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How the Authoritative Parenting Style Impacts a Child's Behavior

by Nicole Harms

Of the four widely recognized parenting models -- authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful -- authoritative parenting strikes the right balance between being warm and nurturing while also expecting independence and mature behavior from children. Authoritative parents have high expectations for their children and express clear, age-appropriate rules that they expect to be followed, yet they offer support and forgiveness when children make mistakes.

Fostering Independence

The authoritative parent seeks to foster independence in a child. These parents will allow their children to work out problems on their own occasionally, rather than instantly running to help. Letting their children figure problems out without help encourages independent behavior. Authoritative parents also have high expectations of their children, and often the children show high levels of maturity and self-confidence as a result, according to Foundations Counseling, a Colorado-based therapy firm.

Self-Confident Children

Authoritative parenting tends to create self-confident children, according to Foundations Counseling. Because children are working independently regularly, they are confident in their abilities to accomplish a task, even if the task is hard. They learn to push through frustration as they learn a new task with the encouragement and support of their parents, rather than the help of their parents. As children learn patience and emotional control while trying new activities and feeling the support of their parents, they are trained to be willing to take on new challenges with confidence.

Achievement Oriented

Children raised by authoritative parents tend to be achievement-oriented, according to Foundations Counseling. They work hard at the tasks given to them, and their strong self-confidence helps them see tasks through to the end. As adolescents, they often experience stronger academic success. In a study published in 1986 and stored on the Education Resources Information Center, a research team from the National Center on Effective Secondary Schools in Madison, Wisconsin, found that children of authoritative parents also had better school attendance as adolescents.

Fewer Negative Behaviors

This balance between nurture and strict expectations creates children who exhibit lower levels of aggression toward their peers. Because they can regulate their own behavior effectively, they are less likely to engage in antisocial behaviors according to Foundations Counseling. In general, these children are quite adaptable, well-liked by others and have strong social skills.

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