Authoritative Parenting Style:
Reasoning, Consulting, Responsive
The authoritative parenting style, is a term Diana Baumrind,
coined in her research about parenting.
From her observations about how parents controlled and motivated their
children, she developed her 3 Parenting
or strict parenting; Permissive Parenting,
sometimes referred to as indulgent
parenting, and Authoritative Parenting, as I'll talk about here.
Authoritative parenting is seen as a more middle of the road, rational approach
to parenting. This style of parenting is warm and nurturing and responsive to the
needs or demands of their children. The authoritative parenting style respects the rights of children to have a say
and to be independent thinkers.
Authoritative parents have high expectations of cooperation from their children,
and are happy to discuss the rationale behind rules and boundaries, even
willing to negotiate. Explanations about consequences of behavior would be
given, and punishments would seldom be harsh. Unlike Authoritarian
Parenting, withdrawal of love and approval, shaming or using fear to control a
child's behavior would not be used.
What Does Research About Authoritative Parenting Style Tell Us?
Children raised under the Authoritative Parenting Style, would get lots of parental support and
encouragement. Some research has shown children raised with the
authoritative parenting style, succeed better in school and are more likely to go
on to a college education.
Other studies show children who have limits and rules enforced reasonably, are
less likely to get involved in drugs and juvenile crime, whereas children raised
by authoritarian, harsh parenting or overly permissive parenting, had a higher
When analysing styles of parenting or reading research, it is important to note,
there are a lot of variables that come into play that may effect the outcome of
the research. For example, because of the ethics involved in child research,
many studies depend heavily on parent questionnaires. This means the
outcome is very subjective - one parent may see themselves as being very
warm and nurturing, whereas another may see that same behavior as being
There is also a lot of discussion about the relevance for different ethnicities and
cultures. I remember reading some Spanish research that suggested children
raised with a permissive parenting style succeeded better academically.
However there are many more questions to be answered. For example, what kind of behavior would Spanish parents think is Permissive vs Authoritative Parenting?
Even when research is conducted by observation, the subjectivity of the
observer has an effect. Even when grading something like how warm and
responsive a parent is towards a child, three different observers may have
three different responses.
As a parent we are often bombarded with information about how to be a better
parent - including this website! I think it is important to question how you were
raised and choose to parent more consciously rather than necessarily simply
raising our children on automatic or the way we were raised. But the bottom
line, is as parents you have to choose what works for your family.
One thing that does seem to be consistent across the research into the
Authoritative Parenting Style - there does not seem to be any evidence that this
style of parenting has a negative effect - unlike some of the other parenting
For more about Authoritative parenting style, read the Four Basic Parenting Styles developed by Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin,
who expanded the Baumrind Three types of Parenting style.
Resources for Parents
Super Skills 4 Kids
This home study course designed to help kids solve problems, set goals, envision the future they want,
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Super Skills 4 Kids is packed with tools, parenting advice, tips and comes with a bonus workbook.
I've had many parents say they use many of the techniques for themselves!
Free Parenting Games
One of the best parenting tips we can offer, is playing with your children!
I've designed a free series of games to help and inspire you to raise happy, productive kids, who are excited about life on this beautiful little planet!
Limited Time Only, Ask Annie is FREE
Online Coaching with Annie - ask your parenting questions, only $9.95.
Your question and my answer becomes a page here on our site, so other parents can get inspired.
Click the link above and scroll to the bottom to read what other parents have asked.
Inspiration for Managing Behavior Issues
For parenting advice on discipline read my article on disciplining kids and teens.
Do Children Misbehave?
More ideas on handling misbehaving children, and understanding their needs.
Negotiating with Teens
Teenage years can be a delight and a challenge for many parents. Heres some ideas on handling some of those tricky times!
This Audio answers questions from readers about communicating with teenagers. You can listen to here from the page.