What is Authoritative Parenting?

Authoritative Parenting

Raising kids is no child’s play, even though it involves little humans that may seem easy to control. Parenting can be done with a variety of styles where each style has its unique results, and one of them is authoritative parenting.

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Authoritative parenting is a type of parenting style that is a rough blend of warmth, limit-setting, and sensitivity. This style of parenting makes use of positive reinforcement to direct kids while avoiding the use of punishments to train a child.

These kids are less likely to engage in risky lifestyles such as gang violence, drug use, abuse and addiction, delinquency, and other harmful activities.

This is widely used by educated families of the middle socio-economic class, and the result most times births well-behaved children who are academically and career successful. They are also socially healthy, and independent children who can handle stress, anxiety, and depression well.

Parenting Styles

They are three primary parenting styles adopted by people to raise their kids, and they include the following:

  • Authoritarian parenting

This is a parenting style that is characterized by setting boundaries, high standards, positive reinforcements, warmth, and non-punitive. Parents using this approach have high standards and demand them from their kids.

They lay down rules and regularly enforce them, yet they do not use threats or punishments on their kids. They are very kind and considerate to their kids, but they are not blindly obedient to their kids.

  • Permissive parenting

Permissive parenting is characterized by low demandingness, warmth, and nurturing. Parents with this style are nurturing, warm, do not set boundaries, and they let their kids get away with ill deeds.

  • Neglectful parenting

Neglectful parenting is an approach used by parents that denies a child warmth, nurturing, discipline, and positive reinforcements that they need. Clearly put, children here are neglected.

Authoritative parenting is recognized as the best form of parenting because of the great outcome of well-mannered and healthy children it produces.

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Authoritative parenting will always have you doing the following:

  • Consider your child’s feelings before asking for a favour
  • Encourage your children to talk about their feelings
  • Try to help your children when they are in distress, scared or upset
  • Provide your children with the expectations you have for them with reasons
  • Respect your kids’ opinions as well as encourage them to express themselves even if they are contrary to yours

How do authoritative parents discipline their kids?

You may be wondering how authoritative parents put their children in check when they misbehave without using punishments to discipline them. The mode of discipline used is referred to as ‘’inductive discipline’’.

What is inductive discipline?

An inductive discipline is an approach used to help kids understand what they do and why they should or should not do certain things. This helps the kids grow up becoming more empathic, kind, and helpful. It also helps in preventing kids from being aggressive and reckless as they grow older.

The following are tools of inductive discipline:

  • Shaping behaviour through reasoning

This is done by explaining to the kid why certain things should be done in specific ways or why certain things should not be done. Once you make your kid understand why and how things are done, even behind your back, the kid would not defile your rules.

For instance, explaining to your children why they should not take what doesn’t belong to them is a good step in the right direction. They would continue with this mindset even in your absence.

  • Emotional coaching

Inductive discipline always keeps your kids’ behaviour in check even when emotions are involved. Using inductive discipline on your kids will help them understand that even when they feel strongly about a particular thing, they can’t use their emotion as an excuse to do wrong.

  • Emphasizing empathy and concern for others

Saying things like ‘’now that you have hurt your brother/sister/ friend, how does that make you feel?’’ would make the child recognize the guilt in making another person feel bad, thereby developing empathy for other people’s feelings. A child like this would learn not to be selfish.

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Effects of authoritative parenting

In using this parenting approach in raising your kids, they tend to be the following:

  • Be relatively happy and content
  • Independent and self-reliant
  • Develop excellent social skills
  • Have proper emotional regulation and self-control​
  • Express warmth and cooperate with peers
  • Explore a new environment without fear
  • Are competent and assertive
  • Achieve higher academic and career success​
  • Engage more in school activities
  • Develop good self-esteem​
  • Have better mental health
  • Handle stress, depression, anxiety better
  • Make better life decisions
  • They are less likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, suicidal attempts, delinquency, alcohol, and substance abuse
  • Have competent social skills
  • Exhibit less violent tendencies

Why Is authoritative parenting style the best parenting style?

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parenting has been tagged as the best style of raising kids, and the following are reasons why:

  • Nurturing

This is an evident feature of authoritative parenting. Parents who use this approach are described as nurturers because they tend to be sensitive and in tune with their children’s psychological and developmental needs.

According to studies, kids are very responsive to such attitudes towards them, and they tend to develop an attachment to their parents. Kids with nurturing parents tend to feel secured with their parents, develop high IQ & EQ, excellent social skills, and competent problem-solving skills.

  • Responsiveness

Authoritative parents provide the opportunity for the child to be emotionally stable by giving them a sense of responsiveness and autonomy.

  • Supporting

Authoritative parenting includes parents getting involved in the lives of their kids. Parents who practice this style of parenting show interest in what their children do, showing up for their games, go for their dance recitals, give their support by cheering them during their speeches, helping out in their assignments, and school projects.

  • Open-mindedness

Authoritative parents are very much open-minded, and they encourage open communication between them and their children.

They also encourage their kids to talk and express themselves no matter how they are feeling. This makes the children more outspoken even in the presence of adults, thus helping them develop excellent social skills.

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  • High Standards

Authoritative parents require high standards from their children. Their kids can’t afford to do terrible things, considering how well they have been raised.

  • Discipline

According to studies, the consistent enforcement of boundaries set in authoritative parenting is the foundation of a disciplined child. When parents who are authoritative set limits that include a curfew, no breakfast before chores, no phones during mealtime and more.

When rules are consistently enforced, then it becomes internalized in them. Soon, without being told, they know what needs to be done.

  • Non-punitive

Authoritative parents may be demand higher standards from kids, but they do not use threats or punishments to enforce their rules or discipline them. Instead, inductive discipline is used to put the kids in check. This makes the children more honest while learning to own up distasteful deeds.

Authoritative parents are firm and strict, but when it comes to disciplining their kids, they are relatively kind.

Sources

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.