The authoritative parenting style is about setting limits, reasoning with kids, and being responsive to their emotional needs. This style is common in middle class parenting throughout the world, and it’s connected with the most successful child outcomes. While authoritative parents are very sincere, nurturing, and open towards their children, they also expect high levels of independence and maturity. Rather than running to their child’s assistance every time they are in need of something, authoritative parenting suggests letting the child work out their problems on their own.
Children raised by authoritative parents are more likely to become independent, self-confident, socially accepted, educationally successful, and obedient. Teens are less likely to become depressed and have anxiety, and less likely to engage in antisocial behavior like lawbreaking and drug use. Research shows that having at least one authoritative parent can make a big difference. Growing up I had divorced parents, but both of my parents used the authoritative parenting style.
My father used the more strict side of authoritative parenting, where I am expected to be mature, independent, and answer to my mistakes. My mother used the loving and nurturing side of authoritative parenting style, she was always sincere and was always there to listen to my problems. Many misinterpret and think that authoritative parenting is unfriendly and detached, but that is far from true. Children are the very main focus of this parenting style, and their wishes are given the highest attention. They are simply expected to show maturity and are taught to understand the world they are in.
Authoritative parents take their children’s wishes and feelings into consideration before asking the child to do something, talk about the child’s feelings, help when the child is scared or upset, provide the child with reasons for the expectations anticipated for them, and respect the child’s opinion and encourage him or her to express them. Authoritative parents are tremendously focused to their children’s needs, and their responses are always centered on the behaviors they see in their children. Strong rules and penalties are set, but children are also taught that it is okay to make mistakes.
Often, the child will be warned and forgiven if they don’t reach a certain level of expectation. However, while forgiveness can be offered, the main part of authoritative parenting is setting the rules and then sticking to them. Too often, parents give their children rules, and then fail to follow through; this teaches your child zero except that you don’t mean what you say. The entire goal of authoritative parenting is to teach. Teaching children to be mature, teaching them that they are responsible for their own actions and the rewards or penalties that come from them.
Also teaching independence, understanding, and the fact they if they need something, they are always able to turn to their parents and will be acknowledged with friendliness and understanding. A child who is molded by the experiences of loving, caring parents is a child who can stand on his or her own two feet and not be influenced by the negative behaviors of others. This should be the hope of all parents for their children. One way to achieve this is to allow your child to talk with you about your rules and expectations in a polite manner. Let them tell you, again politely, what they feel is fair and unfair.
Ask them what they might recommend instead of your rule. If they have a point and a good explanation, try it for a while. If they screw up, sit them down and talk with them about their wrongdoing and then talk about returning to the rules that you had set in the first place and why. It doesn’t mean they will like it, but it is teaching them their behaviors have consequences and sometimes rules are changed when one the child doesn’t hold up to their end of the promise. Children of authoritative parents rank the highest scholastically of all other parenting styles, with higher test scores, more school participation and less unwanted behavior.
Possibly most important, is that parents who use the authoritative parenting style have more influence with their children than their peers. This is particularly important because a number of a child’s learned behavior happens at school or in other public surroundings away from home. It’s possible that this specific parenting style directs the child in a specific positive direction and the warmth given and correct limits set by the parents allow the child to follow less to peer influences.
Rather than doing everything for the child, authoritative parenting pursues to teach the child to do for themselves. Behaviors must be learned, not forced. Authoritative parenting teaches children to be so independent, consequently; children raised in this way tend to have a much more complex self-esteem and are much more confident in their skills. Most parents know that astonished look of pride that children get when they do something by themselves for the first time. They also long for the admiration and joy that they get from you, which only makes them want to do more activities on their own.
Each time the child achieves something new, they are rewarded. In this way, they learn to take pride in their accomplishments, and soon are able to do almost anything for themselves; within an age-appropriate way, of course. With all of the accomplishments these children achieve and receive recognition for, it’s no wonder that studies have shown them to be generally happier children overall. Parenting is also completely child-centered, so this also contributes to the fact that children raised in this style have very happy characters.
Learning to do tasks on their own and not having mom and dad directly come and do things for them can often be infuriating for children at first. Learning something new is always tough; especially for children. But with love and encouragement, children learn patience as well as emotional control. The continuous learning process and the constant expectation to do things for themselves will teach children to stay calm and keep their emotions in control rather than bursting out into fits when something doesn’t go their way.
The independence learned through authoritative parenting also leads children to having better social skills. Because they have learned to take responsibility for their actions, emotional control, and maturity, children are able to handle themselves in social situations. Another big part of it is that children tend to learn from what they see their parents do. Authoritative parents make every effort to be so caring, open, and involved, that those characteristics are passed on to their children who then treat others that same way.
Clearly there is no enchanted way of parenting that promises you the perfect child. He or she won’t be the way you want them to be every time. The most important idea of any parenting style is steadiness and flexibility. Be consistent when it comes to your focus, replies, rules, and punishments, but also realize that parenting has to be built on a large part of your and your child’s personalities. Think back to the choices you made when you were your kids’ ages. Your decisions weren’t always the best or smartest.
Cut them some slack and offer them some help when they need it. When confronted with a decision about whether or not a behavior needs disciplining, ask whether or not it was a deliberate, known act of disobedience. Was it an accident? Had you told them 50 times not to take food or drinks in the living room on the new couch and they did it anyway? The spill may have been an accident, but putting the food on the new couch was disobedient. Do they have a bad attitude? If yes, are they disrespectful to you when they have a bad attitude? Think about your attitude at work.
Even when you are upset or you don’t feel well, you know how to act when the boss walks in the room. Your kids they can have bad attitudes sometimes, but how they treat others when they feel grumpy is what is important and what can possibly get them in trouble. If they completely failed a math test, give them some room to be mad. If their phone is broken, give them room to be upset, but begin teaching them to not let their emotions change their behaviors towards others. It’s an appreciated lesson even we adults need their memory jogged from time to time!