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The Four Parenting Styles

Jun 08, 2021

Congratulations on taking this tremendous step in your black dad’s parenting journey. Understanding your parenting style supports the healthy growth and development of your child.

How to Best Use This Guide

1. As you read each of the four styles, see which one comes closest to you. Have fun, and do not beat yourself up. Each style is valid and can be beneficial to your child’s success.


2. Read the “food for thought” of your style.

3. Read the “helpful comments” section for your style. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what your child is thinking. I have included comments and reactions to give you a window into the mind and heart of the children of each parenting style.

4. It might be fun and helpful to discuss your findings with your wife, partner, or parenting partner. Many problems are fixed by understanding each other’s parenting style and then working together to benefit both your relationship and the child. Discussion starters and action points are included at the end this guide.


1. The Doer

Black dads who are “doers” are determined, fast-paced, hard-working, and competitive. They are often busy parents, surrounding themselves with tasks and activities. Decisions are typically made in advance and then explained as opposed to inviting others into the process. They do not respond well to dramatic or emotional displays. If their authority is challenged or disrespected, they will likely display a firm tone and body language.

Food for Thought for Doer style parents:

  • If your child is strong-willed or more assertive, there may be a power struggle. Assert your authority early, but allow them the freedom to make some decisions for themselves. This freedom still gives them some control over their own lives, which they crave.
  • With more passive children, you will need to be careful of your tone and body language. Passive children will quickly feel rejected or intimidated and may withdraw or avoid you as a result.

Helpful Comments from Children of the Doer

  • “Recognize that your child’s style is probably different than your own. Allow him/her to operate in their style. Give them the freedom to fail.” – CA

  • “You don’t have to win every argument.” – DB

  • “Learn to ask good questions instead of always offering solutions.” – WD


2. The Nurturer

These Black dads are stable, selfless, patient, and calm. They strive for peaceful relationships and environments and will put others’ needs before theirs to achieve this. They will avoid conflict with others (including their children), as it causes them intense stress, which they will likely internalize. They create a strong sense of security and grounding for their children and are very committed and loyal to their families. As they dislike change, they may also become stubborn or inflexible in their ways.

Food for Thought for Nurturer Style Parents:

  • You may give of yourself to the point that you no longer take time for your own wants and needs. Try to balance this.

  • With a strong-willed assertive child, you will have to make an effort to hold your ground. Although you will want to avoid conflict, they will respect you for setting boundaries.

Helpful Tips from Children of the Nurturer

  • “Discover your child’s gifts. Discover in what ways they need to be challenged/what makes them grow and then encourage them to reach their potential.” – TZ

  • “Be willing to try new things and take a few risks in order to tie heartstrings with your more outgoing children.” – WD

  • “Continue to be loving and supportive but do not do everything for us.” – AC 3. The Feeler


3. The Feeler

These Black dads are energetic, expressive, fun, and communicative. They love to be the center of attention and enjoy when others are smiling, interacting, and being creative. They are very focused on people. The feeler parent likely struggles with organization, details, time management, and especially rejection. As they will want to be accepted by others and their children, they will likely struggle with being the disciplinarian or one who has to say “no.” This style encourages being in touch with one’s emotions. They are open, spontaneous, flexible, and giving.

Food for Thought for Feeler style Parents:

  • You will need to set boundaries, even though it is uncomfortable for you.

  • Often, this parent needs their children rather than the other way around. It’s easier to be friends with the child as opposed to being the child’s parent. Be careful to balance discipline and boundaries with friendship since your child needs a parent more than a friend as they are developing.

Helpful Tips from Children of the Feeler

  • “Be firm” – KK

  • “Be willing to risk the pain of temporary rejection in order to instill healthy boundaries in your children. Listen more and talk less.” - WD

  • “Say what you mean and mean what you say...follow through with what you tell your children. Allow them to share the spotlight.” – AF


4. The Thinker

These Black dads are organized, modest, task-oriented, and logical. They will teach their children to find out how and why things are, gather information, and look at the details before deciding. They often will put systems in place for things to run smoothly but may be inflexible when it comes to changing these systems. They are independent and creative people who can see into the details and analyze a situation based on information. However, children may perceive them as withdrawn or unemotional and may have a difficult time getting close. They will avoid conflict and also seek out peaceful and stable environments.

Food for Thought for Thinker Style Parents:

  • You gather information, look into the details, and analyze the world around you, which is a great gift. However, try not to be too critical of others when you notice mistakes and problems.

  • You are reserved and modest. Be sure to assert yourself and set boundaries. Try to open lines of communication with your more outgoing children so that you do not become distant from them.

Helpful Tips From Children of the Thinker (a.k.a. The Organizer)

  • “Make a point of scheduling blocks of “stopping” to just spend time with your child. Read a book together. Look at their favorite show and allow them to explain why they like it so much. Nothing complicated.” – TZ

  • “Try to find a positive to encourage your child’s growth before addressing a negative trait that’s hindering growth. Too much criticism can stifle the child’s self-esteem and potential.” – WD

  • “Let your child express his own way of organization; they might not be as detailed as you.” – AC

Discussion and Action Points:

1. What is your parenting style?
2. What style is your wife or parenting partner?
3. How do each of your styles benefit your child?
4. Based on your style, what one thing will you do differently to benefit your child?

That’s it and congratulations!! I am proud of you for taking the most difficult step, which is the first step. Check-in with for more free information and connect with other black dads who are as committed as you are.

Does this help? We would love to hear from you anytime. You matter. Share your experience, suggestions, or questions with us.

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