In the parenting group I attend twice monthly, we've been discussing different parenting styles. There are typically three styles of parenting that we all can fit into: Permissive, Authoritative, Authoritarian.
Permissive parents would be those in which strive to be "friends" with their children, have little to no rules and do not provide consequences when rules are broken. A common phrase of the permissive parent would be, "Aww... it's okay, they're just being kids." This phrase could be applied as easily to accidentally spilling a cup of juice as it could be to them punching their friend in the eye.
Authoritative parents would be considered the "middle ground" parents and the type that is deemed most healthy for children. Parents in this group know how to pick battles, how to be attentive but not overly protective, know how to let children fail without making them feel like failures, and also stick to their guns on important issues.
Authoritarian parents would commonly be those in generations past, but many parents today still use this method simply because it was what was taught to them. These would be "I'm right and you're wrong" parents. No explanation for "being in trouble" is typically seen as necessary from parent to child, children's emotions are often overlooked or deemed unimportant, and parents in this category can often be verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. (not always.. but it is common.)
So, up for debate today: Which extreme parenting style, Permissive or Authoritarian, is most detrimental to children long-term? Is being allowed to live without rules and consequences more harmful once you become an adult than never learning how to make mistakes without being extremely hard on yourself? Is having your way most of the time going to make your life harder as an adult than having your self-esteem constantly beaten down?
What do you think?