development/ Parenting

What is authoritative parenting?

Authoritative parenting

The way to raise a self confident and creative child

I have noticed that every parent wants their child to grow up as a responsible individual with a pleasing personality. While the motive of every parent is same- making their child’s future bright by raising him right- different parents use unique parenting styles for achieving the aim.  I have thoroughly discussed the different parenting styles in my previous post: What are the 4 types of parenting styles? , and in this specific post, I am addressing the first parenting style- Authoritative Parenting Style.

Definition of autoritative parenting

As per the standard definition, Authoritative parenting style is the way to raise the child by ensuring high responsiveness and high demands. The parents in this style have the authority and set limit for the child to behave. When not adhered by the limits, the child has to bear the consequences. It is also the responsibility of the parent to encourage the child to respect the boundaries and thus grow as a responsible individual.

Let’s get deeper into the characteristics of this parenting style:

The authoritative parents make a balance between hopes and responsiveness. It is easy to see that the children raised by authoritative parents understand the value of rules and discipline. How? It is because the parents set limits and boundaries for the child, which guides him to behave in an expected way. However, the parents are cruel to disregard the child’s innocence and thus extend full support and resources for the child to attain the expected goals of behavior. While they practice strict rules and fair discipline, they also nurture the children with love and warmth and encourage them to speak.

The history of Authoritative Parenting style:

While behavioral experts have already declared the Authoritative Parenting style as one of the best parenting styles, it has lived a long life to attain this ranking. A little research led me the history of this parenting style and here I am sharing it with you.

Diana Baumrind, a developmental Psychologist was the first person to define the various renting style in 1960. She performed research on the pre-school children and concluded three styles- authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive.

Authoritative parenting style

Also known as the “democratic parenting style”, the style is characterized by parent’s having high expectations from their child. It has been identified as the most effective style but experts also suggest to practice flexible parenting tactics.

What is authoritative parenting

Salient features of authoritative parenting styles

Baumrind also identified the key features of the Authoritative parenting style. The features can be described as:

  • The parents promote common interests in the relationships
  • They are identified as concerned parents, who listen to their children
  • An expression is a key to nurture the child in this parenting style
  • The parent consistently encourages its child to express and discuss options
  • Independence and reasoning are kept at the front stage
  • There are set limits, expectations, and consequence for each job & behavior
  • The parents are caring and do not shy away from expressing warmth
  • Fair and consistent discipline in case of non-adherence of rules is favored

While I can vouch for all these characteristics, the parents I generally deal with, who follow the authoritative parenting style, have a rather flexible nature. This means that they do not keep firm every time but act flexibly when need be. The definition of discipline for them is making their child’s behavior corrective and not forcing them to feel insecure or burdened.

How authoritative parenting does affect the child?

A quote by Benjamin Franklin explains the concept behind Authoritative Parenting. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

As you may have got by the quite, involving children with you is important to make sure they remember their life lessons and lead a bright way to the future. I must say, this is what authoritative parents do. I have seen them being involved with their child in all fronts of their lives including studies, games, social life and more. This makes a great impact on the child as they grow up in a nurtured environment. The key qualities of the children raised with Authoritative parenting style include:

  • Self-confidence and self-dependence are the key features fostered under this parenting style.
  • The open-minded nature of such children helps them adapt to any environment and feel comfortable.
  • They work towards making others feel comfortable with them.  They are happy themselves and make surroundings as well.
  • They become mature fast as they understand the task and its consequences and take a well-informed step.
  • They do not show gender-typical traits
  • The children often show more creative skills than others. This is one of the best effects of the Authoritative style which is because the parents are peculiar about the child honing its skill set.
  • The children also come up as great speakers as well as listeners and are blessed with the ability of negotiating skills.

In the case of toddlers, the parenting style does wonder to make a child feel happy and content. I have seen preschoolers with such sharp skills and great emotional and self-control. They are very expressive and make friends easily. Moreover, they do not fear learning new things or imbibing into the new environment.

How can you become an authoritative parent?

There are a few traits that you can follow to adapt the authoritative parenting style. You must:

  • Be nurturing and have warmth in nature
  • Have an open ear to listen to your children’s needs and demands
  • Promote independence and autonomy in your ward
  • Refrain from being strict without reasoning and understand the situation first then react
  • Be consistent in enforcing boundaries, helping the child to understand them clearly.
  • Do not practice punitive or forceful methods to discipline the child, instead promote positive discipline
  • Foster mutual respect and earn the value of being a parent.

Wrapping it up:

Authoritative parenting is the best way to raise a responsible, sharp and talented child. Baumrind has claimed this through her studies while I can say that because I have witnessed how well children raised under this parenting style behave. I would recommend to adapt to this style, however, as a parent, you understand the needs of your children the best and thus take the most appropriate decision for raising them for a bright future.


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