What are some of the different parenting styles?

Authoritarian Parenting

The style of authoritarian parenting didn't come by its name by accident. In this style of parenting (which was defined by Diana Baumrind), parents interact with kids through commands and directives. They leave no room for debate, and children have no hope of overruling decisions handed down by what is essentially the Household Supreme Court. Authoritarian parents maintain strict discipline, and moral and behavioral issues are very black-and-white. The gray area is left for other parenting styles to sort out.

Supporters of the authoritarian parenting style point out that it provides an extremely structured, reliable, consistent environment for the child to grow up in. Detractors have a few quibbles, saying that it doesn't foster independence or the ability to think for oneself. They also assert that authoritarian parenting can destroy a child's self-confidence and result in teenage rebellion (but then again, an authoritarian parent may retort, what parenting style doesn't?).

When laying down the rules, parents using this approach don't put much effort into exploring the reasons why certain things must be done a certain way. They don't get embroiled in deep philosophical debates with their kids or give them leeway should rules be bent. Authoritarian parents tend to micromanage their child's life and provide endless rules in order to govern every aspect of it. Punishment tends to be excessive.

At best, a child raised with this style is extremely disciplined and obedient and has a clear concept of right versus wrong. At worst, a child of authoritarian parents can't direct his or her own actions, suffers from high anxiety and low self-esteem, and can't determine right or wrong when placed in situations that fall outside the framework of household laws.

Next, we'll explore the parenting style that kids growing up under authoritarian regimes only dream of.