Of all the parenting styles, the authoritative parenting style is generally accepted as the most successful in producing well-balanced, productive, and respectful children.
But, what is authoritative parenting? And, why authoritative parenting is best as per majority opinion?
Parents who use the authoritative style of parenting maintain their control in the home, but still manage to have a warm and close relationship with their children. There are clear rules and boundaries, but the discussion is welcomed, and children’s feelings and opinions are taken into account.
When the authoritative parents’ expectations are not met, some consequences help the child to move in the right direction, with support and encouragement from the parent. Thus, authoritative parenting has popularly earned the title of the best parenting style so far.
So, this all sounds pretty perfect – could there even possibly be any cons or downsides to the authoritative parenting style?
Apparently, yes, and this article, in the following discussion, will highlight a few of the possible authoritative parenting outcomes that also include the downsides.
So if you are a parent doing your utmost to raise your kids the best you know-how, then here are a few more points for you to consider as you hone your parenting skills.
Authoritative parenting keeps you on your toes
Once you become a parent, it is for life. Sure, your hands-on parenting years are relatively few and short-lived, but you will always be the parent of your child.
For the first eighteen odd years of your child’s life, you will no doubt need to rally all your resources to meet the challenges of parenthood. At some point, you will have to decide on some kind of ‘parenting style,’ either consciously or unconsciously.
If you choose to aim for the authoritative parenting style, where you set clear boundaries while maintaining a warm and close relationship with your child, you will find that there is no ‘time off.’
The minute children of authoritative parents sense that mom or dad is feeling tired/lazy/not-with-it today, they will press their advantage, and the parents may lose a lot of hard-won ground if you are not vigilant and consistent about maintaining the boundaries that you have set.
So, one of the possible downsides of the authoritative parenting style is that you continuously need to be on your toes, and you can’t afford to ‘slack off’ if you want to make it work.
But then isn’t it like that with anything worthwhile? It takes hard work and perseverance.
Authoritative parenting runs the risk of rebellion
The authoritative parenting style is also sometimes referred to as the ‘democratic’ style. This is because the children are given a say, and they are allowed and indeed encouraged to voice their opinions.
So, whenever you give people the freedom to express themselves, the chances are that they will choose the opposite of what you wanted for them.
These are some of the effects of authoritative parenting style, but consider the alternative, where children are given no choice, and they are compelled to obey all their parents’ commands and wishes.
This kind of dictatorial or authoritarian parenting can often result in children complying out of fear for the consequences which will be meted out. And as soon as they can break free from this kind of control, there is a higher risk that they will rebel and experiment with harmful behavior.
So within the controlled environment of an authoritative approach, certainly, there may be some rebellion. Still, then the parent is able to work it through with the child in an open and supportive manner.
Authoritative parenting is tricky to maintain during disputes
There are multiple benefits of authoritative parenting style, but we need to understand the flip side of the story as well. Following on from the risk of rebellion, undoubtedly, authoritative parenting gets hectic during disputes with a willful child.
All parents dread those episodes when their darling child behaves in a rude, stubborn, or even arrogant manner. Keeping cool at such times can be a major challenge when every instinct is telling you to regain control of the situation and quash the coup d’état, as it were…
This is where the authoritative parent needs to be firm but loving, and gently uphold the boundaries you have set, allowing the consequences to follow.
During disputes, it would be easy to put your foot down and slip into the authoritarian approach – ‘my way or the highway.’
On the other hand, the converse permissive approach would be to shrug your shoulders and let the child get away with his or her bad behavior.
In many ways, it is a balancing act, and you may feel like a tightrope walker, tottering along a very precarious route. Stay strong and keep the goal in mind as you exercise all the patience you can muster.
To know more about the other parenting styles, watch this video:
Authoritative parenting needs a constant review
When you are using the authoritative parenting style out of the possible parenting styles, you will have to be flexible, continually reviewing and reevaluating your methods and strategies.
Children change and develop so quickly; something which worked very well for your four-year-old may not be working well at all by the time he is seven or eight. So you need to be open to amend and modify the rules as you go along.
If you are a person who likes to decide on something once and for all and then let it remain a constant year in and year out, then this aspect of authoritative parenting style may well be a downside for you.
But if you relish the challenge of rising to the occasion, you will find yourself developing new responses to the ever new and surprising things that your children may come up with on a regular basis.
So enjoy the adventure of authoritative parenting as you accompany and facilitate your child’s journey into a fulfilling and responsible adulthood.
And should you encounter these few ‘downsides’ along the way, use them as stepping stones to take you closer to your goal of helping your child to reach maturity in the best possible way.
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Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.