Authoritative Parenting Style

By Stephen Walton © 2012

What's It All About?... and... What Are Some Effects

The"Authoritative Parenting Style" is one that communicates in a warm, accepting, nurturing manner.

Communication with Authoritative Parenting

Parents maintain firm expectations and restrictions on their children's behaviour while holding them accountable for their own actions.

With love, understanding and respect for their children, they provide the important structure needed in the family environment.

Developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind in her comprehensive studies based on the dimensions of "Parental Responsiveness" and "Parental Demandingness" conclude that:

The Authoritative Parenting Style is moderate in both responsiveness and the demandingness elements of parenting.

The development of autonomy for their child is a main focus and children's views and opinions are strongly considered and respected.

According to Buamrind, this is a more balanced parenting style that is specifically centred on holding high expectations of maturity in a child. While still placing limits and controls on their actions, these parents understand their children's feelings and often allow them to help establish certain rules and guidelines.

Once clear limits and standards are jointly established, parents closely monitor and enforce the rules set out. A strong emphasis is placed on encouraging their children to think for themselves and to consider the consequences of any actions controversial to the established guidelines.

Discipline measures in the authoritative style are not punitive but are exercised in a consistent manner aimed at supporting and teaching. A consistent, reasoning and communicative approach is taken rather than punishing the child.

The child's emotional development is strongly considered and helping the child to understand and deal with mixed emotions in a positive way is paramount to raising self-regulating children. A nurturing approach is taken while encouraging their children to articulate for themselves and solve their own problems.

Effects of The Authoritative Parenting Style

Following are just a few of the possible effects of this style of parenting

  • Children tend to be very social
  • Good at developing positive relationships
  • Do very well in school and academic testing
  • Children are emotionally stable
  • Alcohol & illicit drug use is lower than with other parenting styles

Buamrind asserts that in today's climate of social instability, with both parents working, a high divorce rate and easily accessible illicit drugs, adolescents function best when parents use an authoritative parenting style that is more demanding, yet sensitive to their child's need for autonomy.

Why Some Parents Use This Parenting Approach

Often parents exercising this style were raised in the same manner and fully aware of its positive effect. They are usually responsible, respectful and caring individuals inspired to create the same secure and positive family environment.

In contrast, parents themselves being raised in an authoritarian style, resenting a harsh approach has prompted them to use this more balanced and lenient style of parenting for their own children.

The Positive Parenting Centre's Perspective

At The Positive Parenting Centre we believe that positive dialogue and mutual respect are cornerstones in the foundation of a healthy and sustainable relationship with your children.

A positive attitude with encouragement of self regulation and independence prepare your children for most of life's challenges.

We believe the basic principles of the Authoritative Parenting Style are the very essence that provides an inspiring blueprint in defining your own personal style of parenting.

Developing Your Own Parenting Style

If you have not yet read the definitions of other parenting styles, we strongly suggest you do so prior to attempting to define your own parenting style.

The following link options will guide you on your journey


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