The Authoritative Parenting Style

Posted on May 8, 2014 in Parenting

There are 4 types of parenting styles. In our previous articles, we briefly discussed the authoritarian parenting style, the permissive style and the uninvolved style. These 3 styles are rather controversial and frown upon by parenting experts. Today we are going to talk about the authoritative parenting style which is believed to be the only style which balances parental affection and authority.

  • Authority

It is important for children to recognize parents as authority figures. This is why both parents need to agree on the parenting measures and speak respectfully of each other in front of the children. In order for this style to work, the parenting decisions must be made by both parents and one parent’s authority should not trump the authority of the other parent. In order to guide the path of the children, the parents must establish some ground rules. The authoritarian parenting style does not allow children to question the rules but this is not the case for the authoritative parents. On the contrary, in a safe and nurturing environment, the children are allowed to question the rules in order to understand them. Forcing children to blindly follow rules will only work until a certain point. After that, the children will rebel and will no longer respect the wisdom of the parents.

  • Affection

The authoritative parenting style encourages often displays of affection. Permissive parents are also very affectionate but their mistake is that they blindly obey to the demands of the children without considering whether or not they are helping the development of the children. It is important to encourage the children to follow their dreams but we must not praise everything they do. The children should be awarded when they actually do something good and not every time they manage to behave themselves.

  • Positive communication

In order to implement the authoritative parenting style, the parents must learn how to efficiently communicate with the little ones. When the child wants to do something that the parents don’t agree with, the worst thing to do is to forbid the child from doing it. Instead, the parents should try to explain, in simple terms, the negative effects of an action and should offer positive alternatives to that action. Furthermore, when a child misbehaves, the parents must tell the child why he/she did something wrong. For example, if a child breaks something valuable, the parents must explain that they are hurt because they worked hard in order to buy that certain thing and now they lost it due to the fact that the child was careless. Furthermore, when children misbehave, the parents must try to encourage the children to fix their mistakes. Try to replace punishments with positive solutions which encourage the children to make amends for their bad behavior.