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Read about what the experts have to say about mental health.

Authoritative Parenting

On the news of becoming parents; not only does a life begin but also a life transition towards a new start. Anticipation, excitement and exultation with regard to being parents may be the first few emotions felt by anyone.  With all the thrill of it all, uncertainty about the ways of parenting and guiding this new life into this big world is sure to crop up in your mind at least once.

While as human beings we are endowed with several genetic dispositions, nurturing your young one is one of them.  But the perfect hand-me-down of choosing and adopting the right parenting style is often a complex job.

Parents are the first individuals a child ever interacts with, and the way parents chose to rear their children leads to the foundation from which they would eventually base every single decision they would make as they grow up. Hence parenting styles ultimately plays a huge role on who your child will be when they grow up.

Research has primarily identified four parenting styles i.e. the authoritarian which is more adherent to setting non negotiable rules, authoritative where the child’s involvement and feelings while setting the rules are at the heart of this style, the next involves being a permissive parent which includes being more lenient and less emphasis on discipline, Lastly the uninvolved parent who are neglectful and often do not meet the children’s basic needs and expect children to raise themselves. These are dependent on what the parent feels the child needs from them. Sometimes parents may show a mix, and may not fit solely into one category. Also they may vary with regard to their strategies from child to child.

Authoritative parenting style has shown wonders with children over the globe. Being more authoritative means developing more confidence in your parenting as well as keeping in mind things from your child’s perspective. Whatever your style maybe at present, transforming from an authoritarian/permissive/uninvolved parent to an authoritative parent is the essence of this article.


  • Use consequences rather than punishment – Punishment is meant to inflict pain and suffering to instil a penalty for a child’s offense. While using punishment it gives children the message that “I’m bad” and the control lies with the parents. Punishments don’t really teach children how to behave or act appropriately. It infact teaches them that they themselves cannot control themselves. And it rests with the parents to manage their behaviour. On the other hand use discipline to teach new skills, problem solving. It should focus on how they can learn from their mistakes and deal with them in socially appropriate ways. The thing to keep in mind is negative consequences such as time out/ taking away privileges should be clear and time sensitive. It should also include positive approaches like praise and reward charts etc. positive reinforcement encourages the continual of good behaviour and clear incentives to follow the rules. Disciplining your child leads to a positive relationship between parents and children and reduces attention seeking behaviour. It inculcates within them the feeling that “I did something wrong” rather than “I am bad”.


  • List of rules – It’s very important to set boundaries in the form of rules and expectations. This will help them learn what type of behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. Decide ahead of time the consequences to be faced for breaking rules. It’s also crucial to link privileges to good behaviour. A way of teaching your child that you need to earn your privileges. And lastly follow the limits you set. Keep consistent as well as firm discipline to show your child that you’re going to take the necessary steps to help them learn. As a parent being present physically, emotionally and mentally for your child and their needs, helps to build a bond. And leads to a great experience of being a parent and enjoying every moment with your child.


Lamborn SD, Manta NS, Steinberg L. (1991). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescent from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful families. Child development; 62: 1049-1065

Morin, A. (2004). Types of Parenting styles retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/types-of-parenting-styles-1095045 on 22/9/2016