Understanding the Five Levels of Parenting Pyramids: What it Takes to be a Great Parent

Being a parent isn’t just about providing your kids with food, clothes and shelter – it’s also about providing them with the necessary care and guidance to help them grow into responsible, successful adults. But what does that require from you? In this article, we’ll explore the five levels of parenting pyramid and what it takes to be a great parent.

Introduction to the Five Levels of Parenting Pyramids

The Five Levels of Parenting Pyramids is a framework created by Dr. Shefali Tsabary to help parents understand the different levels of parenting and what it takes to be a great parent. The five levels are:

  1. The foundation: This is where you as a parent provide your child with the basic needs of food, shelter, and love.
  2. The structure: This is where you create rules and boundaries for your child to follow.
  3. The guidance: This is where you teach your child right from wrong and help them develop their own moral compass.
  4. The support: This is where you offer emotional support to your child through both the good and bad times.
  5. The enrichment: This is where you help your child reach their full potential by providing opportunities for growth and development.

Being a great parent doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect at all of these levels, but it does mean that you are aware of them and working towards being the best parent you can be at each level.

Level One: Safety and Security

As a parent, your first priority is to keep your child safe and secure. This can be achieved by providing a stable home environment, ensuring that your child has access to healthcare and education, and providing them with basic needs such as food and shelter. You should also create a support system for your child, whether that is through family or friends. Additionally, it is important to teach your child about personal safety and how to identify and avoid potential dangers.

Level Two: Emotional Support

Once you’ve mastered the basics of providing physical and financial support, it’s time to move on to the next level of parenting: emotional support. This is where you really start to connect with your child on a deeper level.

You’ll need to be there for them when they’re feeling sad, scared, or angry. Listen to them without judgement, and help them work through their feelings. It’s also important to provide positive reinforcement when they do something well.

Emotional support can be challenging at times, but it’s so important for your child’s development. They need to know that you’re there for them, no matter what.

Level Three: Guidance and Discipline

It takes a lot of energy and patience to be a great parent. There are five levels of parenting pyramids: uninvolved, permissive, authoritative, authoritarian, and neglectful. Each level has different characteristics.

The third level is guidance and discipline. This is when parents start to set limits and expectations for their children’s behavior. They provide consequences for misbehavior, but also praise and encouragement for good behavior. This can be a challenging level for parents because they need to find the balance between being too strict and too lenient.

Guidance and discipline are important for helping children learn how to behave in society. It helps them understand that there are consequences for their actions, both good and bad. It also teaches them self-control and how to delay gratification. With proper guidance and discipline, children can learn how to make good choices and become successful adults.

Level Four: Engagement and Conversation

At level four, parents are engaging with their children and having conversations with them. They are asking questions and really listening to the answers. They are also encouraging their children to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings. This level of parenting requires time and patience, but it is so worth it! When you take the time to engage with your child, you are building a strong relationship with them that will last a lifetime.

Level Five: Meaningful Relationships

The fifth and final level of the parenting pyramid is meaningful relationships. This is where parents truly connect with their children on a deeper level. They are able to have open and honest conversations, share their feelings and thoughts, and really listen to what their children have to say. This type of relationship takes time, patience, and effort to develop, but it is so worth it in the end.

Meaningful relationships are built on trust, respect, and communication. Parents need to be able to trust their children and know that they can talk to them about anything. Similarly, children need to be able to trust their parents and know that they will always be there for them. Lastly, communication is key in any relationship, but especially in a parent-child relationship. If parents and children can communicate openly and honestly with each other, they will be able to build a strong foundation for a meaningful relationship.

Tips for Becoming a Great Parent

There is no one answer to what it takes to be a great parent. However, there are some general tips that can help you become a better parent.

  1. Be patient: One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to be patient. Children need time to learn and grow, and rushing them will only lead to frustration on both your parts.
  2. Communicate: Another key element of good parenting is communication. Talk to your children about what they’re doing, how they’re feeling, and what you expect from them. This will help prevent misunderstandings and build a foundation of trust between you and your child.
  3. Set limits: It’s important to set limits with your children so they know what is expected of them. At the same time, be flexible and willing to listen to their concerns or suggestions about the rules.
  4. Be involved: A great way to support your children is to be involved in their lives. Attend their school functions, participate in their hobbies or activities, and take an interest in their day-to-day lives.
  5. Be supportive: Lastly, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to be supportive. This means being there for your children when they need you, whether it’s for a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate with.


Becoming a great parent isn’t an easy task but it is achievable. It takes dedication, patience, and understanding of the five levels of parenting pyramids. By being able to recognize which level you are at in order to make better decisions with your children will help build stronger relationships between you and your children while providing them with the guidance they need in life. Great parenting doesn’t come overnight, it takes time and effort – something that all parents can commit to if given the right tools!

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