What is Authoritative Parenting?

authoritative parenting

What is Authoritative Parenting?

Every child experiences a particular parenting style, but authoritative parenting is what is most recommended. So what is it, and why is it more effective? Read below to review the three primary styles parents use and discover how they appear in day to day life.

Permissive Parenting

Parents who treat their children as peers or friends are using a permissive parenting style. In this style, a child receives minimal structure and lots of freedom for a child to make decisions. The parent-child relationship is described as warm.

Authoritarian Parenting

Parents who expect their children to be obedient without question are using an authoritarian parenting style. In this style, the parent typically provides excessive rules and/or structure with no freedom for a child to choose. The parent is often described as strict.

Authoritative Parenting

Parents who use a mix of both permissive and authoritarian are using an authoritative parenting style. In this style, the child is given the option to have a choice in making decisions while also having firm boundaries. Therefore it is also known as democratic parenting. The parent-child relationship appears to be a meeting of both warm and strict energy.


According to research, authoritative parenting can result in greater academic achievement. It also can lead to decreased symptoms of depression, disobedience, and antisocial behaviors such as drug use and delinquency. Overall, it is considered the most effective parenting style for these reasons and more. 1


To foster an authoritative parenting style, I suggest putting more focus on spending time with your child in conversation. Ask your child questions that stimulate the mind and encourage social interaction. These skills are needed as a child grows but also creates opportunities to feel acknowledgment and understanding from a parent. Additionally, it is important to make sure a child feels loved and appreciated. Therefore, try to acknowledge your child’s thoughts and opinions and not just when demonstrating good behavior or academic success. Furthermore, having routine chats and activities like reading followed by analysis can go a long way toward developing a healthy parent-child relationship.

What’s Your Style

What parenting style do you utilize most? Does authoritative parenting seem easy to implement? Share your thoughts and suggestions below to help other parents master this style. Also check out this week’s YouTube video to hear more on this topic and how it relates to last week’s post Let Kids Be Kids.

Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L

Amy Baez is the Founder of Playapy and Creator of the PALS Handwriting Program. She is a pediatric occupational therapist, play advocate, and parent coach with over 17 years of experience. Learn more at www.playapy.com.

1 Steinberg, L. (2001), We Know Some Things: Parent–Adolescent Relationships in Retrospect and Prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11: 1–19.