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What are some of the different parenting styles?


Authoritative Parenting
Authoritative parenting is meant to be the ideal blend between permissive and authoritarian.
Authoritative parenting is meant to be the ideal blend between permissive and authoritarian.
©iStockphoto.com/mammamaart

Along with the concepts of authoritarian and permissive parenting, Baumrind developed the concept of authoritative parenting. This style of parenting adopts the better aspects of permissive parenting and authoritarian parenting. Between those two extremes, parents hope to raise a well-adjusted kid.

Authoritative parenting attempts to provide a balanced approach that places importance on nurturing a child, but within appropriate behavioral boundaries.

The parent has expectations for the child that increase as the child grows older. Unlike permissive parenting, there is accountability. The authoritative parent doesn't ignore rebellion, and stands strong when a child refuses to do as told. However, unlike authoritarian parenting, the parent explains why things are done a certain way, not just how (and not just, "Now!"). While being firm and consistent, the parent makes an effort not to be invasive, intimidating or domineering.

Ideally, children raised under the style of authoritative parenting will be responsible, self-monitoring and self-confident. They will be able to make decisions about right and wrong based on a solid foundation of ethical instruction and discussion, and not just based on a list of do's and don'ts. When a child does stray outside the lines of acceptable behavior, he or she will understand the consequences of doing so. Authoritative parents don't rely on doling out punishment as a means of correcting behavior, but rather prefer to use positive reinforcement and encouragement when the child is behaving appropriately.

This style probably presents the most difficult balance to achieve, but Baumrind presented it as the best of the three styles she identified. Upon hearing this, permissive parents would probably let it slide, while authoritarian parents would send her to her room with a scolding.


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