Authoritative parenting is about moderation. In the following article, we will tackle the subject of this parenting method.
When it comes to parenting, everyone has their own technique and opinion about which is best for their children. Authoritative parenting could be described as a mixture of the best elements of the two most extreme styles.
While some may claim that one parenting method is better than the other, when you put them under scrutiny – do they really hold up well? Take, for example, permissive parenting – many parents swear by this method of parenting for teaching their children to be loving and kind.
However, others tend to think that permissive parenting lacks boundaries and does not teach children about discipline and accountability.
On the other side of the scale, authoritarian parenting is incredibly strict and the main complaint about this style is that it is too extreme. Blindly teach children the law, without explaining why rules are in place, does not teach them anything other than parents rule.
When you consider this wide spectrum of different parenting styles, you could be left confused as to which is best for your own children. In the following article, we will tackle the subject of a parenting method that could be described as a mixture of the best elements of the two most extreme styles – authoritative. We will also look at how it can affect children.
What Exactly Is Authoritative Parenting?
Authoritative parenting (according to Diane Baumrind in 1966) emphasizes moderation. Parents using this style see it as important to instill high standards into their children, while also being responsive and nurturing (much like permissive parents).
They also see parenting as an opportunity to teach their children independence and to use rational thought. While encouraging and expecting them to be co-operative and mature, they also support them emotionally.
So, although authoritative parenting does include being loving and kind towards your children, it doesn’t let them get away with everything – particularly bad behavior. Taking an authoritative approach, therefore, involves being firm and the expectation that your children will behave in a responsible manner.
This is different though to authoritarian parenting, where they expect blind obedience without kindness or discussion. Authoritative parenting includes reasoning with children to help them understand the consequences of bad and good behavior.
How Does It Affect Children?
Based on the evidence, the authoritative parenting style tends to result in children being well-behaved, academically successful, socially acceptable self-reliant and independent. That is, according to the anthropologist and founder of the site Parenting Science, Gwen Dewar.
It has also been suggested that children brought up by the authoritative style of parenting are less likely to participate in acts of juvenile delinquency, are less likely to be interested in taking drugs and suffer from anxiety and depression.
There is a thought, according to Krevans and Gibb in 1996 that inductive discipline – a major part of authoritative parenting, is linked with developing far more advanced reasoning skills. Additionally, responsive and warm parenting can prevent kids from internalizing their problems and encourages them to develop secure attachments.
And by discussing their feelings and thoughts with kids and can teach them to be effective ‘mind readers‘. There have also been thoughts that authoritative parenting could have a wide range of other positive benefits such as:
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Reduce the effects of peer pressure
- Prevents aggressiveness
Balance Is Important
The thing to remember, whatever parenting style you opt for, is to be balanced. Parents cannot be perfect all time, just as children aren’t capable of being perfect always either.
However, when you follow the authoritative parenting methodology, you combine that drive for your kids to keep to your high standards with the affection and warmth that shows you love them. There is even no harm in siding into the permissive style of parenting, as the situation calls for it.
Depending on your child’s individual personality, you should be prepared to adapt your parenting style to their needs. While a child who has consistently shown that they are impulsive and more likely to push boundaries may need more restrictions; one who has proven they make good decisions may be allowed more freedom.
Kids change as they grow up too, so the way you parent when they are younger should evolve as they get older and more mature (or more troublesome). Parenting is a constant challenge and it is something you never really stop trying to get right – even after they have left home and have their own children. You will always be their parent and they will always be your child.
Hopefully, if you are still trying to feel out the kind of parenting style you should adopt, we’ve shown you some of the benefits of being an authoritative parent. It is with good reason that the authoritative parenting style falls to the middle of the spectrum of parenting styles, in that it is more balanced than either of the extreme ends of that spectrum.
It takes the parts that are best about permissive and authoritarian to make a way of parenting in a well-rounded fashion.
By Valerie S.