Authoritative Parenting Model and Discipline

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Establishing discipline through authoritative parenting is an effective style because it displays secure emotional development, allows a higher quality of supportive peer relationships and enhances problem-solving skills for the child.

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Research has shown that authoritative parenting is the most effective style of parenting. Authoritative parenting is the one style that promotes equal involvement between the parent and child. (Cherry, 2013a). The parent displays fair discipline, warmth and nurturing, effective communication with the child and sets certain expectations on behavior and maturity.

This parenting style promotes a “democratic” model in which parents are responsive to the child’s needs, thoughts and concerns. These parents will listen to questions the child may have on expectations set. Simply put by these parents are direct but not over bearing. (Cherry, 2013b). They reason instead of just punishing the child. Parents of this model want their children to be self-assured, socially approachable and cooperative. This furthermore, clearly defines that the authoritative style allows open communication between parent and child, love, guidance, nurturing, explanation of discipline and balance for the child.

The authoritative parenting style is about setting limits, reasoning with kids, and being responsive to their emotional needs. (Dewar, 2013). These types of parents offer children a great deal of emotional support. While setting high standards for a child, parents who practice the authoritative style are responsive to the needs of children, demand children to show respect as well as provide a nurturing environment.

In setting limits, children will often comply with respect to their parents and act responsibly.

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When children misbehave, the authoritative parent provides discipline as well and pointing out and discussing the misbehavior. The parent further provides reasoning to the act. In addition, parents allow for verbal responses and communication from the child that promotes a sense of balance. As Dewar further states, there is evidence that this style helps kids become more empathic, helpful, conscientious, and kind to others. Dewar also suggests, authoritative parents are both highly responsive and very demanding. Overall, this is one of the best ways to define the authoritative parenting style.

Evidenced research provides several conclusions that children raised by authoritative parents are more likely to become independent, socially accepted by peers, academically productive, and well mannered. (Dewar, 2013). Children often become more supportive, reliable, and thoughtful to family and peers. Authoritative parents promote secure attachments and allow children to communicate their concerns and feelings. In doing so, children are less likely to internalize problems.

Talking with a child will allow them to verbalize both good and bad, learning from these better choices and avoiding future mistakes. In the end, children will become better with problem solving skills and positive emotional well-being.

Authoritative parenting offers secure emotional development of a child. These parents exhibit respectable emotional understanding and control, encourage children to manage their own emotions and learn to understand others as well. (Cherry, 2013b). The authoritative parenting style focuses on parents listening to what their children have to say, place reasonable limits that have set consequences for certain behaviors and encourage an independent child.

Parents are warm and welcoming to discuss anything with the child but do not do this in a robust manner. This parent is consistent with discipline but expects the child take responsibility for their actions. The parents do not judge or place immediate blame, they listen to what the child has to say. In return, these children tend to be capable of making appropriate decisions, have a sense of pride and happiness with themself and achieve goals set for them effectively. In other words, the authoritative parent encourages a child to set expectations of their own to succeed, work through problems, develop their own skill sets and accomplish a strong sense of confidence. Diane Baumrind’s research shows that these children display a happier disposition, have effective control of their emotions, exhibit s social interaction and are self-starters in learning new things. (Cherry, 2013a).

Multiple studies have been done that prove authoritative parents score high on measures of warmth and responsiveness and high on measures of control and maturity demands (Spera, 2005). This is likely due to the parent’s warm and responsive manner in which the child is approached by the parent. The parents due demand a high level of maturity from the child, but do so with balance, affection, and bidirectional communication to nurture relationships.

The parent gives explanation of why a child should act a certain way in social or serious situation. Parents also help the child to prioritize what is important to succeed socially and academically. This is referred to as the demandingness/responsive model. (Spera, 2005). Demandingness refers to the demands parents make on their children to become unified with family and united in society with others.

Parents hold certain levels of demand for their children, but provide direction, and discipline when appropriate. Responsiveness refers to parental actions that purposefully encourage individuality, self-confidence and contention of the child. With parental responsiveness, parents are receptive and understanding of the child’s needs. Parenting in this manner and with warmth and understanding, this can make a child’s temperament more calm, happy, adaptable, regulate sleeping and eating habits, set a positive mood and encourage interest in new experiences.

Research has found that the best-adjusted children have parents with an authoritative style (Gurian, 2011). These parents are able to balance with definitions, place high demands with emotional responsiveness and maintain respect for their child’s independence. Parents need to remember though; children also have their own style and temperament.

They do react differently in given situations and parents must recognize those differences, especially in families with many siblings. Differences in these types of children are the easy going, calm, happy child who possess healthy habits, is generally in a good mood at all time and is interested in many different activities. In contrast, difficult child may be fussy, negative, and emotionally weak and get upset easily.

Authoritative parents must understand the given situation and find a good “fit” to meet the child’s demands. Being consistent is key as well. Setting limits on the child, providing ongoing encouragement, recognizing accomplishments, discussing solutions to problems and consistent communication is a must. Constructive conversation and encouragement with balance develop a strong relationship.

Parents need to gain and maintain respect from their children to be able to teach them how to develop strong social relationships. Parents are the influential to child as they set limits and rules with respect to each individual in the family. A warm parent is full encouragement, bi directional communication, and love. (Harkey, 2012). The authoritative style is obviously the one that parents should strive for when parenting.

When this type of parenting is accomplished a child will be happy, content and successful. Children will strive for balance and selfconfidence to develop strong peer relationships. Authoritative parents practice demandingness and response. They balance control and empathy that results in a thriving relationship with the child. These parents also do not put more on a child then they feel the child can handle. Again, they listen to the child’s needs and help them to make better decisions.

Authoritative parent practices increase the importance of peer relationships for adolescents. This parenting style encourages a variety of positive outcomes for adolescents with quality, supportive friendships. (Beck, 2011). Peer friendships are important to all children especially in the adolescent years. Support from friends helps to develop a higher self-esteem during this time and makes teens feel important. The authoritative parenting style promotes this as parents discuss school events, peer relationships and emotions with the child.

Studies show that strong peer relationships are related to better social skills and develop leadership qualities in teens. (Beck, 2011). Parents encourage teens to become involved in these types of relationships. Parents encourage externalized communication, involvement in teen activities, questions about their peer relationships and strong communications. At the same time, parents demand certain behaviors and will not tolerate inappropriate teen behaviors. Parents must remember not to wait to form these bonds with children in the adolescent years; these bonds must being in early childhood and continued throughout the early adulthood years.

Parents must also recognize that teens may begin to reference peers for advice and problem solving skills. Parent involvement without being over bearing is essential to maintain a balanced relationship with the child. Authoritative parenting is effective for positive outcomes of the child in problem solving skills as well as success with peer relationships (Spera, 2005).

Spera reviews findings that speak to research of children from authoritative parenting styles and that are associated with positive school outcomes. In his review of such research he suggests that authoritative parents provide many idea dynamics that lead to high academic performance. Authoritative parents provide a high level of emotional security. This allows the child a sense of comfort and helps them to succeed in their school and peer relationships.

Spera also defines that authoritative parents provide their children with explanations for their actions. Explanations provide children with a sense of interpretation and mindfulness of their parents’ values, morals, and goals. These are the building blocks to success in academic and social performance. Authoritative parents participate with the child in bidirectional communication. This style furthermore promotes better skills in interpersonal relations, sets a higher level of confidence and more popular children. These interpersonal skills are a direct reflection of how a child will succeed in school, both socially and academically.

Authoritative parents take a different, more moderate approach that emphasizes setting high standards, being nurturing and responsive, and showing respect for children as independent, rational beings. The authoritative parent expects maturity and cooperation, and offers children a lot of emotional support. Quality parenting is ongoing and offers warm and secure bonds between the parent and child. Children raised in this environment are less likely to internalize their feelings as authoritative parents encourage the child to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Also when a child makes a mistake, the parents must approach the situation in a caring manner vs. a blaming tone.

This can provide openness and solutions to problem solving and in turn children will become more effective learners from this process. Studies prove that encouraging independence in children reflect better problem solving skills and healthy emotional beings. (Dewar, 2010). This can provide the appropriate means for a child to become more helpful to others, caring and giving. In doing so, children will be viewed by peers as being kind, approachable and sometimes popular.

The best-adjusted child, particularly in terms of social competence, has parents who utilize the authoritative, moderate parenting style. (Gurian, 2011). Gurian examines and compares the parenting styles researched for many years by Diane Baumrind that speaks to three different styles. These styles are authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting. Authoritative parenting, provides a balanced approach, demands expectations of appropriate behaviors, allow children to think through decisions and develop a sense of autonomy.

Authoritarian patenting on the other hand, emphasizes strict discipline and severe punishment. Also, there is little affection shown. Permissive parenting, displays passionate warmth but this parent is hesitant to enforce rules. Gurian further explains that children from authoritative families tend to be emotionally sound, well behaved and competent in academic performance. This makes them resourceful, and socially adept in all aspects of life. In reference to children from authoritarian families, they are fairly well behaved but lack social skills.

Also these children tend to suffer from anxiety, unhappiness, and lack of self-confidence. Children from permissive families may hold a high self esteem but tend to get involved in problem behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse and are poor performers in academics. Findings show that among all the components of personality, there is a direct and significant relationship between openness personality trait and authoritative parenting style. (Mohammad, Nasirudin, Samadzadeh and Amini, 2012). It aims to explore the difference in parenting styles and personality dimensions.

This leads children to broaden their scope of curiosity and wisdom, which helps them with problem solving skills. The authors of this abstract (Mohammad, Nasirudin, Samadzadeh and Amini, 2012) clearly research and study over 272 students from a national university. They used random sampling and a questionnaire to gather the information to be reviewed from these students as the authoritative parenting style is one compared to the others that improves secure being, focus, knowledge, and develops problem solving.

Also, in this study it reflects that the authoritative parenting style is the one compared to the others that improves secure being within the child, focus, and knowledge and develops problem-solving skills. Results of this study also showed that parent’s educational manners and styles are effective on the development of children’s personality behaviors. Parents play an important role in meeting a child’s needs. It is imperative that a parent provides a healthy relationship with child using the authoritative style of open communication, warmth and love. Self-confidence for child throughout life is significant in decision-making. Children with authoritative education style have higher social-emotional growth and better academic achievement. Parents display social support, mutual relationships, approachability, responsiveness and satisfaction towards children with an authoritative parenting style.

This in turn results in the maturity of these mechanisms within children. Family is definitely the main support of a child’s personality traits and growth. Parenting styles are patterns for children’s enhancement that is formed by the consistent communication of parent/child and how they response to children’s behavior. Authoritative parents demand maturity and accountability from the child, but approach them in a kind way with explanation at all times.

Various studies discussed by (Mohammad, Nasirudin, Samadzadeh and Amini, 2012) speak to the committed relationship and authoritative parenting style that has a direct reflection on academic achievement in children. It also has a positive impact on the well-being and mental health of the child. These parents guide direction and provide explanation and solutions for further success of these children and therefore have a direct reflection on problem solving of adolescent issues. The article by (Spera, 2005) evaluates the information on the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement.

Spera speaks to research completed by Diane Baumrind that authoritative parents have high maturity demands and set expectations for achievement of their children. However, they foster maturity requests through bidirectional communication and encouragement of independence. The review of the practical research indicates that parental involvement and monitoring are strong predictors of adolescent achievement. Furthermore, the review specifies that authoritative parenting styles are often associated with advanced areas of student achievement.

Parents find social skills important and entwine them in daily discussions with children. These topics can include social, academic and peer topics for discussion. Volunteering at school, helping children with homework and attending school events such as extracurricular activities are the many ways parents can stay involved with child. Parents must initiate this type of involvement with children, as it will result in positive outcomes for the child.

Moreover, Spera speaks to studies with adolescents that have found that parental assistance with homework is positively related to the amount of time adolescents spend on their homework. Parents who value the education as their child will result in those child to succeed in their academic practices as well as social interaction with peer groups (Spera, 2005). This results in personal and professional growth of the child. It also teaches children to respect their studies and understand why education is to be valued. Setting goals together can prove effective.

Also, mature and self-confident children succeed with an authoritative parent if bidirectional communication is maintained. The abstract by (Turner, Chandler, and Heffer, 2009) also provides information about the effectiveness of appropriate parenting styles in relation to academic performance. The results of the current study of college students concludes that parenting characteristics such as concern, love and warmth continue to play an important role in prompting a student’s academic performance while in college.

It also speaks to self- esteem as it relates to success in college students. In doing so, it discusses research and studies that tested the interaction between child self-efficacy and authoritative parenting. In general, an authoritative parenting style emphasizing both responsiveness and demandingness appears superior in fostering higher academic performance. This provides reasoning as to why authoritative parenting is effective in the child’s progress through adolescence and early adulthood.

Several other studies by Diane Baumrind have indicated that there is a positive link between authoritative parenting style and academic performance. These children are motivated constantly by their parents and provide ongoing reassurance of goals and values. Authoritative parents encourage a high self-esteem and promote the ability for the child to mature, organize and achieve goals in a warm, secure way.

These positive actions build success and growth for the child as they learn to work through problems, difficult scenarios and achieve success academically. Self-efficacy is strongly related to academic achievement especially at the college level. Again parents play an important role to assist in the development of maturity and self-assurance of the child beginning early in life. As children mature and begin on their own at the college levels, parents still can play an important role on the continued success. According to studies reviewed in the article of (Turner, Chandler, and Heffer, 2009).

Students who come from an authoritative parenting style not only achieve overall academic success but tend to have a higher GPA.

Ongoing research over the years shows that establishing discipline through authoritative parenting is one of the most effective styles because it provides secure emotional development, allows a higher quality of supportive social relationships and enhances problem-solving skills for the child. The authoritative parenting style is one in which parents display warmth, rationalization and understanding that provide a sense of security and self-perseverance of the child.

These parents allow child involvement with an emphasis on bidirectional communication. Parents provide ideal problem solving skills at all ages for future success by demanding maturity from the child but provide a positive and encouraging approach with balance to a develop strong peer relationships. Authoritative parents provide warmth, understanding and love to promote a child’s self confidence for overall academic and personal achievement throughout life.


Beck, K. (2011). The role of mothers’ authoritative parenting in adolescent attachment and social relationships. [Abstract]. Cherry, K. (2013a). Parenting styles: the four styles of parenting. Psychology.

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Cherry, K. (2013b). What is authoritative parenting? Guide to Psychology. Retrieved from Dewar, G. (2013, March). The authoritative parenting style: Warmth, rationality, and high standards. A guide for the science-minded parent Dewar, G. (2010). Parenting styles: A guide for the science-minded

Gurian, A. (2011, July). Parenting styles/children’s temperaments: the match. NYU Child Study Center. Retrieved from _match

Harkey, N, & Jourgensen, T. (2012). Parenting by temperament: Authoritative parenting [Kindle edition]. Retrieved from

Mohammad, M. Javidi, N., Samadzadeh, M. & Amini. M. ( 2012, September). 3332 Indian Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 5 No. 9

Spera, C. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 125-146

Turner, E., Chandler, M., Heffer, R. (2009, May/June). The influence of parenting styles, achievement motivation, and self-efficacy on academic performance in college students. Journal of College Student Development, Volume 50, (3), 337-346. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Authoritative Parenting Model and Discipline. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

Authoritative Parenting Model and Discipline

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