Authoritative Parenting: Discover What Makes it the Parenting Powerhouse

Authoritative Parenting: Discover What Makes it the Parenting Powerhouse

Authoritative Parenting:

Discover What Makes it a Parenting Powerhouse


Parent coaching helps teach authoritative parenting and positive parenting techniques

Wondering what parenting style is the best for you and your child? Experts¹ agree that authoritative parenting is the way to go.

What is authoritative parenting?


Authoritative parenting balances rules and structure with the needs of your child. Meaning you are going to consider your child’s wants, but balance it with firm and consistent limit setting.

As opposed to authoritarian parenting, where the parent provides strict rules with little explanation, or permissive parenting, which enforces few rules and lacks overall structure, authoritative parenting takes firm structure and blends it with supports that encourage learning, resilience and self-expression.

In short, authoritarian parenting allows a child to feel the safety and security of limits and structure, while still receiving loving and responsive emotional support.

So what does authoritative parenting look like in real life?


Authoritative parenting allows for you to have give and take with your child. This invites you to work together to create solutions and discipline that work for everyone. And while you remain the authority in your household, it allows your child a chance to express and advocate for themselves.

This supportive structure helps your child develop skills in communication, collaboration, problem solving, and empathy.

When you practice authoritative parenting, an interaction with your child or teenager may look like this:

‘I understand you really would like to go out with your friends, but I do not like you being out as late as they are going to be. You can go, but you must be back home by a certain time or you can choose to stay home and have your friends come over here.’

In this example, you are setting a firm limit, a reason why the limit exists and providing your child a limited choice within your firm structure that takes into account their wants or needs. This allows your child some agency in how limits are applied, but a clear boundary for expected behavior.


Why is authoritative parenting so effective?


Authoritative parenting is effective because being supportive and providing firm boundaries creates the two elements that kids need to thrive – love and consistency. And while that sounds good in theory, researchers have done various studies to prove it’s more than just theory. The impacts of authoritative parenting not only makes daily parenting easier, but it also has lasting effects into adulthood. See the science behind this parenting style here.

So what about positive parenting? And where does it fit in?


Like authoritative parenting, positive parenting is responsive to a child’s needs and puts in firm boundaries. In short, positive parenting is a way to practice authoritative parenting. Specifically, positive parenting focuses your parenting interactions on connection and providing positive reinforcements for the behaviors you want to occur. The idea is positive attention for positive behavior will bred positive results.


This shift in approach can help you yell and nag less, all while correcting unwanted behaviors. And this can result in overall better relationships as well as a host of positive long term effects.


If you want to learn more about how authoritative parenting and positive parenting can help you in your parenting goals, schedule a free 30 minute chat and I’ll walk you through how to make changes.


Want to see the science behind these two parenting styles?

The below links will take you to resources outside of Happy Parenting & Families website


  1. Effects of Authoritative Parental Control on Child Behavior
  2. The Relation of Parenting Style to Adolescent School Performance
  3. Patterns of Competence and Adjustment among Adolescents from Authoritative, Authoritarian, Indulgent, and Neglectful Families
  4. The Influence of Authoritative Parenting During Adolescence on Depressive Symptoms in Young Adulthood: Examining the Mediating Roles of Self-Development and Peer Support
  5. Amato, P. R., & Fowler, F. (2002). Parenting practices, child adjustment, and family diversity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(3), 703-716.
  6. Whittle, S., Simmons, J. G., Dennison, M., Vijayakumar, N., Schwartz, O., Yap, M. B. H., . . . Allen, N. B. (2014). Positive parenting predicts the development of adolescent brain structure: A longitudinal study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 8, 7-17.
  7. Chen, Y., Kubzansky, L. D., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2019). Parental warmth and flourishing in mid-life. Social Science & Medicine, 220, 65-72.