Why is authoritative parenting good

Authoritative parenting style: goals, features, advantages and disadvantages

The different educational methods have changed again and again over time. Initially, the authoritarian style of upbringing, with its narrow boundaries and punishments, was seen as the only real one, but this changed in the 1960s when the anti-authoritarian style of upbringing became fashionable. Everything was allowed here, what you liked and the result were often small egoists without any orientation.

With the authoritative parenting style, which works with a lot of love and empathy on the one hand, but also with consistency on the other, you may have that perfect middle ground found for the upbringing of your child. You can find out why this is so in this article.

Definition: what is the authoritative parenting style?

The cornerstones of the authoritative parenting style are based on clearly communicated rules and requirements and are characterized by a high degree of care and trust. Therefore it is touted by educationalists as the optimal parenting style. What better things can happen to a child than if his feelings and needs are taken into account and at the same time he experiences clearly defined limits to which he can orient himself.

Since the children are given a say in many matters and the freedom to try things out, the authoritative style of upbringing is often referred to as the democratic style. Important decisions are discussed with the children, and their needs and opinions are not only listened to, but also respected. A clear framework of clearly defined, but by no means rigid, boundaries and rules is set, which steers and limits the child's interaction with others. However, parents consistently demand compliance with these rules and limits.

Authority and consistency on the one hand and freedom and understanding on the other are weighted roughly equally here, which means that your child can develop and develop freely, but also learns to fit into the family or society.

Features of authoritative upbringing

  • Parents set clear, but not rigid, rules
  • Parents consistently insist on adherence to rules and limits
  • The children's right to co-determination, as far as it makes sense
  • Children are given a lot of trust and care
  • Authority and freedom are balanced
  • Children's needs are respected
  • Parents and children work out solutions together
  • There is a high degree of communication between parents and children

If you choose the authoritative parenting style, you are placing high demands on your child in terms of adherence to rules and boundaries, but on the other hand you offer him a lot of support in following them. Your actions may be strict for a given occasion, but your tone makes the music. Out of respect for your child, you should always maintain a loving tone.

It certainly helps if you avoid phrases like “you must” or “you must not”. You will be much more successful if you first appeal to your child's insight and only then give clear instructions on how to behave. However, you then have to consistently insist on compliance.

Advantages of the authoritative form of education

  • Children become confident and responsible people
  • Children acquire a high level of social skills
  • Children have a strong sense of justice
  • Children acquire a high intellect
  • Children can later fit in better in hierarchies and structures
  • Children have few problems at school or at work because they can fit in well with societies
  • Children later come into conflict with the law less often
  • Children are less likely to have drug or alcohol problems later on
  • Children do not have attachment problems later (e.g. in a partnership)
  • Children are very good at expressing feelings and desires
  • Children are more willing to compromise
  • Children acquire the ability to find solutions quickly
  • Children are less noticeable for their aggressive behavior

Since the advantages of this parenting method are so obvious, the authoritative parenting style is also considered to be “the golden mean” of all parenting styles and is therefore the most successful.

Disadvantages of the authoritative parenting style

  • Parents have a hard time being one hundred percent consistent
  • Parents need a high level of social skills in order to comply with the rules themselves (keyword: role model function)
  • Parents find it difficult to enforce boundaries

In theory, a lot sounds so simple. One hundred percent consistent action is often a barely surmountable hurdle for parents. Therefore, exceptions must be allowed in everyday life.

When setting up (family) rules, care must be taken to ensure that everyone (including parents) adhere to them.

The third long-running favorite in education is the enforcement of boundaries, which should not be underestimated. It is helpful here to set as few limits as possible. It is not the abundance of boundaries and rules that make up a good education, but your ability to adhere to them. Be a good role model for your child, then some boundaries will be superfluous. Your child will be happy to imitate your behavior. Incidentally, this applies to both your good and your bad behavior.

Goal of authoritatively oriented education

The goal of authoritative upbringing is to focus on your child without losing sight of yourself. Create a way of dealing with clearly defined behavior and manners that is characterized by love and trust. This gives your child security in which they can develop their personality and psychology well.

And if you did everything right in your authoritative upbringing, your child will have matured into a responsible person and will be able to cope with their later life more easily. Due to its high level of social competence and willingness to compromise, it can easily fit into society, but without just being a follower. Your child will be able to question things properly.

Effects & consequences of bringing up children in an authoritative manner

Especially in later professional life, your authoritatively raised child shows high skills. It can fit into hierarchical structures and is able to question and, if necessary, discuss. At work, it will work in partnership and recognize the opinion of others.

Because of the social manners he has learned, he will have no problems arguing properly and communicating respectfully.

The authoritative style of parenting in practice

Your little daughter is making a fuss because she's going to play with her friend for a while longer and doesn't want to go home yet. Are you going to give in now and stay ten minutes? Or do you explain to your daughter in a matter-of-fact tone that it is time to go because dinner is waiting? Have you decided on the second option? Bravo, then you are in all likelihood one of the authoritative parents.


The authoritative parenting style creates a close bond between you and your child and is characterized by trust and security. Of course, it is not always easy to implement all the requirements. But it's definitely worth the effort. After all, various studies have shown that children raised in an authoritative manner have good self-esteem and high social skills and therefore find their way around life very well.

If you want to learn more about the other parenting measures, I recommend reading my article on the other parenting styles with examples.

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