What You Need to Know About Authoritative Parenting

Parenting is hard. You are constantly running on a tight rope, trying to balance between being strict and being too lenient. Sometimes you need guidance to find the right balance for your family. It’s a lot to juggle, and it doesn’t come with instructions. But the good news is that you don’t have to do this alone! With so many parenting experts out there, we can find someone for every type of parent.

Authoritative parenting is one of these ways that can help guide parents to find this balance. The authoritative parenting style has three key traits: strong leadership, high expectations, and nurture

This blog post will cover some of the key things you need to know about authoritative parenting to have a better understanding of what it means to be an authoritative parent and how it helps with child development! Read on for more information about this style of parental discipline.

What Is Authoritative Parenting?

what is authoritative parenting

You may be wondering what authoritative parenting is and how it differs from authoritarian or permissive parenting. Authoritative parents have high expectations for their children, but they also provide guidance and boundaries to help them reach those standards. Authoritative parents are firm, fair, and consistent with their approach, which encourages cooperation over coercion. 

There are four types of parenting styles, according to the work of developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind. Authoritative parenting is one of them based on her research; the others are classified into:

  • Authoritarian parent styles – Authoritarian parents are more likely strict and expect blind obedience from their children.
  • Permissive parent styles – Permissive parents rarely impose rules or standards when their children misbehave and are more interested in supporting the child’s development.
  • Uninvolved parent styles – parents seem to be not involved.

These parenting styles are described by how the parents express their love towards their child, deal with their needs and desires and practice their authority. And Authoritative seems to have a balance on these factors. 

Authoritative parents listen to their children, provide love, warmth, and healthy boundaries in addition to limits and fair discipline. This style of parenting avoids punishment and threats, relying instead on positive reinforcement when needed. Hence, parents are responsive to their child’s emotional needs. 

The Benefits of Authoritative Parenting

the benefits of authoritative parenting

Authoritative parenting is a neutral ground for other parenting styles. This approach allows children to grow without neglecting discipline. It understands that a child needs to grow in an environment that sets rules but allowing to make mistakes.

It is a parenting method with boundaries that do not over-restrict or under-involve your child but also provide a balance. This approach believes kids need to be guided and instructed in their behaviors, with each developmental stage having its capabilities and challenges.

After decades of research, child development psychologists have recognized that Authoritative parenting is best among the four Baumrind parenting styles. Some of the benefits are:

Closeness with parents

Since parents show respect and let their child express their opinions, experts have demonstrated that authoritative parents tend to develop secure attachments and better relationships with their children.


Children who are raised to be respectful and confident tend to thrive in all social settings.

Academic success

Children and adults who grew up with authoritative parents tend to be more confident and not afraid to explore new things; thus, they believe in their capacity to learn new things.

These parents are supportive and always provide all the necessary tools for their children’s success in school as they make time for tutoring them on lessons or special projects.

Better well-being

Some researchers have results that they are more emphatic, kind, and warm because of the emotional response they get from their parents. It reflects good characteristics implemented in their home.

Parenting styles vary according to the needs of a family, but authoritative parenting can lead children to become more responsible. They’reThey’re able to regulate themselves and make better decisions on their own as they learn from you instead of just being told what is expected.

Social skills

Authoritative parenting children enjoy a more social and outgoing personality which carries over into school, with peers, teachers, and students. Children raised with authoritative parenting tend to be friendly, energetic, cheerful, self-reliant, self-controlled, curious, and cooperative.

Mental health

A study conducted at East Carolina University titled Specific Benefits of Authoritative Parenting Style concluded that fewer participants grouped in the Authoritative environment had results with no mental health symptoms. The study means the authoritative parenting style has better effects on children’s mental health and has positive developments in the future.

How to Be an Authoritative Parent?

how to be an authoritative parent

Parenting styles can be complex and challenging to pinpoint, but authoritative parenting is one of the best. Authoritative parents are authoritative while also being nurturing, supportive, considerate, and accepting.

Authoritative parenting is a form of positive parenting that gives children the guidance they need to help them grow. The authoritative parents are responsive and supportive but also provide firm boundaries for their kids with guidelines. They try to listen to what each child says but don’t always yield to their demands.

Baumrind mentions specific traits of authoritative parents. Common characteristics exhibited by an authoritative parent include:

  • Reinforce positive punishment, setting fair rules.
  • Allowing kids to express their opinions.
  • Encouraging children to discuss their options or views.
  • Not afraid to convey warmth and nurture needs.
  • Authoritative parents foster independence and reasoning.
  • Listen to their children.
  • Placing boundaries and fair consequences on their children’s behavior.
  • Appropriate expectations depending on the child’s age.
  • They realize that their child is not perfect.
  • Allow room for normal behavior.

This parenting method balances strictness and warmth, or a sense of “discipline without rage” (Baumrind). Parents are warm and supportive of their children yet have specific guidelines to be followed within the home. These parents set clear family rules for standards that are reinforced consistently. They emphasize communication as an essential method for resolving conflicts in the household- not only do these types of parents listen to their kids about anything related to them, but they also let the children know when it is time for them to respect certain boundaries. Authoritative parenting sets up strong bonds between the parent and child because there is less disconnect.

Disadvantages of Authoritative Parenting 

disadvantages of authoritative parenting

While authoritative parenting is most often recognized and endorsed by psychologists, parents should know its pros and cons. While the pros are numerous, there are also limitations to this type of parenting style that ought to be considered.

It also takes a lot of patience and effort to make sure everyone feels cared for.

One potential drawback of authoritative parenting is that it may need to adjust rules. Two of the possible disadvantages of practicing authoritative parenting style:

Misunderstood freedom

When an authoritarian parent sets forth expectations, the child can sometimes go through a normal rebellious phase during adolescence. Sometimes, they find it hard to comprehend that their parents have rules and consequences. The authoritative parent is adaptive to the child as it ages, but this rebellious phase in adolescence will prove challenging for the authoritative parents because of these expectations.

Complicated and difficult to adapt

Parents who practice the authoritative parenting style will often adapt to a child’s changes and behavioral issues. It can be very stressful for an authoritative parent, as they try to listen to their child and understand the reasons behind their action. An authoritative parent wants to be the best possible parent at all stages of child development, which can add more stress on top of being a parent.


As we wrap up, let’s take a second to review the five tips for becoming an authoritative parent. The first is to be mindful of your child’s needs and feelings when making decisions about them. Next, use firm limits that are consistently enforced with love. Third, try not to lecture or punish too often. Fourth, make sure you have reasonable expectations for your children while still supporting their pursuits of happiness and success. Finally, set boundaries on aggressive behavior but never stop showing affection towards your kids no matter what they do (or don’t). It may seem daunting at times as parenting can feel like one long learning experience all the time; however, it is essential to remember that there will always be obstacles along with parenthood.

We hope you found this blog post helpful and that it has given you some insight into the benefits of authoritative parenting. What are your thoughts on our conclusions? Have we missed any key points about why authoritative parenting is a beneficial style to have in your family life? Let us know by leaving a comment below!



I'm a Mom of two daughters, Freya and Ava. I love to share insights on how parents can be better parents. I write about topics that are relevant to me as a parent: things like parenting style, relationship, marriage, and balancing work and family.

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