When we talk about parenting, we highlight the process of upbringing a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting is the rigorous process of exploring and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual developmental needs of a child.
There isn’t a perfect rule for raising a child. While some parents may allow more room for their kids to learn and grow, others will keep a strict eye on each process of their development. If you ask any child development expert, they will strongly advise you to adopt an authoritative parenting style. The years of trial and error have produced the result that authoritative parenting is the most reliable style of parenting to produce the best outcomes in children.
It raises curiosity in many parents about their own style of parenting. An evidence-based guide, it can definitely help improve the current parenting style in many households without undermining their own child-rearing efforts.
As responsible parents, we can consider taking the tested and proven steps to ensure that our children enjoy the most conducive and fulfilling environment to grow.
What is the Authoritative Parenting Style?
Authoritative parenting is mostly characterized by two significant elements; high responsiveness and high demands. When parents are more responsive to their child’s emotional, social, physical, and intellectual needs, the child tends to thrive. High responsiveness is well equated by high demands which keep the development of the child in check by setting high standards every time.
This parenting style became popular after decades of research and trial and errors by different child development experts. It is only after witnessing the proven results they recognized that authoritative parenting is the best style of parenting among the four Baumrind parenting style.
As mentioned above, authoritative parents signify reasoning and nurturing quality. Along with setting high expectations, they offer support and resources to their children to succeed. Children brought up in an authoritative environment often demonstrate self-discipline, empathy, and mutual support.
Authoritative parenting is set apart by the following points:
- Parents set specific disciplinary rules which are clear and the reasons behind them are clearly explained to the child.
- The communication is to and from between the parents and the children.
- Parents ensure to provide a nurturing environment at all times.
- Expectations and goals are set high, along with providing necessary support and resources to achieve those goals. Children may have input into goals.
How does authoritative parenting affect the child?
The research on different parenting styles concluded that when parents are both engaged and critical with the development of their child, it develops a stronger bond that allows children to believe that their physical and emotional needs will meet.
While it is true that authoritative parents keep high expectations for their children, they also provide them with the necessary resources and support to help them succeed. It is also marked by fair discipline or positive discipline that helps to guide children to forgo their misbehavior by instilling a strong sense of responsibility and respect.
Although there isn’t an exact formula, we have listed out a few major criteria that will help you become an authoritative parent.
- Listen to your child
The communication is open in this family atmosphere where the thoughts, beliefs, concerns, opinions, and statements of the child are always heard and respected.
- Validate your child’s emotions
Acknowledge your child’s feelings. This will help them label their emotions and also teach them to recognize how their feeling affect their behavior.
- Consider your child’s feelings
You should always consider your child’s feelings on any matter; however, this doesn’t mean your child gets an equal vote. Considering their feeling helps to recognize their self-esteem and build their confidence.
- Establish rules
Rules are important in any household. They ensure that your kids know their expectations and limitations hence they can learn about accountability.
- Positive Discipline
The parents should exercise positive discipline where they offer them the chance to right their wrong by promoting communication, empathy, and understanding.
- Offer incentives
Authoritative parenting often use rewards as motivation. The rewards are minimal in nature where the child earns a gift, certain food items, or tokens when they achieve something.
- Let them make small choices
The parents should allow their children to make choices on their own and hold themselves accountable, however, you must ensure that the decisions they make are suitable for their age.
- Freedom with responsibility
You should practice offering freedom with certain responsibilities. This will help to keep them in check whenever they decide to do something.
What are the three other kinds of parenting?
Baumrind Parenting Style came into existence, thanks to Diana Blumberg Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist known for her research on parenting styles. It originally contained only three types of parenting styles with the addition of uninvolved parenting later.
According to Baumrind’s parenting style, there are four different types of parenting. Out of these, we have already explained the authoritative parenting above. The other three parenting styles are as follows:
Authoritarian parenting is when there are high demands and low responsiveness. It is often criticized by child development experts for lacking communication, responsiveness, and support during the growing up years. This parenting term comes from the common sociopolitical word “Authoritarian” which means enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom of choice.
Authoritarian parenting is often criticized for the following reasons:
- The parents rely on a strict discipline style with little or no communication. Punishment is frequent in such a relationship where the parents may practice both positive and negative disciplinary methods.
- Communication is mostly one way, generally from parents to children.
- The children growing up in such an environment find a less nurturing atmosphere.
- The parents exercise high expectations from their children while offering limited flexibility or resources.
- The children are more likely to grow distant from their parents.
Permissive parenting is when there are low demands and high responsiveness. Although this kind of parenting isn’t entirely considered wrong, it can promote a culture among the children that allows them to do anything without facing the consequences.
Because children of permissive parents can exercise their own choices at a young age, they tend to face difficulties evaluating their choices or self-regulating. With only limited guidance or direction, the kids are more likely to land up in trouble.
Permissive parenting is set apart by the following points:
- Parents exercise discipline style that is exactly opposite to authoritarian parenting. The kids enjoy limited or no rules.
- Communication goes both ways but the parents let children decide for themselves.
- The parents are often appreciated for their warm and nurturing nature.
- The expectations set by parents tend to minimal.
Uninvolved parenting negates both the expectation and responsiveness from the parenting. It is often characterized by a lack of responsiveness to your child’s emotional, physical, and mental needs. As the parents make zero demands from their children, the children often grow up to lack self-esteem.
Uninvolved parenting is set apart by the following points:
- The children exercise full freedom. The parents generally stay out of their way.
- No particular discipline style is ever utilized; hence the children can do whatever they want.
- Communication is often practiced but limited.
- The children may lack a nurturing environment with few or no expectations.
What parenting style is the best?
Not every parent on Earth is an authoritative parent. It is a conscious decision made by us to exercise certain parenting styles to help our children grow into a better human being. Only a few of us may fit perfectly into one single parenting style. Most of us keep switching from one style to another.
Although it isn’t wrong to practice different parenting styles, keeping oneself intact to authoritative parenting will help ensure both the responsiveness and expectation meet.
Many parents can get confused between authoritative parenting vs authoritarian. Ideally speaking, if you practice authority while keeping their freedom intact, you are following the example of authoritative parenting. The effects of authoritative parenting may exceed your own expectations.
When you ask yourself, is authoritative parenting good? Then you must answer, yes it always is. It is the proven method to raise a child in the most conducive environment while ensuring your child’s emotional, physical, and intellectual goals meet.