Do you often spank your children when they misbehave? Or do you give them a candy bar so that they can stop bullying your neighbor’s son? Perhaps you give your children choices and they get to choose what they want to do.

A question that was raised when our first son was born is what kind of parents do we want to be? Let our kids run free or hover over our children so that they become what we want them to be. Most of our parenting practices use how we were raised as kids as a baseline and then certain aspects of it are modified to how we want to run our own household. The way you run your household, however, typically falls into one of these three parenting “styles.”

Parenting Styles Defined

1. The Indulgent (Permissive/Non Directive) Parent

These types of parents are “easy” on their kids and allow their kids much freedom to act, speak, and do as they wish. They fear that their kids will “not like them” if they are more restrictive or set rules. Children in these types of environments tend to be controlling, can be more on the irresponsible side when they are older and learn ways to please their parents in order to get what they want.

2. The Authoritarian Parent

These are the types of parents who need to be in control of their kids. When your child asks a question, your answer is “Because I said so.” And that’s final. Authoritarian parents usually focus on their children’s misbehaviors (rather than their achievements) and punishment for such misbehaviors are often not pleasant. Children in these environments tend to have little freedom, lower self esteem, and subservient.

3. The Authorative (Democratic) Parent

These types of parents try to treat their children like adults, giving them choices and letting them see the results of their decisions. Children in these situations tend to be more cooperative and higher self esteem because they feel that they have control of certain things in their life.

What Type of Parent Are You?

How your children turn out doesn’t necessarily mean you were bad parents or practiced bad parenting. Other factors such as where you live or who their friends are also major contributors of how your children grow up to be. Whether you choose to be the Indulgent parent, the Authoritarian parent, or the Authoritive parent, just remember that a loving bond between you and your children is very important.