The succession literature could benefit by leveraging research and theory on the thing that makes family firms different – i.e., families. Given that families are the distinguishing characteristic of family firms, understanding succession processes and outcomes in family firms requires theory that links families’ unique attributes to succession. Accordingly, we leverage theory about one key characteristic of families – i.e., parenting style – to build theory explaining how parenting influences successors’ personality and emotional well-being, which, in turn, affects successors’ adopted leadership style.