• Margaret Stefanowicz

Why Is Authoritative Parenting the Golden Standard?

A few weeks ago, during one of my presentations, a parent asked, “what is authoritative parenting”? For some people, this phrase does not sit well. They seem to mistake it for authoritarian parenting. For the word authoritative, let’s see how the dictionary defines it:

  • Able to be trusted, reliable

  • Commanding and self-confident

  • Likely to be respected and obeyed

These are the three meanings I use when describing authoritative parenting.

Authoritative parenting is characterized by high responsiveness and high demands. In other words, authoritative parents are responsive to the child’s needs while, at the same time, having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in establishing and enforcing boundaries.

Interestingly, Dr. Diana Baumrind spent decades researching parenting styles and concluded that the best parenting style is authoritative parenting. Why? The authoritative parenting style is the emotional climate in which the parents raise their children. Some of the many benefits derived from this style are;


  • Become more responsible

  • Can better regulate themselves

  • Learn to make good decisions on their own

  • Have respect for adults, other people and rules.

They’re not anxious or worried about who’s in charge, because they know who makes the decisions: The Parents. When children know parents will take care of all their needs, they don’t need to test their parents, therefore, all their energy can be channeled into creative learning, pursuing interests, etc.

  • They become kinder and more empathetic

  • They have fewer social problems with peers

  • They tend to have secure attachments and better relationships with their parents.

  • They may be more resistant to peer pressure

Since authoritative parents choose to give commanding instructions, they naturally gain respect. They are calm and centered when doing so, therefore their children simply obey. When children obey their parents, they will more likely show respect. It’s that simple!

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