleaning style is reminiscent of your parenting style—not really there. Despite your potential inner drive to get things together in your household, you often find yourself preoccupied with everything else. And honestly, this means that in the end, nothing is done.

In order to truly make a change (in both cleaning and everyday parenting alike), you have to be willing to show up and put in the work. Then you can expect the same for others, too.