Differences Between Authoritarian and Authoritative Types of Parenting

Authoritarian, authoritative and permissive are the three generally recognized styles of parenting. The words authoritarian and authoritative may sound similar, but when they are associated with types ofparenting they imply very different methods of parenting. The two styles denote quite different parental attitudes to discipline, the nature of the parental bond as well as parenting outcomes for the children.

types of parenting

What are authoritarian types of parenting?

This style of parenting places a lot of emphasis on structure and discipline. This is strict type ofparenting that demands but is not responsive to the child; veering rather close to totalitarian or undemocratic set up.

The scope for dialogue between a child and parent is very limited here and there is a high value placed on implicit obedience of parental instructions and directions. The parent doesn’t feel obliged to offer explanations for why things are to be done a certain way. The attitude here is “because I said so” and obedience is implicitly expected.

Authoritarian parenting styles focus on the status of the parent as being higher. This type of parenting is more valued by certain cultures, because it means less rebellion from children and hence less open friction. There is also a view that this form of parenting, very often favored by expat Asian families, brings up children to be high achievers and hard workers.

What are authoritative types of parenting?

This style of parenting is demanding, but it is also responsive, which is why many experts feel that it is balanced and has the right combination to bring about positive parenting outcomes. This parentingmethod incorporates many organized activities to foster a child’s abilities and talents.

This is often referred to as propagative parenting or assertive-democratic parenting. The parent has highexpectations of maturity and good behavior but also provides appropriate help for solving problems and outlets for regulating feelings. There is less control and more scope for exploration for the child so that a child learns to trust their own reasoning.

The principal positive aspect of these types of parenting is that the child develops autonomy and learns to be self-reliant. While success is rewarded and encouraged, there is also scope for forgiveness in the event of failure.

There are limits clearly set out but there is an absence of punitive punishments. The give and take nature of helps foster a child’s self-esteem which is why this style of parenting is recommended by most experts.

Difference between authoritarian and authoritative types of parenting

Children with authoritarian upbringing are often seen to be high achievers with material success and positive outcomes, particularly in certain cultures where this parenting style is the norm.

However in cases this parenting style may lead to lower social competence and autonomic functioning since the child has always been told what to do and how. Also when parents are too forceful the child could rebel, break down or even withdraw.

The fact that authoritative styles of parenting balance affection with authority; direction with autonomy and responsiveness with demand, probably makes it a better option according to all experts.


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