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Published on Aug 26, 2022
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Sophia Clark

Authoritative vs. Authoritarian Parenting |

Authoritative and authoritarian parenting might seem the same when you hear them, but they are actually different. Do you want to know the differences between authoritative vs. authoritarian parenting? Then this article is for you.


When it comes to parenting children, there are different techniques and styles. Parents follow different parenting websites and positive parenting solutions to raise their children. Modern-age parenting has been a big topic in today's world because it is not the same as how we grew up.

Both of these parenting styles are Baumrind's parenting styles in psychology which refers to authority. However, they have different effects on children with their principles.

Through this article, you'll learn about the authoritative vs. authoritarian parenting style and which one is the best for your family. Read below to find out everything you need to know about authoritarian and authoritative parenting.

What Are The Types of Parenting Styles?

There are mainly four different types of parenting styles. They are as follows.

1.Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents set strict boundaries and demand high standards from their children; there is only one-way communication.

2. Authoritative Parenting

In authoritative parenting, the parents inflict strict rules and regulations but are also caring and loving and provide guidance to their children.

3. Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents have very few rules and aren't strict. They don't like to disappoint their children and are warm and loving in nature.

4. Neglectful Parenting

Neglectful parenting refers to uninvolved parenting, where parents don't take any part in their children's lives and have no boundaries.

What Is Authoritative Parenting?

Authoritative parenting is the type of parenting that revolves around the aim of helping children learn and grow while maintaining an appropriate set of rules and boundaries.


Such parents have a loving, sensitive, and nurturing nature with positive reinforcement, resembling gentle parenting. They are not submissive to their children and are responsive in communication.

Authoritative parents encourage transparency, reasoning, and explanation for their children's actions rather than being submissive. This helps the children grow in a good environment that enhances their values, morals, and goals.

Authoritative parenting is also referred to as democratic parenting. Children of authoritative parenting tend to have the following qualities.

  • They are more happy and more content in their family.
  • They develop good self-esteem and have better mental health.
  • They are good at academic performance.
  • They tend to be good at social skills and communicate easily.
  • They are independent and more active.

What Is Authoritarian Parenting?

Authoritarian parenting follows the old thought and method that children should follow what their parents say. Its main feature is high levels of parental control and low levels of parental responsiveness.


It utilizes phrases such as "How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?", "Because I said so." Parents set clear and strict rules and regulations and high expectations from their children.

Children are not allowed to talk back, and shame, embarrassment, and guilt are common in this type of parenting. Parents inflict harsh punishment, and as a result, children grow up to be tough, insecure, and less independent.

Children whose parents have used authoritarian parenting style have the following qualities:

  • Children grow up to be insecure and less independent.
  • They are not content and possess low self-esteem.
  • They tend to display more behavioral problems or conduct issues​.
  • They have low social skills and competence.
  • They perform poorly academically.

Key Differences: Authoritative vs. Authoritarian Parenting

Now that you've seen the meaning of authoritative and authoritarian parenting, let's see the key differences between Authoritative vs. Authoritarian parenting below.

In both authoritarian and authoritative parenting, the parents should set limits and enforce rules. The main difference lies in how this is implemented.

1.Parental Attitude

Authoritative parents have a calm, loving, and nurturing nature. Due to this quality, they have a positive relationship with their children, which helps develop healthy bonds.

Authoritative parenting means putting dominion over your own emotions to avoid conflict. Rather than punishing the children, parents explain the reason for the situation to handle conflicts properly. This tends to grow their ability to make decisions and how to act in situations.

However, in authoritarian parenting, parents are cold in nature and don't believe in hearing from their children. They inflict strict rules and regulations and expect them to follow them without any communication.

Parents handle emotion as a weakness and resort to punishment or criticism when their child battles.

2. Rules

Authoritative parents enforce rules upon their children by properly explaining the details to them and supporting them with reasons. It also encourages children to raise their questions if they don't understand or agree.

The authoritative parenting style helps children think critically and feel included by their parents.

In the authoritarian parenting style, they enforce strict rules which they expect their children to follow without questions or reasons. Parents don't explain to their children the proper reasons, which causes children to raise in an anxious and strict environment.

3. Discipline

Authoritative parenting involves strict effects, such as computer restrictions or limited outdoor activity. Authoritative parents often put higher ideals. They are more constant when following through with discipline. They use inductive discipline, encouraging their child's social behavior and kindness.

Authoritarian parenting often chooses harsh punishment. Parents exercise more command over their children but are less influential in their follow-through.

4. Communication

Authoritative parents often set their emotions aside and consider each situation a learning possibility. These parents encourage open conversation, which helps their children feel seen and heard.

Parents who use an authoritarian procedure often lose control of their emotions and may use shouting, name-calling, or scolding to achieve demand and authority. Communication is one way, with the parent doing the speaking and the child staying muted.

5. Control

In authoritative parenting, standards remain high, but children have the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes. Parents focus on encouraging independence and the ability to self-regulate, only offering guidance when essential.

Whereas authoritarian parents try to over-control or micromanage their children. They need to have emotional authority as well to feel certain about their parental role.

This parenting style is like a tyranny in that it depends on fear. Whatever the parent says is correct and should be heard and believed without inquiry.


Studies have shown that showing love and admiration but preserving authority and discipline is the parenting style for your child. Some may claim that every child is different and needs another parenting method.

Culture and family background are also relevant aspects to think about.

Having said this, Authoritative parenting is still the most suitable for your children, but you can redirect your technique depending on the condition. The key is the right harmony between love and power.

Frequently Asked Questions

I. Why is authoritative parenting the best?

Children raised by authoritative parents are more probable to become independent, self-sufficient, socially skilled, academically victorious, and well-behaved.

There is also a low chance they suffer from depression and anxiety and are less likely to be antisocial.

II. Is authoritarian parenting harmful?

Most research has found that the most relentless form of parenting is authoritarian parenting which is associated with more negative outcomes in children. These effects include poor social aptitudes, dependency on parents, and low academic performance.

III. What is the opposite of authoritarian parenting?

The opposite of authoritarian parenting is permissive parenting, where parents are more like friends. They don't have strict rules and regulations and allow the children to solve their problems rather than give directions.

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