The Fundamentals Of Authoritative Parenting
There’s no one way to be a parent. All kids are unique and will respond differently to individual parenting styles — even siblings! It’s true, too, that some parents take to looking after their little one naturally, whilst others might struggle with the task and their newfound responsibilities.
One of the most important things to remember about being a parent is that you’re going to make mistakes — everybody does. It might take a little time to establish what type of parent you want to be and understand how your parenting style impacts your child’s behaviour and development.
With that in mind, the team here at Spewy™ is going to take a look at one of the most common styles of parenting — authoritative parenting — to help you understand the factors that influence how you interact with your child and how you can establish a positive relationship with them.
What Is an Authoritative Parenting Style?
Most psychologists agree that there are four main parenting styles. Placed on a spectrum from the strictest to least involved, these are known as authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. While authoritarian parents set strict rules for their children, uninvolved parents demonstrate detachment from their kids’ lives.
Authoritative parents sit somewhere in the middle. While they have firm expectations, they also place great emphasis on open communication and want to work alongside their children to make decisions in their best interests.
What Is an Authoritative Parent?
An authoritative parent is defined as one who nurtures their child and provides clear expectations without aggression or harsh punishments.
Using the power of positive reinforcement, authoritative parents may provide rules and limits that foster responsibility in their children. They may also encourage open dialogue so that children are able to make decisions for themselves. This creates a secure environment for learning as children become more independent and confident in their decision-making abilities.
Furthermore, an authoritative parenting style allows children to develop self-discipline as they learn to effectively manage their emotions and behaviour. By setting clear expectations and providing consistency, an authoritative parenting style creates a positive environment and respect within the family unit.
What Are the Effects of Authoritative Parenting?
Authoritative parenting is a style of raising children that emphasises clear expectations, respect for the child's autonomy, and communication between parent and child.
There are several effects of this type of parenting; it can yield positive outcomes in academic performance, mental health, and self-esteem. By prioritising clear and open communication from a young age, you may also increase the likelihood of your child coming to you with problems when they get older.
All these factors combine to foster healthy development in the long term. While there will certainly be challenges along the way, parents should strive to create an environment where their children feel respected and supported.
Is Authoritative Parenting Good?
As children respond differently to parenting styles, it’s not always useful to label one type of parenting as ‘good’ and another as ‘bad’. However, generally speaking, the traits that define an authoritative parent — including that they set clear boundaries while being nurturing and forgiving — will have a positive impact on any child’s development.
How to Be an Authoritative Parent
If you want to be an authoritative parent, the key is creating a balance between being firm and kind. Establishing rules, sticking to them, and providing guidance is important in order to create structure for your family.
When disciplining your children, it's important to be consistent and use positive reinforcement instead of punishment for ‘bad’ behaviours. For example, reward good behaviours with affection or praise rather than punishing mistakes. Letting your child know they are valued while still holding boundaries is vital in maintaining an authoritative parenting style.
An authoritative parenting style will also help foster healthy communication in the family by establishing trust and mutual respect in the relationship between parents and their children.
As parents ourselves, the team at Spewy™ are passionate about helping others navigate all the challenges that come with looking after little ones. In addition to our range of products, including the Spewy™, bed mats and travel packs our blog is full of helpful tips and advice for parents of newborns, toddlers, and children.
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