This paper reports the results of a systematic literature review on empirical studies exploring relationships between parental behaviours and children's self-regulated learning (SRL). The literature search resulted in 22 studies published between 1980 and 2009. Studies were analysed in terms of their research findings and their methodological approaches. The analysis of the studies’ findings led to the formulation of a theoretical model identifying three parenting dimensions (challenge, autonomy and contingency) and six parenting behaviours (metacognitive talk; active participation; understanding of control; shifts in responsibility; emotional responsiveness and contingent instructional scaffolds) that were differentially related to metacognitive and motivational aspects of SRL. The methodological analysis revealed that the great majority of the studies targeted Caucasian and highly educated families, were correlational, predictive or comparative in nature, focused on individual behaviours of parents and children, and used mostly quantitative data analysis techniques. Challenges and future directions in this area of research are discussed.