In a 1991 article entitled Parenting Styles and Adolescent Development, Diana Baumrind outlined four parenting styles which are predictive of specific personality and behavioral outcomes for children. We can look at her categories from the perspective of our role AS parents, or from the perspective of our role AS children who were parented in these ways.
Imagine for a moment a simple graph with a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. The horizontal axis is the level of demandingness or control that the parent shows. The vertical axis is the level of responsivity or warmth the parent shows. So in simple terms a parent might be way to the right on the horizontal axis with demanding standards of conduct but very low on showing emotional warmth. Or a parent might be high on the vertical axis with lots of caring without any demands.
The Authoritarian Style is used by a parent who shows a high degree of demandingness (control) and low levels of responsivity (warmth). This kind of parent imposes absolute standards of conduct an stresses obedience. Such a parent uses coercive / power assertive techniques to gain compliance -- things like physical punishment or threats to remove affection if the child doesn't do what is expected. Children in this case grow up believing that receiving love is dependent upon what they do (or don't do). The result are people who are often irritible, aggressive, and tend to have a dependent kind of personality in which they show a limited sense of responsibility. People like this usually have low levels of self-esteem, lower levels of academic achievement, tend to be timid, insecure, and socially incompetent. They don't understand boundaries.
The Permissive Style is used by a parent who shows a high degree of responsivity (warmth) and low levels of demandingness (control). This parent makes few demands and does not employ punishment. Children in this case grow up to be impulsive, self-centered, and easily frustrated. People like this usually are not achievers in school, not very independent, and have problems with impulse control. This is the 'lost child.' They don't understand boundaries.
The Rejecting-Neglecting Style is used by a parent who shows low levels of demandingness (control) AND low levels of responsivity (warmth). Such parents are often overtly hostile in their attitudes and actions toward their children. Growing up in such a home is like growing up with chaos -- you never know what's going to happen. Children in this case grow up with low self-esteem and are often impulsive, moody, and aggressive. The lack of parental discipline and inconsistent (or harsh) punishment are correlated with adolescent delinquency and criminal behavior. They don't understand boundaries.
The best approach is the Authoritative Style. It is used by a parent who shows a high degree of demandingness (control) AND a high degree of responsivity (warmth). Although such parents set clear rules and high standards fro their children, they rely on inductive techniques to gain compliance -- things like reasoning, praise, and explanations to encourage independence. Children in this case grow up as assertive, self-confident, socially responsible, achievement oriented, and often obtain higher grades in school. They get the concept of a boundary and understand the need for and value of limits.
When children have their legitimate needs for being loved for who they are -- not for what they do -- met by their parents, they grow up with an expectation that their needs will be met in the future. Such children are able to tolerate discipline and the temporary denial of their desires because they know that those desires will get met down the line -- they are able to delay gratification of their desires. They grow up with the capacity to separate from their parents because they have parents who are consciously trying to parent strength and independence into their children. When such children are ready to leave home or chose someone as a date or a partner, their parents rejoice because there is wisdom in the choices the child, now a budding adult, is making in the moment. The child's 'chooser' is working properly, and so the choice of 'the other' is made with maturity.
When children are not loved for who they are then these legitimate needs are not met. Such children receive 'love' for doing things for parents. Such parents are using their children to get their needs met -- parents using their children for their own selfish ends. These children grow up without the capacity to tolerate discipline and they do not have the capacity to delay gratification of their desires. Besides the inability to delay gratification, such people have a low tolerance for frustration AND an inability to process or deal with troubling feelings (affect). This is the recipe for addiction -- people escape into an addiction of one type or another to avoid dealing with real life. In addition, people with this kind of background do not grow up with the capacity to separate from their parents, in large part because their parents keep them too close -- the parents don't want them to separate or leave. So when such people want to leave home or chose someone as their date or partner, their 'chooser' is damaged or entirely broken and their choice is someone who is equally or more damaged than they. There is no clear conception of what a 'husband' or 'wife' is supposed to look like, let alone what a 'father' or 'mother' is supposed to be.
Some of this is moderated by a person's temperament. Some of this is moderated by culture and ethnic background. There is some luck involved -- sometimes a child finds a mentor in the neighborhood who is relatively mature from an emotional perspective. Birth order also has consequences for personality. Family size and spacing (number of years) between siblings can make a difference.
Parents can 'check themselves' by these excellent categories and begin the hard work of being a different kind of parent. Children who are now 'adults' can see their childhood and appreciate that many of their current issues are related to how they were parented.