Benefits of Authoritative Parenting

Written by: Terresha Anthony, M.S.W.
Benefits of Authoritative Parenting

You may have heard of the term parenting style. There are four main parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and distant. Authoritative parenting is known as a balanced approach and is widely regarded as the most effective parenting style, because it offers security and support. Practical Tips for Implementing Authoritative Parenting

1. Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations in advance and the reasons behind them. Make sure the rules are age-appropriate and understandable. For younger children the rules should be as specific as possible. Avoid vague statements such as behave or help around the house. Keep rules to a minimum. Rules should focus on safety, moral values, and daily routines.

2. Give Age-appropriate Power and Independence: It is important to allow children to make age-appropriate choices and give them space to experience the positive and negative consequences of their choices. Just as the difficulty of schoolwork increases as they age so should the difficulty of decisions they make as they age. Younger children can choose what they wear, what they want to play with, or the type of sandwich they want to eat. Older children can choose from a set list of chores they can do for the household or which electives they take in high school for example. Allowing children to make choices and take responsibility for their actions and solve problems at a young age builds their self-confidence and sets them up to make big decisions in adulthood.

3. Be Consistent with Discipline: Children feel a sense of safety when their parents are consistent and predictable. Children respond to consequences and learn from their behavior when they know the consequences are going to be fair and reasonable. It does not mean they will never make a mistake again, but they learn that behaviors have consequences. Without discipline or consequences children feel insecure and do not learn to thrive in society.

4. Encourage Open Communication: Foster an environment where children feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings. Allow children to express anger, frustration, jealousy, excitement, or fear. Label your child’s emotions so they have a
word for what they are feeling, and they will learn that you know them truly. Avoid a barrage of questions, rushing to make their feelings go away, trying to cheer them up or solve their problem. Be sure to remain calm and regulate your own anxiety and fears. Just sit with them and listen, allowing them to solve their problem. Be a guardrail to ensure their solution does not violate the family’s morals and it is safe. Children that feel seen and understood cooperate with their parents and find it easier to regulate their emotions.

5. Make Time for Bonding: Show affection and support regularly. Children need to know their parents enjoy their company. 30% of parenting should consist of limit setting, managing routines, and expressing expectations. However, the other 70% should be relaxed and enjoyable. Guidelines state that spending 15 minutes with your child each day doing an activity they choose improves the parent-child bond, increasing cooperation from the child when rules need to be followed, improving self-esteem, improving social interactions, and supports academic performance. Activities could include coloring, Legos, bey blade tournaments, crafts, and so on. Parents should avoid teaching, instructing, or making choices for the child during their play time. Play is the work of children, and it is the perfect way for them to learn problem solving.

Authoritative Parenting’s Benefits for Children’s Development:

6. Emotional Well-Being: Children raised by authoritative parents tend to have higher self-esteem and better emotional regulation. The balance of support and expectations fosters a sense of security and confidence.

7. Academic Success: The combination of high expectations and supportive guidance often leads to better academic performance. Children are motivated to meet their parents’ standards and receive the help they need to succeed.

8. Social Skills: Open communication and the encouragement of independence help children develop strong social skills. They learn to express themselves, resolve conflicts, and build healthy relationships.

9. Problem-Solving Abilities: By allowing children to make decisions and learn from their experiences, authoritative parents help their children develop strong problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities.

10. Behavioral Outcomes: Consistent and fair discipline reduces the likelihood of behavioral problems.Children understand the consequences of their actions and are more likely to exhibit self-control and cooperation.