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“Should I Be a Democrat, a Dictator, and/or a Doormat?”

Parenting decisions can be complex, yet a simple framework is helpful for seeing how three common styles (i.e., Democrat, Dictator, Doormat) vary along four dimensions (i.e., Communication, Control, Nurturance, Maturity Demands).

Of course, situations, your own upbringing, and your personality and style have great influence on how you choose to parent, but as a general rule it may be best to strive to be DEMOCRAT most of the time, and a DOORMAT and DICTATOR only as needed (e.g., maybe you’ll choose to be a doormat and indulge your child when he’s sick, and maybe you’ll choose to be a dictator when he engages in a potentially dangerous behavior).