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Parenting Styles in the Philippines

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 24

    Parenting Styles in the Philippines

    Filipino families are raised with many unique child-rearing practices. For instance, in teaching the value of respecting elders, parents always remind their kids to use “po” and “opo.” In emphasizing life values, parents become role models in showcasing hospitality. But more than the unique parenting practices in the Philippines, experts believe that what really matters is the parenting style.

    What’s the dominant parenting style in our country and how does it affect Filipino children?

    Why Parenting Styles Matter

    In simpler terms, parenting styles emphasize how parents teach things to their kids. It combines the patterns of parenting characteristics and child-rearing methods.

    Before we discuss the different parenting practices in the Philippines, let’s first talk about why they matter.

    The idea about parenting styles didn’t take the spotlight until in the 1960s when Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist, wanted to know about the different influences that affect “self-reliant” children.

    Baumrind’s idea was that, if we can pinpoint the various influences that make children self-reliant, then we can “insert” these influences in the environment of grade school children, thereby helping them build self-reliance.

    She then selected some self-reliant children and interviewed their parents. Afterward, she examined their parent-child interaction and noted two elements: Communication and standards.

    The Parents of Self-Reliant Children

    From there, Baumrind discovered distinct parenting styles based on how high or how low the levels of communication and standards are.

    Interestingly, the results of her analysis showed that parents of self-reliant children have a high level of communication and a high level of standards.

    This means that these parents talk to their kids about their life choices to guide them. They express their expectations when it comes to their children’s school achievements as well as their socialization. Moreover, their expectations come with standards and they explain these standards to their kids.

    In the end, Baumrind identified these parents as authoritative parents who express their love through communication and standards.

    But, what about parents who have either a low level of communication or a low level of standards. This question led her to explore more about parenting styles.

    parenting practices in the Philippines

    Distinguishing the Parenting Styles in the Philippines

    Aside from the authoritative parenting style, Baumrind also identified permissive and authoritarian parenting styles. These three models by Baumrind became the focus of various researches here in our country.

    Interestingly, different studies suggest different predominant parenting styles in the Philippines.

    Authoritative Parenting Style

    In a paper, Parenting in the Philippines: A review of research literature from 2004 to 2014, the researchers discovered that the most commonly practiced parenting style in the Philippines is the authoritative parenting style.

    Like what we’ve described earlier, authoritative parents show their love through communication and standards. They blend parenting practices of setting limits and high expectations, allowing a level of independence, and offering strong emotional support.

    Possible Effects

    Many kinds of literature, albeit in the context of Western settings, show a positive connection between the authoritative parenting style and social competence of children. It also appears to bring positive effects on a child’s academic performance.

    For example, let’s say a teenage kid skips school. The authoritative parents will talk to their children and ask why they decided to skip classes. They will listen, but also express their disappointment. Furthermore, they will explain why they need limits.

    Here’s an important part of the authoritative parenting style: Even before the teenager skipped school, the parents already explained that they need to attend their classes unless they have permission to be absent.

    They already set their expectations and explained the consequences, should those expectations not be met.

    Permissive Parenting Style

    In one study called Child Rearing Practices Among Families in Countryside Philippines, investigators found that the highest-ranking parenting style in two participating barangays is the permissive parenting style.

    This parenting style is high in communication, but low in standards.

    The researchers said that permissive parents tend to act as advisors and not decision-makers. Besides, a permissive parenting style “ignores” the children’s behavior and does not set limits on the child’s actions.

    Possible Effects

    Some reports say that children raised by permissive parents might possess impulsiveness and might even lack self-control or develop a desire to control others.

    Due to the parents’ permissiveness, the kids could be “aimless” and “rebellious.”

    For example: When a permissive parent learns that their kid had skipped classes, they may or may not let their kids know that they learned about the wrongdoing. They might try to talk to their kids about what they did, but in general, they will let the kid control the conversation.

    At one point, the parents might attempt to explain why the kid is wrong, but cannot stand their ground.

    In the end, there will be no consequences to the child’s actions. Furthermore, the parents will not take any steps to ensure that the wrongdoing will not happen again.

    parenting practices in the Philippines

    Authoritarian Parenting Style

    Though they may sound similar, the authoritative parenting style and the authoritarian style are very different.

    This parenting style is high in standards, but low in communication.

    An authoritarian parent is one that expresses high expectations, but shows low support.

    Most of the time, they would like to control their kids, too. Due to their very stern nature, the communication tends to end up in argument and fighting, especially when the kids are old enough to “fight back.”

    Possible Effects

    Since authoritarian parents often want their kids’ “unquestioning obedience” all the while remaining detached, the kids might feel so confined they “cannot wait to leave home”.

    Additionally, children may develop low self-esteem and poor communication skills.

    Key Takeaways

    There’s no one-size-fits-all parenting style. Many parents “mix” these parenting styles depending on their kids’ personalities and the situation they are in.
    And it’s not surprising. After all, various parenting practices in the Philippines are affected by a lot of factors, such as societal norms, religious beliefs, and influences of other family members.

    What matters most is that you keep doing your best, seek help when needed, and always put the wellbeing of your child first, no matter the style you choose as a parent.

    Learn more about Parenting here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 24

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