As parents, we cannot settle for anything but the best for our kids. The essential requirement for it is to raise them right. It might look easy, but you would agree how difficult it actually is. Most parents struggle to find a perfect balance between being strict and lenient such that the child gets the right attitude and values.
For it, parents resort to several types of parenting styles. There are primarily six styles of parenting which they resort to either exclusively or in combination. One such style of parenting that is increasingly on the rise is the authoritative parenting style.
In this write-up, we would understand what it is exactly and authoritative parenting pros and cons. It would help you get a clear idea if this style works for you in its pure form or even a modified form. Stay hooked!
What Is Authoritative Parenting?
Foremost, let us understand what authoritative parenting is. We often see parents who are too strict on children and impose plenty of rules on them without any avenue for the kids to communicate their feelings. In contrast to these authoritarian parents, we have permissive parents who give up on rules completely, and concede to almost all demands of their kids.
As evident, a balance is missing in both these styles of parenting. Authoritative parenting is a combination and balance of both these parenting styles. This style of parenting recognizes the importance of rules and limits and thus flaunt a high level of demandingness. Simultaneously, they also understand the importance of communication and self-expression. Hence, they offer amicable communication and a high level of responsiveness.
The level of demandingness and responsiveness in the authoritative parenting style is less than the pure authoritative and permissive parenting style. Here, parents pave the way for amicable communication by encouraging their children to express themselves and understanding the importance of rules set by them in a secure, amicable, and friendly but affirmative way. Here, the rules are based on the child’s caliber made evident by their past performances and achievements.
Traits of Authoritative Parents
Authoritative parents exhibit some telltale traits like:
- Demand and response
Parents set rules by discussing them with their children such that they are within the child’s potential and agreeable to the child.
- Give and Take Verbally
The leading trait of this style of parenting is communication. Here, parents explain the reason for setting a particular rule, permit the children to state their grievances and challenges, and come to an amicable solution in the end. Thus, two-way communication emerges as a significant feature of this type of communication.
- Involvement and Assistance
Authoritative parenting is all about understanding the children and their needs while helping them grow to the best of their potential. Fairness and respect are given due focus and importance. Parents offer enough support and guidance on asking to help the child achieve their goals.
Parents ensure getting involved with the children and do not hesitate to offer help and support when asked for. The aim of this is to empower them and not intimidate them or befriend them. This attitude commands a natural respect and love from the child.
- Critique and Praise
Authoritative parents are very particular about fairness and respect. They allow their kids to make mistakes and do not hesitate to give honest and unbiased feedback, even if they sound harsh. Likewise, they are not miser in appreciating the child on his strengths and achievements.
This balance and blend of appreciation and criticism help children understand their weaknesses and strengths. Gradually, it helps to build character and bring about positive development in the children.
- Balance of Freedom and Supervision
One of the hallmark traits of authoritative parenting is an almost perfect balance of freedom and supervision. The children are given freedom to an extent but not entirely. It helps the child to develop a sense of responsibility and fairness. Simultaneously, they realize the boundaries that they would not be allowed to cross.
- Love and Restrictions
Bonding with the child is an essential element of authoritative parenting. Children know that they are being loved despite given rules and restrictions to live with. They are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. They are made to understand and obey rules willingly such that they experience an overall development in all aspects.
Hence, even if the rules look harsh, children follow them willingly as they know the reason and the goodness behind it. They are aware of their parents’ unconditional love at all times.
- Quality Time
Unlike the dictatorship model, authoritative parenting flaunts a cooperative and friendly way. Parents spend quality time with their children, explain to them the need for rules laid down, allow children to air their issues, make minor mistakes, and do many other things. Because of this quality time, there is enough trust, respect and love nurtured between the parents and children.
Pros of Authoritative Parenting
Now that we know the traits of authoritative parenting, let’s get down to authoritative parenting pros and cons. Foremost, we list the pros of authoritative parenting. Stay hooked!
- Increased Accountability Amongst Children
Children of authoritative parents are raised to take decisions themselves and accept its responsibility. They own their decision and its consequences, both positive and negative. It not only hones their decision-making ability but also be accountable for it. Gradually, they learn to make sound decisions. These children are also less prone to give in to peer pressure.
- More Independent Children
Authoritative parents set rules but also give their children plenty of independence within the boundaries. Reasonable expectations are demanded of children. This, in turn, helps a child to develop their personal expectations and gradually become far more self-reliant and independent than children raised from any other parenting styles.
- More Respectful Towards Others
Mutual respect is one of the leading traits of authoritative parenting. The parents show respect to their children by giving them certain freedom and right to make decisions. It is also seen as a trust imparted to children by their parents, along with respect to the children’s privacy.
The children consciously and unconsciously acknowledge their parents’ gestures and naturally turn respectful towards them. The habit of giving respect breeds, and the children form a habit of respecting almost anybody.
- Better Leadership Qualities
Authoritative parents allow their children to make decisions and owe their responsibility and consequences. It breeds confidence and an independent streak in the children. It also breeds leadership qualities in them. Children of authoritative parents turn out better leaders in the future.
- Enhanced Resiliency
Children raised by authoritative parents make many decisions. Few lead them to failures. Consequently, children learn from these mistakes under the guidance of their parents. Likewise, they learn to revel in their success.
- Better Academic Performance
Authoritative parenting has clear lines of communication. Children are given freedom within boundaries. Parents do not hesitate to get involved with children and help them overcome their challenges. It leads to improved academic performance for their kids. Each study challenge is understood, and solutions are found to overcome it.
- More Successful Children
Studies have indicated that children of authoritative parents have better mental and physical health. They are more disciplined and always eager to learn new skills. Their positive and eager approach makes them more successful at every stage of their life.
Cons of Authoritative Parenting
Nothing can be without its drawbacks. Likewise, even authoritative parenting has its dark side. Few of the leading cons of authoritative parenting are:
- Rebellion- A Natural Setback
Expectations of parents from the children are very clearly laid down in the authoritative parenting style. It can trigger a natural phase of rebellion, apathy, and anger amongst the children. It is more pronounced during the adolescent period of the children where they often fail to comprehend the reason behind the rules and the consequences of breaking them.
Patience from the parents and a strong parent-child bond is the way to come out of these trying times and set harmony back.
- Difficult to Adapt
Authoritative parents have to take a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They have to understand the needs of the child and adapt themselves at each stage accordingly. This constant need to understand their children’s needs and adapt accordingly can be stressful for any parent. Moreover, as parents, many would find it difficult to adapt themselves to ever-changing situations.
- Difficult Implementation
Of all parenting styles, authoritative parenting is the easiest to discuss but the most difficult to implement. It requires an extra dose of patience and perseverance from the parents that can sometimes take a toll on them. The toll often increases ten-fold during the stubborn or angry stages of childhood.
- More Responsibility
Authoritative parenting puts plenty of responsibility on the shoulders of the parents. They have to mandatorily take time out of their busy schedule and spend time with their children. They have to be more involved with their children and their activities. Out-of-the-box thinking and innovative solutions are often demanded from them. The responsibility can prove taxing and sometimes too much.
- Continual Review and Refinement of Rules
Authoritative parenting is a rule-based style of parenting. However, the same rules do not hold valid throughout. Parents continuously need to review rules periodically, and modify it or change them to new rules based on their child’s needs and challenges.
- Low Self-Esteem
Till now, we talked only about the drawbacks of the parenting style for parents. But it has its con for children as well. Because they have to abide by rules at all times, they might develop feelings of continuously being controlled. They might feel confined and restricted and feel deprived of their freedom. It can trigger negative feelings and emotions in the children that can adversely impact their development.
We hope that by now, you clearly understand the concept of authoritative parenting. Tried and tested for generations, it remains one of the best parenting styles. Understanding authoritative parenting pros and cons would definitely help you become a much better parent for your child.