Authoritarian vs Authoritative Parenting Styles

Family Family
8-10 8-10
Ashka Popat
7 months ago
Parenting styles

Parents are the primary shapers of their children's future. There are three fundamental parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive, and each has a different impact on a child's character and self-esteem. When life gets rough, having a high level of self-esteem comes in handy because it allows you to treat yourself with tolerance and understanding. The adolescents and their parents who attended the adolescent health clinic in a tertiary medical care facility for various concerns were the subjects of this study. The Rosenberg questionnaire was used to interview adolescents, and the Parenting styles and dimensions questionnaire was used to interview their parents, and demographic data was obtained. To uncover significant relationships, all data were collated and statistically analysed. 44.4% of them had high self-esteem, 35.2% had moderate self-esteem, and 20.4% had poor self-esteem. In terms of parenting styles, 73.2% of parents used the Authoritarian style, 20% used the Authoritarian style, and 6.8% used the Permissive method. 56.28% of adolescents who received Authoritarian parenting had high self-esteem, 30.05% had moderate self-esteem, and 13.66% had low self-esteem. Authoritarian parenting was more likely in moms with higher education levels (p=0.014). The findings demonstrated that Authoritarian parenting was connected with lower levels of self-esteem in adolescents, whereas Authoritative parenting was associated with higher levels of self-esteem. Mother's formal education has nothing to do with selecting a suitable method of parenting.

When your child refuses to eat, do you forcefully make them eat, or do you ask your child about his/her preferences and prepare their meals accordingly?

Your response to this situation can help determine whether you are an authoritarian or authoritative parent. Many parents believe that both of these are the same, but in reality, they are 2 very different styles of parenting.


When talking about parenting styles, there are 4 major parenting styles –

    1. Authoritative Parenting – These parents are strict and set an expectation of certain behaviour from their children while also being caring and warm.

    2. Authoritarian Parenting – These parents are strict as well but aren’t considerate of their child. They expect blind obedience and often fail to be loving and nurturing.

    3. Permissive Parenting – These parents allow their children to be highly independent and are also loving and warm.

    4. Neglectful Parenting – These parents often don’t like to get involved in their child’s life and rather take the hands-off approach.


Read | Different parenting styles and their consequences


Now that we have discussed the 4 parenting styles briefly, let’s get into the main differences between authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles:

Parental Warmth

Parental Warmth

Compared with authoritarian parents, authoritative parents are likely to be warm, loving and nurturing. Authoritarian parents are more responsive than authoritative parents. It is scientifically proven that responsive parents help create a more secure attachment with their child. As the authoritative parents are more responsive to their children’s emotional needs, it is observed that children from authoritative families have more emotional control. They are resilient and can recover from setbacks more easily than the children that come from authoritarian families.

Also, the children of authoritative parents are more likely to feel content than those of authoritarian parents.


Freedom and kids


Authoritative parents often tend to give their children more autonomy and independence than their authoritarian counterparts. Instead of seeking total control over their children’s lives, authoritative parents believe in monitoring their child and correct their behaviour whenever needed. Compared with authoritarian parents, authoritative parents are likely to be more liberal with their kids.

When you monitor your child instead of taking complete control over their decisions, he/she is less likely to show anti-social behaviour and offensive tendencies.

As a parent, you should try to give your child some freedom and involve them in decision making in the family.


Kids and rules


When it comes to rules, both authoritative and authoritarian parents are strict about following rules and expect a certain level of behaviour from their kids.  This is probably the only similarity between both of these parenting styles.

The difference lies in the way both of these parents implement their rules. Compared with authoritarian parents, authoritative parents are likely to discuss and explain rules to their children. They are open to having a two-sided discussion on the expectations they have and listen to what their child has to say. This makes children more assertive, and they tend to have higher self-esteem.

Authoritarian parents on the other hand allow one-way communication only. The only reason they expect their kids to follow their rules is the ‘because I said so’ attitude. They expect children to blindly accept their rules without any objections. Such an approach to parenting can make your child apprehensive and insecure.


Discipline in kids


Authoritative parents are very consistent, yet considerate about disciplining their child. They tend to be non-punitive with discipline and focus on teaching their child the right behaviour rather than punishing them for the wrong.

On the contrary, authoritarian parents tend to punish their children more often, with a punitive disciple to prevent any instances of wrong behaviour in the future.


Read | Top 8 Positive Parenting Techniques to discipline your child


Parenting is very subjective. Parents have different ways and styles to raise their children, and there is no right or wrong way to do this! Although, it is seen that the authoritative parenting style is more beneficial for children as well as parents as opposed to the authoritarian parenting style.

Some examples of authoritative parenting are –

  • Be warm and nurturing to your child
  • Listen to them
  • Encourage independence and allow autonomy
  • Discuss rather than dictate
  • Use positive discipline instead of punitive measures

Be clear with your expectations to your children

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
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