Authoritative Parenting Is An Open, Honest, And Flexible Parenting Style That Balances High Expectations With High Parental Involvement To Produce Above Average Parenting Results
“Truth comes home to the mind so naturally that when we learn it for the first time, it seems as though we did no more than recall it to our memory."
Bernard De Fontenelle (1657-1757)
Authoritative Parenting, also known as Balanced Parenting and/or Democratic Parenting, is a balanced approach to parenting that couples high parental expectations with high parental support and flexibility, allowing children the freedom to question the Rules and Expectations they are placed under so as to understand their intent and how they interplay for the growth and benefit of the child and of the family as a whole.
Authoritative Parenting makes up one of the three major styles of parenting, the other two being the Permissive style and the Authoritarian style of parenting.
Permissive Parenting is characterized by parents who are warm and accepting yet have few behavior expectations for their children. As the name suggests, these parents are permissive (Tolerant, Indulgent, Lax) with their children.
Authoritarian Parenting also holds high standards and expectations for their children but do not explain the reasoning behind the rules and boundaries, and do not allow for an open discussion between parent and child.
This page is dedicated to a discussion of the Authoritative Parenting Style, which I personally feel is the optimal style of parenting for raising healthy, happy and empowered children who are best prepared for the adult life and challenges that will soon be awaiting them.
Has this parenting style worked wonders for your children?
Studies have shown that the mix of clearly defined and attainable parental demands and expectations, coupled with the emotional openness and responsiveness that leads to a recognition of a child’s autonomy and freedom to choose, all of which are hallmarks of the Authoritative style of parenting, are all common predictors of a child’s future competence and achievement.
Authoritative Parenting mixes a child’s need for discipline, nurture and respect in such a way that boundaries are as clear as a child’s understanding of what types of actions will lead to their happiness and eventual success.
A Parenting Style revolves around the actions and attitudes a parent takes towards parenting their children.
The goal of parenting is in essence to teach, influence, and help our children to be ready to one day be effective and loving adults and also in their turn to be caring and responsive parents when the proper time comes.
What separates one parenting style from another is the degree of parental demands or control (how demanding a parent is of his or her children) and parental responsiveness or warmth (how responsive and emotionally supportive a parent is towards their children).
Authoritative Parenting is highly demanding and highly supportive at the same time.
Read some of the characteristics associated with the Authoritative Parenting style that follows and see if you can identify some of your own parental actions and attitudes described in the following descriptions.
Authoritative Parenting Is Characterized By The Following:
• Being demanding of yet responsive towards children
• Knowing where children are, with whom they are, and what they are doing (This is appropriate parental control with a definite purpose)
• Being controlling towards your children yet not overly restrictive, as long as you are aware of their surroundings as described above
• Being proactive and child-centered in your mindset and actions
• Showing an abundance of parental involvement, interest and active participation in your children’s lives
• Having an open and honest channel of communication between parent and child
• Trust in and acceptance of your child, with a desire to support and champion your child’s autonomy as age, maturity and experience permits
• Marked by parental flexibility born of the realization that not all children are the same, and that rules and expectations should grow and adapt to a child’s varying abilities and needs
• Authoritative Parenting values compromise and creative win-win solutions to parenting and to life
• A willingness for parents to admit when they are wrong and the ability to stay firm in your love and authority while teaching by example that nobody is perfect, not even a parent
• Being emotionally open and responsive to your children while maintaining control of your emotions
• Teaching children the consequences of their behaviors by not shielding children from said consequences of their behaviors
• Parents who try to catch their children doing the right things, and who support, encourage and reward them for the same
• Parents who are clear and consistent and yet are not rigid
• Parents who are good listeners and good communicators
• Willing to explain the reasons behind family rules and expectations without getting defensive or feeling threatened
• Parents who parent by example and who openly practice what they preach
• Accepts the fact that a healthy parent-child relationship is always a two-way street (or relationship) with a certain amount of give and take associated with each side of this dynamic equation
One must judge one’s parental efforts by the results of those efforts.
The Proof Is In The Pudding as the old saying goes.
So what type of parenting results can we hope to see and realize if we ascribe to and follow the Authoritative Parenting Style of parenting?
- Children who have higher levels of Self Esteem and independence
- Children who generally do well in school and have a high academic competence
- Children who are self-motivated and who can think for themselves
- Children who are cheerful, self-controlled, self-reliant and generally optimistic about the future
- Children who are achievement and goal oriented and who know how to take the initiative in life
- Children who are emotionally healthy and who maintain friendly and appropriate relationships with both peers and adults
- Children who are well-balanced, understand how to give and take and compromise, and who cope well with the stresses and changes of life
- Children who enjoy fewer behavioral problems
- Children who have learned to be flexible and balanced in their approach to living and in dealing with others
- Children who are responsible and who consider the consequences of their actions and behaviors
- Children who grow up to be independent, socially comfortable and respectful of authority and of law and order
- Children who are better prepared for productive and healthy adult living and life choices
Does it sound as if I may favor the Authoritative Parenting Style of raising children?
(What, did I not hide my preference for this parenting style very well?)
The truth is that I do favor Authoritative Parenting and I am not alone in this my preference.
Study after study has clearly shown that Authoritative Parenting is the most effective parenting style in which to raise children who are fully autonomous and prepared to survive and thrive in the adult world, once they get there.
Authoritative parenting allows parents the freedom, comfort and flexibility of admitting that they themselves are not perfect, so their children don’t need to feel like they need to be perfect either.
To parent with high expectations and with even higher levels of responsiveness, communication and love for and towards our children, to parent by example with Happiness and Joy, is a recipe for parental and family success that will never go out of style.
There is a lot more parenting wisdom to share. Here is another Authoritative Parenting thought: Be the parent who expects a lot and who gives a lot as you parent by example in an open and honest, two-way parent-child relationship to produce the best from yourself and from the children you love at any time, for any reason, over and over again.
Authoritative Parenting is to be flexible, open, loving, and communicative with your children as you guide them through the process of daily growth and learning.
Note: Though I am not Catholic nor advocate any particular religion within this Website, I do believe that good and wholesome parenting advice is useful and welcome be it from whatever source it comes from.
I hope you enjoy the above Authoritative Parenting video, the message of which I fully support.