There is no one right way to bring up your children; however, psychologists divide 'parenting styles' into four major categories:
1. Authoritarian parents - demanding conduct that meets absolute standards, stressing obedience and using harsh punishments to ensure compliance, authoritarian parents exhibit a high degree of control and little warmth. Children of authoritarian parents are irritable, aggressive, and dependent. They often have a limited sense of responsibility, low levels of esteem, and poor academic achievement. Parents who consistently use punitive, repressive methods are likely to produce children who are socially withdrawn, hostile, and rebellious.
2. Authoritative parents - displaying rational control, warmth, and responsiveness as well as promoting independence, authoritative parents set clear rules and high standards, meanwhile explaining their rationales for decisions and encouraging discussion with their children. Children of authoritative parents are assertive, self-confident, socially responsible, and achievement-oriented. They often earn high grades in school.
3. Indulgent-permissive parents - these parents are warm and caring but provide little control, make few demands, and are non-punitive. Their children are often impulsive, self-centered, easily frustrated, and low in achievement and independence.
4. Indulgent-uninvolved parents - displaying low levels of warmth and control, indulgent-uninvolved parents minimize the time and effort expended upon their children. Children of indulgent-uninvolved parents have low levels of self-esteem and are often impulsive, moody, aggressive, delinquent, and rebellious.
Parental Discipline and Power Assertion:
Characteristic of authoritarian parents, power assertion includes physical punishment, threats, and deprivation. Using punishment to control aggression can actually increase it, especially when the child does not identify strongly with the person administering the punishment and when punishment is not accompanied by an explanation of why the behavior is undesirable.
Harsh inconsistent discipline, lack of positive parenting, and poor supervision have been linked with aggression and other antisocial behaviors. Conversely, communication of clear standards of behavior, coupled with the use of reasoned praise, has been associated with reduction in aggression and antisocial behaviors.