Authoritative Style For Parenting (Solid Examples)


There are different parenting styles, one of which is the authoritative style. There are so many misconceptions about this style, so I want to talk more about it and give you solid examples.

The authoritative style of parenting is also called positive parenting. This is where the parents will set clear rules and boundaries or limits for their children. The best thing about this parenting style is that it includes and considers your children’s voices and choices in the decision-making process.

This parenting style stimulates children to be independent and responsible for themselves while still guiding them when needed.

mom holding her daughter hand at the train station

What is an authoritative style of parenting?

Regarding parenting, we all want our children to be happy, healthy, and prosperous. And we all want them to learn the skills they need to be happy, healthy, and successful.

These are the goals of authoritative parenting. Authoritative parents provide structure and guidance for their children but also support them in developing their own strengths and interests. 

They set limits but also encourage self-direction. They give their kids space to make mistakes while also giving them opportunities to learn from those mistakes.

Likewise, authoritative parents are warm and loving toward their children but also have high expectations for their children’s behavior. They look forward that their children will do well in school. They also expect them to follow the rules and treat others with kindness and respect. 

Can you see the balance in this type of parenting? The parents still have the upper hand, but children have a voice.

But always remember that the best way to parent is the way that works best for you, your kids, and your family as one entity.

Solid and Real-Life Examples of Authoritative Parenting

Now, let’s see some examples of authoritative parenting.

Outdoor Time

You know, some children really love playing outdoors with their friends. But when it’s time to go home, it’s even harder to call them than you thought.

So, how do you apply the authoritative style of parenting here? Note that you need to be kind and firm in every situation.

The first task you need to take is to set boundaries or limits. When your children say they want to play outside, tell them it’s okay, but you also need to ask them some questions that can give them voice and choice.

You can ask them the following questions.

“Is five minutes enough for you to play outside?”

“Shall I bring you back home, or you’ll do it yourself?”

“What food do you want when you get back?”

Things like these will give your children a contribution to the decision-making process. They’ll even feel better and will avoid demanding more because you’ve given them choices and exciting things to look forward to going home.

Bedtime Routine

Putting your children to sleep at the right time is one of the most challenging tasks as a parent. But how do you deal with this through authoritative parenting?

The first step is to set up your boundary. Tell your kids that you’ll go to bed at 7:30. Now that you’ve set the boundary, it’s time to give them a choice so they don’t feel suffocated. You can ask them questions like.

“What sleepwear do you want to wear? Do you want your Dino dinosaurs or your striped ones?”

“Shall you turn off your night light, or shall I do it?”

“What book do you want me to read?”

Always give your kids options to choose from so they won’t notice that you’ve set a boundary for them. Likewise, make those choices even more interesting, so they’ll feel excited about them.

Teaching them to do household chores

Aside from being supportive as a parent, part of this style is also teaching your kids to be responsible and independent. 

But as you teach them, you still need to set boundaries and explain the rules.

You can give it a shot like this before having lunch.

“Right after our lunch, we need to wash the dishes. Do you want to wash it with me or do it alone?”

“Do you want me to demo it to you, or you’ll be fine?”

“What show or movie do you want to see after you wash the dishes?”

Although rewards are fun, try to limit them. The reason is that your children might become dependent on it, which is a bad thing. Consider the first two choices instead of offering rewards.

Limiting screen time

Too much of everything, especially gadgets and digital devices, is terrible for anyone. Your children are fanatics of these devices, so how can you manage them through authoritative parenting?

Again, set boundaries. Tell your kids the specific duration they are allowed to use their tablets or phones. Let’s say 30 minutes will do.

After setting your boundaries, let them do the rest by offering them choices.

“Shall we set a timer on your device?”

“What do you want to do after using your tablet?”

“Shall we play a game on your tablet for one last time before we turn it off?”

Did you see the difference? You want to instill that you are still the parent and you want the best for them. But you’re also giving them chances to express themselves and agree with your rules without making them feel that they’re being controlled.

Drinking medicine or going to the doctor for an appointment

One of the things that children hate the most is drinking medicines when they are sick and going to the doctor.

Sometimes, it’s even hard for parents to force their children when these two are the issues. Let’s first take a look at the first scenario, which is drinking medicines.

Admit it or not, some children won’t open their mouths even if you cry in front of them. But no worries because it’s not a dead end.

Aside from giving boundaries, the authoritative parenting style also explores hugging, cheering, and smiling practices. 

So, how do you utilize these practices in this situation?

Well, first of all, if your kids can already comprehend things, the first step you need to do is to explain to them why they need to take medicine.

If it doesn’t work, head to your plan B.

Plan B: Let them do it.

Some children are just curious, and if your little one is like this, why not let them experience giving themselves their own taste of medicine?

Let them hold the medicine and teach them the measurement they need to take. Let them drink it independently, but still, with your guidance. In this way, it’ll look more exciting to them.

Now, let’s take a look at situation number 2. 

This is one example of a scenario in which you must prepare your child. Tell them beforehand that you need to go to the doctor and that there’s no saying no.

After saying that, offer them choices immediately!

Things like:

“Where do you want to go after meeting your doctor or dentist?”

“What do you want to give your doctor when you meet them or her? Shall we give apples or cookies?”

In this case, we can use the idea of giving rewards or what we call operant conditioning.

Things to remember in the authoritative style of parenting

  • You need to be firm and should not always accept your child’s reasoning. 
  • Learn to say no to your kids, especially if they’re trying to decline your boundary.
  • Be kind to them while still giving boundaries.
  • Avoid punishing them and using hurtful words.
  • Use the sense of touch when trying to communicate with your children. You can hug them in tough situations but don’t ever let your guard down when it comes to setting boundaries for them.

Tips on becoming an authoritative parent

Utilizing the authoritative style of parenting isn’t that easy. That’s why we’d like to help you out by giving some tips on how to become authoritarian parents.

Hear out your child.

Hearing out about your child is an important part of authoritative parenting because it helps you identify more about who they are and what they need.

When you listen to your child, you can get a better sense of what they’re feeling, what they need, and the most important things. This can help make decisions about how to parent them. 

Most importantly, listening also helps build trust between parent and child. Listening closely without judgment or preconceived notions about what your child might say or do reveals that you care about their opinions and needs. 

This can help them open up more in future conversations with you so that there’s less of a “them vs. me” dynamic when they talk with their parents.

Recognize your child’s emotions and feelings.

As a parent, it is essential to identify your children’s emotions and feelings so that you can help them understand how to process and cope with those emotions. 

So as an authoritative parent, you are in a position of power and influence over your child’s development. Your ability to provide structure and guidance will significantly impact how they see themselves in the world.

Children will develop their own personality and character traits as they grow. This is one of the most exciting parts of parenting! You can help shape these traits by supporting them emotionally as they grow up.

Always consider your child when making decisions.

It’s important to hear your child when making decisions as an authoritative parent. Because you want to ensure that you’re giving them the freedom they need to grow and the structure they need to feel secure.

If you’re an authoritative parent, then you know how important it is for your child to feel valued and loved. You want them to feel like they can trust you with their emotions and their needs. But to do that, you have to be able to listen closely enough to understand what they’re saying, even if it’s not always obvious.

Define and establish clear boundaries and rules.

One of the great things you can do as a parent is to set boundaries for your kids. You want them to know what’s okay and what’s not okay. 

But how do you establish those boundaries? 

How do you ensure everyone knows what’s expected from everyone else? 

Well, it starts with rules. Rules that everyone understands and follows. Rules like no hitting, no stealing, no lying, and others are all part of this process. And there are consequences for breaking such rules. It is usually in the form of time-outs or grounding or taking away privileges like TV or video games or phone time will do.

Learn to give a warning for minor problems.

It’s important to give a warning for minor issues because it helps you to keep the lines of communication open with your child. 

When you give a warning, you are telling your child that you will hold them accountable for their actions but that you still love them and want to help them grow.

A warning also allows your child to change behavior before consequences are implemented. This way, they can learn from the experience and not repeat it again in the future.

Use the idea of incentives.

Using incentives in authoritative parenting encourages children to behave well and learn from their mistakes, which helps them develop into responsible adults.

You have lots of power over your children’s behavior as a parent. 

You can choose to use that power to encourage good behavior or punish bad behavior. Research has shown that incentives are actually more effective at promoting good behaviors than punishment is at discouraging bad ones. While some parents believe that punishment is the best way to ensure that kids learn from their mistakes. 

Incentives can be anything from positive reinforcement to telling your child how proud you are of her. When she behaves well, reward her. Like giving her something when she does what you ask for.

Be a role model to your children.

You have a lot of influence over how your child thinks, feels, and acts.

Being a role model for your child is important so they know how to treat others and themselves. If you’re an authoritative parent, you can help your child grow to be a good person by showing them how it’s done.

Being a role model for your child is important in any parenting style. Still, it’s essential when you have kids in an authoritative manner. 

Be the best parents that you can be!

I hope this article helps you recognize what it means to be an authoritative parent. I hope you can use it as a guide for the rest of your parenting adventures.

Remember, there is no perfect parent. So go forth and be the parents you can be!

In the end, it’s all about love. We hope you have found the courage and strength to be the parents you can be because we believe in you.

Now go make your kid’s life awesome!

Garo Kotchounian

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