Authoritarian Vs Authoritative – How To Identify Your Parenting Style

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Every parent knows how difficult it is to raise a child. Even when all you’re trying to do is act in your child’s best interest, they’re bound to rebel.

Having your child follow the rules or disobey them depends on your attitude and approach as a parent.

And this all comes down to your parenting style.

So, which style is most advantageous? When it comes to authoritarian vs authoritative parenting styles, there’s a lot of debate.

Here’s how to tell the difference between these two parenting styles.

What Is Authoritarian Parenting And Authoritative Parenting?


Setting ground rules are the most important aspect of raising children. And knowing how to react when your rules are broken is a process that demands a lot of patience and communication.

So, let’s take a look at two of the most popular parenting styles: authoritarian vs authoritative.

What is the authoritarian parenting style?

The authoritarian parent is a strict one. They don’t like to see the same mistakes repeated and are very clear when setting rules and boundaries.

In an authoritarian household, the rules are the groundwork that holds everything in order. And if those rules are broken? Well, the consequences can be severe.

Authoritarian parents believe that children must be aware of their responsibilities in life. They should do what others expect of them. After all, if people don’t follow the rules, the system won’t work.

What is the authoritative parenting style?

The authoritative parent, on the other hand, makes the rules while taking the child’s wishes into consideration.

This parenting style demands a lot from both parties. Parents offer emotional encouragement when something is done right. But if the child doesn’t behave well, a punishment is given.

In this way, authoritative parents make sure that the child isn’t just obedient: they also learn a lesson.

Why Is The Authoritative Parenting Style The Best?


Having your own child comes with many fears and insecurities. Being responsible for another person’s life leaves you with never-ending fears for your child’s wellbeing.

And this can be exhausting.

So, as a parent, you need your rules to be clear and respected. And that means enforcing the rules when they’re broken.

As difficult as it is to punish your child, they need to learn a lesson from each wrongdoing.

After all, you’re laying the groundwork for their success later in life. If they see that they can break your resolution with a single look or smile, imagine what they’ll do in the future with much more important rules.

This is one of the most important distinctions between authoritarian vs authoritative parenting.

Authoritative parents make rules for the sake of teaching life lessons. Whereas authoritarian parents make rules for the sake of obedience. 

Understanding why a rule is in place and why there are consequences for breaking it is important. In fact, this is how a child’s value system is formed.

The more consciousness and clarity you can bring into the rule-making process, the better. As Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Program, says:

“You can’t bring too much consciousness to your life.”

What are the 4 types of parenting styles?

We have already covered two of four parenting styles:

  • The authoritarian parent
  • The authoritative parent
  • The permissive parent
  • The uninvolved one

The permissive parent is less focused on upkeeping the rules and more focused on exploration. They encourage their children to learn through a process of trial and error. They offer guidance, but are less hands-on than authoritarian or authoritative parents.

For a permissive parent, it is important to talk to the child, explain the rules, but also respect the child’s wishes and their true nature.

If a mistake is made, consequences often aren’t severe. A permissive parent trusts their children and behaves more like a friend or mentor than a parent.

The uninvolved parent doesn’t dedicate a lot of time to the family. This can really leave a mark on the child’s behavior. With no authority figure to look up to, children raised with this parenting style often encounter issues with authority later in life.


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Which parenting style do you use? Let us know in the comments below.


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